WBC lightweight world champion Devin Haney has denied being racist and says he rejects “discrimination of any kind” after claiming he “would never lose to a white boy”.
Haney, 21, made the comment during an interview when asked about the possibility of facing Ukrainian world champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
Speaking to 78SportsTV, when asked if he would “end the hype of Loma”, Haney said: ”I’ll tell you this. I will never lose to a white boy in my life. I don’t care what nobody got to say.
“Fight a white boy 10 times, I’m going to beat him 10 times.”
Haney’s comments received a fierce backlash on social media, with 135lbs rival Ryan Garcia writing: ”We should all respect everyone from every race and see who the best man is!
“I respect Devin Haney and I believe he didn’t mean this with racist intent but let’s all respect each other for the love of the sport.”
Haney later responded to the criticism and said: ”I’m not racist and I never will be a racist. I’m chasing greatness.”
He then added: “I just had a very positive conversation with Mauricio Sulaiman, president of the WBC, and confirmed to him directly my commitment to be a role model and my absolute rejection of discrimination of any kind.”
Haney won the WBC lightweight title last year but was declared ‘champion in recess’ due of injury.