After all, Devin Haney will have his biggest supporter.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that Bill Haney, Devin’s father/head coach/manager, has received a tourist visa that will allow him to travel overseas to Melbourne. The eleventh hour of development leaves a narrow window of opportunity, although efforts are being made to secure a flight for the elder Haney, who will arrive in Australia by Sunday morning in time for Devin Haney’s uncontested lightweight bout with Sydney’s George Kambosos Jr.
The bout will take place early Sunday afternoon local time at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. ESPN will stream the map live starting Saturday night at 9:00 pm ET/Sunday at 11:00 am EST. Haney of Las Vegas (27-0, 15 KOs) puts his WBC lightweight belt on the line for the fifth time against Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs), who is defending his WBA/IBF/WBO championship belt for the first time.
Haney, 23, was forced to leave his father after a trip to Melbourne more than two weeks ago. Bill Haney fully intended to travel with his son, but learned at the time that his visa status had not yet been approved. His application was put on hold due to a review of his drug conviction almost 30 years ago, for which he served more than a year in prison.
Australian visa regulations state that offenders who have served 12 months or more in prison are not eligible for an ETA (Electronic Travel Management) visa or an eVisitor visa, required for short visits. Bill Haney has pre-announced his past conviction in hopes of avoiding that scenario, though the matter remained unresolved until late Thursday evening PT.
A contingency plan already existed in case Bill Haney was unable to make the trip. Yoel Judah – Bill’s mentor and close family friend – was set to lead Haney’s corner in the biggest fight of his career to date.
Now there’s a chance that Bill Haney will arrive in the country in time to train his son to become the youngest undisputed champion in the four belt era.
THIS IS A DEVELOPING STORY…
Jake Donovan is a senior writer at BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox