The show goes on, but with blue-chip lightweight prospect Devin Haney ascending to the main event.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said Thursday that his card on May 25 (DAZN) will go forward and remain at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, but with Haney (21-0, 13 KOs), 20, of Las Vegas, taking on Antonio Moran (24-3, 17 KOs), 26, of Mexico, in the new main event.
Haney-Moran was initially an undercard fight, Haney’s first since signing with Hearn last month. The main event was supposed to be cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk, the 2018 consensus fighter of the year, making his heavyweight debut against former world title challenger Carlos Takam.
However, Usyk suffered a biceps injury during a training session Monday, and the fight was canceled Tuesday. Hearn said he wanted to keep the show otherwise intact and considered trying to move it to Las Vegas on short notice. Ultimately, the decision was made to go forward with the show remaining in Maryland.
Haney was happy to have the opportunity to still fight and to be in the main event even if due to another fighter suffering an injury.
“It’s unfortunate that Oleksandr Usyk had to pull out because of injury,” Haney said. “I wish him a fast and speedy recovery. I’m very happy Matchroom and DAZN made the right choice in making me the main event. The MGM National Harbor will be the perfect place for me to show up and show out at. The fans in this area of the world really know boxing. I will put on a great show for them. I’m the future of this sport, and on May 25 I will show the world how much I’ve grown inside the ring.”
Moran gave former lightweight titlist Jose Pedraza all he could handle when they met last June in a fight Moran lost by close decision. He bounced back for a second-round knockout win in December and figures to give Haney a serious fight.
“We know that Devin is a future superstar, but Usyk’s unfortunate injury now gives Devin the chance to headline first time out on DAZN,” Hearn said. “Moran will give Devin the toughest test of his career so far.”
The card also will feature Chicago’s Jessica McCaskill (6-2, 3 KOs) taking on Argentina’s Anahi Sanchez (19-3, 11 KOs) in a women’s junior welterweight world title unification fight; top heavyweight prospect Filip Hrgovic (7-0, 5 KOs), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist from Croatia, facing Gregory Corbin (15-1, 9 KOs), of Dallas, in a 10-round bout; and heavyweight contender Michael Hunter (16-1, 11 KOs), of Las Vegas, taking on an opponent to be determined.