The undisputed, unified lightweight champion Haney vs Lomachenko fight played out at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday. The fighters lasted all 12 rounds, with the decision going to the scorecards in a bout that exceeded expectations.
The scores after 12: 116-112, 115-113, 115-113 for Devin Haney. Yes, there were some boos heard in the arena. It was a coin-flip-looking fight.
Haney called Lomachenko is a future Hall of Famer. “Lomachenko is a future hall of famer, it was a blessing. I want to thank Allah. I gotta take my hat off to Loma. He's my best opponent, he's crafty. He turns it up in the championship rounds.”
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) May 21, 2023
What's Ahead for the Lightweight Champion?
Devin Haney has struggled to make 135 pounds. He stated maybe he will go to 140, but Shakur (Stevenson), Gervonta (Davis), present good matches at 135. Of his victory, Haney said, “This put me in the history books forever.”
Speaking to Bernardo Osuna on ESPN in the ring after the fight, Lomachenko heard the crowd's roar. He thanked God, his team, and the fans. Did he think he won? “I don't wanna talk about this. All the people saw what happened today,” he answered. The 35-year-old Lomachenko said he showed he's in good shape.
Asked to assess Devin Haney's skills? Lomachenko thought he would be better. “He's not (as) pound-for-pound fighter.”
As to his future? Lomachenko declined to discuss it, saying only, “See you next time.”
Oakland, California native Haney (3o-0, 15 KOs) now living and training in Las Vegas, came in the young gun at 24. The wondrous technician from Ukraine and former three-division champion Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) is at an age where analysts wondered how much past his prime was he?
The buzz from “the shove” at the Friday weigh-in was dissipated. It was regular big fight, anxiety in the air.
In the first round of his 16th world title bout, Lomachenko looked smaller than Haney. Both started quicker than per usual. Haney ripped with harder shots than he customarily does. His rights to the body looked sharp.
Lomachenko got off to a good start as well. He went at Haney when Devin backed up and in general, looked on the same plain as the younger man.
In round two, Haney picked up the jab. His inside work impressed, and he looked busier. Then Lomachenko flurried. Yes, he knew he needed to be busy. Haney looked comfortable and, yep, still bigger.
Haney looked big and quick in the third round of Haney vs Lomachenko. A Lomachenko left landed and the Ukrainian wanted to explode on Haney. They clinched and tangled. Was Loma looking to clinch? A headshot from Lomachenko and then an uppercut scored. Loma took the round. He seemed to be in a confident mood.
In the fourth round, it was more rough chess. The Haney jab pumped versus the lefty, and he didn't get countered as much. Loma stalked now as Haney tried to use the same sweet feet as Lomachenko. They tangled and fell to the floor, with Loma giving a nice hard message shove. In the corner, trainer/father Bill Haney told Devin to attack more.
Midway Through Haney vs Lomachenko
In round five of Haney vs Lomachenko, more rights to the body, best punch for Haney to this point. Loma got aggressive and bullied Haney. More tangling…The distance closed. Tight round, again, Loma rested late, maybe to his detriment.
In round six of Haney vs Lomachenko, Haney's length worked, he touched Loma on the way out a few times. More fine bodywork from Haney. Loma pot shotted a left and then slid, his feet were on message. A three-punch combo from Loma, the crowd dug that. More forward movement by Haney, he stalked Loma. Then he allowed Loma to go at him and blunted him.
Haney's body shots were maybe the story of the fight to this point.
In round seven of Haney vs Lomachenko, Haney stayed focused and sharp. He was selective but busy. His jab pumped, and Loma found it hard to get inside. Both landed some power shots, but Haney's ring generalship stood out.
In round eight, the jab helped keep Loma at bay. Ripping right to the body from Haney, but Loma bulled forward. The Loma left counter landed a bit, but the jab's effectiveness superseded. Haney landed the top power punch. That jab working, a great key to his success to this point.
In round nine, traded power shots. Tight round, same as before, but tighter. Haney rested more in this round. You could have gone either way.
Home Stretch Of Haney vs Lomachenko
In round ten, Loma's accuracy improved last few rounds. Loma flurried and snapped Haney's head back. We saw swelling in his left eye. Loma's best round, I had it 6-4 Haney by this point. “You're winning the fight,” Bill Haney told Devin.
In the 11th, Loma bullied a worried, tired Haney. Seemingly Lomacheck was now the bigger and stronger man. Strong, strong Loma round due to his superior conditioning.
Bill Haney told Devin, “Stop standing straight up. How you feel?” Haney was huffing in the corner.
In round 12 of Haney vs. Lomachenko, Loma moved forward. Haney perked up. But Loma threw more, and sent the message he wanted the win more. But both were tired, and the round didn't sizzle so much. The scorecards would determine their fate after a fight which met or exceeded the fans' expectations.
Haney wins. Lomachenko wins the fans. I had Haney up 7-5.