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Is Devin Haney vs Vasiliy Lomachenko next? Both fighters continue to express interest for spring 2021 bout

Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko continue to talk, but will it be more than that?

Ed Mulholland/Matchroom and Al Bello/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

WBC lightweight titleholder Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko are continuing to go back-and-forth on social media, moving toward actually discussing when a potential fight might take place:

Haney (25-0, 15 KO) has been connected to a possible spring fight on DAZN against Jorge Linares, which isn’t a bad fight, but Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO) would be a bigger, bolder bout to make, even with the Ukrainian star coming off of a loss to Teofimo Lopez.

For one thing, Loma’s just a bigger name than Linares. For another, Loma still should be considered the No. 2 man at lightweight, whether the other guys behind Teofimo like it or not. And for yet another, Lomachenko beat Linares back in 2018.

Lomachenko, 33, has been mostly quiet since the loss to Lopez, although he didn’t seem to take it very well — but he’s a competitor, it’s not that surprising. He also underwent shoulder surgery. He’s always been pushing it fighting at 135, but 135 is where the best fights have been for him. He fought at 126 and 130, he dominated, not many people wanted to get in with him.

The 22-year-old Haney is a very skilled boxer, I don’t think many people question that. He doesn’t have the most charisma in the world, and his style isn’t what you’d generally call exciting, but he has passed every test without trouble thus far. The problem is the tests haven’t been all that serious; yeah, he’s still young, but he’s also claiming a world title.

Personally, I love this idea. It might be tough to get done. Haney is a Matchroom and DAZN guy, Lomachenko is a Top Rank and ESPN fighter, and those sides aren’t exactly getting along great at the moment. But we’ll keep saying this: Until it actually has an impact on a negotiation or something, it is just talk, no matter how heated. Bob Arum has been furious at everyone at some point or other over the years, but he will generally do the business there to be done.

Will it happen? I’d say it’s 50/50 at best. Linares (47-5, 29 KO) still seems the most likely next opponent for Haney, and with Ryan Garcia apparently not getting Manny Pacquiao or Gervonta Davis next, “Kingry” might be a lot more open to a fight with Haney. Garcia does hold the interim WBC title, and his Jan. 2 win over Luke Campbell was intended to set up Haney against the victor.

But I think the other young lightweights see Lomachenko as genuinely beatable and have for a while. Lopez did, then he went out and beat him. There are a lot of fighters at this weight — and Shakur Stevenson just below them in weight — who have said many times that they think they can beat Loma, and that boxing pundits have overrated him for a long time. If Haney is really confident, he can push for this.

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