Devin Haney retained his undisputed lightweight championship, beating Vasiliy Lomachenko in a truly elite level fight tonight, on what will no doubt be controversial scores.
Haney improved to 30-0 (15 KO) on unanimous decision scores of 115-113, 115-113, and 116-112. Bad Left Hook unofficially scored the fight 114-114 and 115-113 Lomachenko on our two cards.
Haney and Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KO) were really evenly matched for the bulk of this fight, and we’re talking about genuine, high-level chess match stuff here, two fantastic technicians of very different styles and approaches fighting excellently, with both having to make adjustments, some ebbs and flows in momentum, and some tension for all 12 rounds.
Haney gets the win, keeps his crown and his “0,” but Lomachenko will absolutely feel hard done by with this outcome, because there’s every argument, totally fair, that he won this fight, and Haney will have his own argument to have shaded it, too, which the judges saw.
The real key in the fight for Haney wound up being body work, as he landed some punishing blows with both hands to Loma’s midsection, while Loma mainly looked to sharpshoot upstairs.
Both were effective, and again, both are going to feel they won this fight. Haney showed some signs of real concern after the ninth, 10th, and 11th rounds, but also came out and fought hard to win the 12th, while Lomachenko may have given that round away a little bit.
“Man, Lomachenko is a future Hall of Famer. It was a blessing,” Haney said of sharing the ring with his opponent. “I take my hat off to Loma. He’s my toughest opponent by far. He’s very crafty and we put on a great fight for the fans.”
“He’s a crafty fighter. He turns it up in the championship rounds. I just gotta take my hat off, he’s a great fighter,” he added. “It’s all experience. We’re going to go back, watch the fight, and reflect on it. I’ve been at 135 a long, long time. I’ve been at 135 since I was 16 years old. We’re gonna go back to the lab and figure out what’s next.”
“It’s always been tough for me to make the weight,” he continued. “I accomplished everything at 135. I just beat a future Hall of Famer. This is my eighth title defense, so we just gotta see. There’s a lot of great fighters in the 135 division. If it makes sense, we’ll stay at 135.”
Haney named Shakur Stevenson and Gervonta Davis as potential opponents if he stays at the weight.
A much calmer, less adrenaline rushed Lomachenko was cheered, but to be fair, he was the crowd favorite most of the night.
“I don’t want to talk about this,” he said when asked if he felt he won. “All the people saw what happened today. ... Look, I think I showed I’m in good shape. See you next time. I can’t talk about this right now. It’s just, it’s not a comfortable moment for me.”
Asked how good Haney is, Lomachenko said, “Everything was within the rules, it was good. Everything was clean. He will be better, but right now he is a top fighter, he’s a good fighter, but he’s not a pound-for-pound fighter.”
Haney vs Lomachenko highlights
You're witnessing the two best fighters at 135 pic.twitter.com/3aKJsBoMK5— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 21, 2023
Three rounds in and we're wihessing chess at the highest level ♟️ pic.twitter.com/9uZSV5jW5x— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 21, 2023