ESPN analyst Tim Bradley takes some time to talk to Fight Hype about his perspective on the Devin Haney vs Vasiliy Lomachenko fight, now having had some time to watch the fight back without being caught up in doing live commentary for the broadcast. Bradley, who took criticism for seeming to heavily favor Loma’s work in the ring with this commentary, explains his style of calling fights and why he can see a case for either fighter winning. Here are some highlighted excerpts.
“When I was watching the fight live and I was calling the fight, I usually don’t score the fight,” Bradley said. “I don’t score. I kind of go off feeling, one round you see a guy doing his thing, another round can go either way — I wasn’t sure as I was watching the fight because I don’t score it. It’s hard to really score a fight and actually call a fight at the same time. It’s really difficult.
“But after watching it twice already, this is what I came up with. I can make an argument for both guys on why they won, for both guys. Not just Haney, but I can also make an argument for Lomachenko. This is one of the hardest fights to judge because each round — there was a couple of definitive rounds for I would say Haney...And then there was a few rounds on the back end of the fight where Lomachenko clearly dominated and took control in those rounds.
“And then there was a ton of swing rounds in between where they were going back and forth, back and forth. And I can tell you, you can give it to Haney if you wanted to or give it to Loma if you wanted to, because the criteria for scoring fights first of all, effective, clean punches. Both guys are landing effective, clean punches throughout the night. Haney was more dominant downstairs with an occasional hook up top, good jab.
“Another criteria is effective aggressiveness, Haney was pressing forward as well, in spots. And in spots he was having to fight off his back foot and counter Loma as well. And not only that, you have to think about defense, and I think both guys are doing a good job trying to get away from shots after they would land punches.
“These guys, you have to understand, they hit every criteria in these rounds...it was so difficult to score this fight as I’m watching it.
“What I’m trying to tell you is during the broadcast, if you’re heavy favoring one guy and I have my partner Andre Ward...he’s talking about what Haney’s doing, I’m talking about Loma and what Loma’s doing, and it’s a back and forth so it’s an even call we’re trying to give you guys at home. Even, not just being heavy on one guy.
“And then there’s rounds where one guy would dominate and we would both be on the same tip...I’m not mad at the decision, because I can see how one judge can give a couple of swing rounds to one particular fighter or the champion, and that’s exactly what happened...I would’ve preferred a draw in this instance, in this moment, because this fight was that close.”