MGM GRAND, LAS VEGAS — Devin Haney remained the undisputed lightweight champion with an unpopular unanimous decision victory over former pound-for-pound king and three-division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in front of a sellout crowd of 14,436 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night.
"Lomachenko is a future Hall of Famer. It was a blessing. He was my toughest opponent by far. He is very crafty, and we put on a great fight for the fans," Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) said after retaining the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO and Ring Magazine lightweight titles.
This was a nip-and-tuck affair. Haney used bodywork and his jab to ward off Lomachenko's brilliant footwork and clean punching. In the end, the judges saw it in favor of Haney with scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113. By the sound of the heavily pro-Lomachenko crowd, it was the wrong decision.
It was far from a robbery, though. Both fighters tried to impose their will. Lomachenko refused to fall victim to being a notoriously slow starter and pressed forward from the outset, but he had difficulty working around Haney's long jab and imposing size. After a few rounds, Lomachenko had seemed to figure out the 24-year-old and darted in with straight right hands that landed clean and flush. He wouldn't allow the bigger fighter to bully him, and his age (35) wouldn't be a detriment.
But Haney refused to allow Lomachenko to gain a head of steam. He showed he would not be overwhelmed by the skill of arguably the greatest amateur boxer of all time. He bit down when necessary and wouldn't break when the Ukrainian attempted to apply pressure with combinations.
As close as the fight was, Lomachenko was incredibly strong in the 10th and 11th rounds. He appeared to stun Haney with right hands and snapped his head back with hard lead lefts. Again, Haney responded well beyond his years and was mentally tougher than anyone could have expected.
Haney now has options after this victory. He could stay at 135 pounds and accept the challenge of Shakur Stevenson. He could move up to 140, where Teofimo Lopez and Josh Taylor reside.
"This is all experience," Haney said. "Me and my team are going to go back to the house, watch the fight and reflect on it. I’ve been at 135 for a long, long time. This is my 30th fight. I’ve been here at 135 since I was 16 years old. We’re going to go back to the lab and figure out what’s next."
The loss was hard for Lomachenko to accept. "I don’t want to talk about [the decision]. All the people saw what happened today," he said. The Ukrainian doesn't believe Haney is deserving of being recognized as a pound-for-pound great.
"Before, I thought he would be better," he said. "He's a tough fighter. He's a good fighter. But he’s not a pound-for-pound fighter."
Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko full card results
- Devin Haney (c) def. Vasiliy Lomachenko via unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113 & 115-113) to retain WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight titles.
- Oscar Valdez def. Adam Lopez via unanimous decision (98-92, 98-91, 97-93).
- Raymond Muratalla def. Jeremia Nakathila via 2nd-round TKO (2:48).
- Junto Nakatani def. Andrew Moloney via 12th-round TKO (2:42) for the WBO super flyweight title.
- Nico Ali Walsh and Danny Rosenberger fight to a split draw (75-77, 77-75, 76-76).
How to watch Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko
|Country||Date||Channel + Live Stream (main card)|
|United States||Sat. May 20||ESPN+ PPV|
|Canada||Sat. May 20||TSN+|
|United Kingdom||Sun. May 21||Sky Sports|
|Australia||Sun. May 21||Main Event on Kayo|
The Haney vs. Lomachenko main card will air on ESPN+ PPV in the U.S., TSN+ in Canada, Sky Sports in the U.K., and Main Event on Kayo in Australia.
Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko PPV price: How much does the card cost?
The PPV price for Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko will be $59.99 in the U.S.
Fight fans will also need to pay $9.99 for a monthly subscription to ESPN+ or buy an annual subscription for $99.99.
|ESPN+ Monthly Subscription||$9.99/month|
|ESPN+ Annual Subscription||$99.99/year|
|The Disney Bundle w/Hulu Ad-Supported||$13.99/month|
|The Disney Bundle w/Hulu No-Ads||$19.99/month|