Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko was everything a boxing fan could hope.
First and foremost, Lomachenko didn’t waste any time. He’s received criticism in his recent wins for starting slowly, spending too much time “downloading” information before acting on his reads. Against an opponent as skilled as Haney, Lomachenko couldn’t afford to give away rounds.
Even as Lomachenko was more active early, the first half of the fight proved to favor the younger man. Haney made great use of his considerable size advantage by hammering the body with a sweeping right hand. It was a great weapon, an answer to the feints and footwork that Lomachenko uses so well to mystify opponents.
At several points in the first half of the bout, Haney seemed to have his opponent figured out. He’d stick him with the jab, then retreat at an angle and interrupted Lomachenko’s advance with a heavy counter right. If “Loma” stayed back, then Haney would rip into his ribs with that wide right hand.
As champions do, Lomachenko adjusted. He began to really find the timing on his lead right hand, which allowed him to skip forward into his range. He’d often double the left, or follow it up with a powerful jab to reset his stance. Either way, Lomachenko’s straight shots were lightning fast in the latter half of the fight, and they started to do damage.
Lomachenko peaked in the 10th and 11th rounds. His straight shots and speed were getting him into close range exchanges, and he started building beautiful combinations. The left straight-right hook combinations that landed consecutively were the hardest blows landed by either man in the entire fight, and the veteran really had his man on the run.
It’s a credit to Haney’s perseverance and skill that he battled back in the final round.
Everything that happened in those 36 minutes of combat was top-notch and entertaining. Sadly, the men outside the ring were less effective, per usual. I don’t hold my own boxing judging opinion in the highest of regard — MMA fighter here, remember? — but I certainly know how to read the proverbial room.
Far and wide, Lomachenko was favored. At worst, it was considered a draw, which I believe is what my own scorecard tallied up. I find scoring the fight 115-113 (or seven rounds to five) in favor of Haney a defensible position.
116-112 is crap though, and it’s the kind of nonsense the have fans and non-fans alike bemoaning the state of boxing in perpetuity.
For complete Haney vs. Lomachenko results and play-by-play, click HERE.