Devin Haney-Vasyl Lomachenko: American lightweights retain undisputed world titles and go undefeated with CONTROVERSIAL unanimous decision win over Ukrainian
- Devin Haney successfully defended his undisputed world lightweight titles
- In a fascinating clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, he beat Vasyl Lomachenko
- However, there was controversy surrounding the unanimous decision victory
Devin Haney defended his undisputed world lightweight titles against Vasyl Lomachenko via a controversial unanimous decision win.
In an intriguing battle at a sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, both fighters put on a stunning display as the clash fluctuated over the course of 12 rounds.
Former unified lightweight and two-time Olympic champion Lomachenko was by far the toughest opponent to previously undefeated Haney, who had won his previous 29 fights.
When the final bell rang, it was still uncertain who would emerge victorious from their epic clash before the judges ruled in favor of the American.
The fight was scored 116-112 115-113 115-113 in favor of a delighted Haney, leaving ‘Loma’ clearly devastated inside the ring.
Devin Haney defended his undisputed world lightweight titles against Vasyl Lomachenko
In an intriguing clash, both fighters put on a stellar display as they exchanged blows throughout
Haney (30-0, 15 KO), 24, had unified all four major belts with a victory over George Kambosos Jr. in June 2022 – something he successfully defended against the same opponent in October.
Lomachenko, 35, meanwhile had won three straight fights prior to this clash.
The Ukrainian was keen to show he was not a waning force against Haney’s bright young star and he impressed throughout the fight, constantly firing back whenever his opponent tried to gain momentum.
The American, booed vehemently by the crowd, looked much more aggressive than usual as he had an increasingly open stance and tried to assert himself.
But Loma started fast and his traditional quick hands and excellent footwork were on display as they continued to come and go.
The Ukrainian started to come to life towards the end of the fight and caught Haney several times in rounds 10 and 11 with a flurry of punches.
However, the undisputed champion summoned fresh reserves of energy and delivered on the final lap by punching Loma’s body repeatedly.
At the final bell, both fighters celebrated in what was an extremely difficult fight to score so much competitiveness, before the judges ruled in favor of Haney – much to the disgust of the pro-Lomachenko crowd.
Speaking after defending his world titles, Haney said: “Lomachenko is a future ‘Hall of Famer’ and it was a blessing (to win). I want to thank Allah for that.
“I take my hat off to him, he was by far my toughest opponent and we fought well for the fans. He’s a crafty fighter and he shows that in the championship rounds and I have to take my hat off to him.
“That’s the whole experience, my team is going to go back and reflect on that fight. We’ll go back and find out what’s next.
Haney also hinted that he may increase weight divisions in the future. He continued, “This is my eighth title defense and there are still a lot of great fighters out there, so we could go up to 135. This fight put me in the history books forever.”
A devastated Lomachenko declined to comment on the controversy surrounding the result.
He said: “First of all thanks to God and also thanks to my team and to you (in the crowd).
‘Thank you so much. I don’t want to talk about it (the result) everyone can see what happened today.
“I think I’ve shown I can be in boxing and I’m in good shape. I can’t speak to the result at the moment, it’s just not a comfortable time for me right now, but thank you to everyone who came.
He added: “Everything was within the rules. I thought he (Haney) would be better but he’s a tough fighter but he’s not the pound for pound fighter.
“Right now I want to go home and support my country and my Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”