‘It puts me in the history books FOREVER’: Devin Haney expresses joy after defending his undisputed lightweight titles against Vasyl Lomachenko despite a controversial decision… as the Ukrainian admits, he ‘thought his rival would be better”
- Haney was the beneficiary of a controversial decision in Las Vega on Saturday
- He claimed victory over Lomachenko via a hotly contested unanimous decision
- But the American fighter was on cloud nine after retaining his undisputed crown
Devin Haney believes his controversial win over Vasyl Lomachenko will “put him in the history books forever” after successfully defending his undisputed lightweight crown for the second time.
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 champion and two-time Olympic king Lomachenko was by far the toughest opponent to the undefeated Haney, who had won his previous 29 fights.
When the final bell rang, it was still uncertain who would emerge victorious in their epic clash as the two fighters celebrated in their corners, before the judges ruled in favor of the American by scores of 116-112 , 115-113 and 115-113.
After the victory, Haney greeted his opponent before expressing his joy with his second defense of the four recognized belts at 135 pounds.
Devin Haney claimed his win over Vasyl Lomachenko ‘puts him in the history books forever’
He successfully defended his undisputed world lightweight titles against Lomachenko
‘Lomachenko is a future Hall of Famer and it was a blessing (to win). I want to thank Allah for that,” he said inside the ring after the fight.
“I take my hat off to him, he was by far my toughest opponent and we fought well for the fans.
“He’s a shrewd fighter and he shows that in the championship rounds and I have to take my hat off to him.
“This fight puts me in the history books forever.”
Haney then hinted that he might move up a weight division when asked about his future plans.
He added: “That’s all the experience, my team will come back and reflect on this fight. We’ll go back and figure out what happens next.
“I’ve been at 135 (lbs) for a very, very long time. This was my 30th fight, I’ve been here at 135 since I was 16. We have to go back to the lab and find out what’s next.
In an intriguing clash, both fighters put on a stellar display as they exchanged blows throughout
Haney also hinted his plans could include moving up a weight division as he looks to the future
“It’s always been hard for me to make weight and I accomplished it all at 135. I just beat a future Hall of Famer.” This is my eighth title defense, so we just have to see.
“There are still a lot of great fighters in the 135-pound division, so we’ll see. If that makes sense, then we’ll be at 135.
“We have to see and go back to the drawing board. We have fighters like Shakur (Stevenson), we have fighters like Gervonta (Davis). The list is lengthened increasingly.’
Meanwhile, a devastated Lomachenko – who broke down in tears after his defeat – declined to comment on the decision to hand Haney the win, but stressed his pride in his own performance.
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.
Lomachenko was devastated after the result, with many thinking he should have won the fight
He landed several power shots on Haney and explained that he ‘thought he would get better’
“I think I’ve shown that I can be in boxing and that 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 also questioned Haney’s abilities despite the American extending his career record to 30-0 (15 KOs)
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.”