In the fight of the night, unbeaten four-belt lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) did just enough to squeak out a narrow twelve round unanimous decision over two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasily Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KO) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
With the high number of close rounds, you can argue that the decision could have gone to Lomachenko if the judges had been inclined to do that.
Lomachenko came flying out of the starting gate, getting off to a quick start in the early going, which is unusual for him, but he needed to because he obviously felt he couldn’t afford to let Haney pile up the rounds.
Nonetheless, Haney, who looked like he’d rehydrated to the mid-150s, used his powerful jab and body punching to get the better of, the smaller Lomachenko in the first eight rounds.
In the last four rounds of the fight, Lomachenko came on strong, outworking Haney and staggering him in round eleven. Haney looked like a spent force going into round twelve, but he emptied what was left of his gas tank to appear to win the decisive final round.
The scores were:
Haney used a variety of roughhouse tactics from holding & hitting, straight arms, rabbit punches, low blows, and shoving to give Lomachenko problems.
Interestingly, there was no hitting on the break from Loma, which is what Haney had repeatedly talked about this week. Other than Lomachenko shoving and tackling Haney with a wrestling move at one point, he kept it clean.
Lomachenko’s movement, attack angles, high energy, and his combination punching seemed to give Haney fits, as he wasn’t comfortable with these things.
Haney didn’t look anything like the fighter that had beaten George Kambosos Jr tonight because he was in with a much better fighter.
It’s unlikely Haney will give Lomachenko a rematch, even though the fight was close enough for it to warrant one. Haney winning the fight tonight sets the table for Top Rank to match him against the unbeaten Shakur Stevenson if he stays at 135.
Gervonta Davis could be another option for Haney, but that’s not likely because he’s with PBC and has never fought an elite-level guy. Haney would be a hard fight for Tank. Hence, his management likely won’t agree to put him in with Devin.
If Haney moves up to 140, Top Rank will match him against Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez winner of their fight next month on June 10th.