Talks are underway for a fight between undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney and #1 WBC Vasyl Lomachenko for a fight that is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2023.
Top Rank has confirmed that the negotiations have started between Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) and Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs).
Now the only question is how much time will Loma need to prepare for the fight? Lomachenko told ESPN after his victory over Jamaine Ortiz on October 29th that he will need more time to prepare.
Lomachenko looked tired and slower on his feet than in his previous fight against Richard Commey last December. If Lomachenko can’t improve on his foot speed, he should save himself the humiliation and forget about fighting Haney.
Presumably, Lomachenko wants to put a little size on to help measure up to the hulking Haney, who looks like he no longer belongs in the 135-lb division.
Lomachenko has a massive size disadvantage against Haney, and there’s nothing he can do about it. Loma is in the same boat as he was when he fought Teofimo Lopez in October 2020.
In that fight, Teofimo looked massive, and Lomachenko was too small to deal with the size advantage that Teo had.
If your Lomachenko, you got to be concerned with the size of Haney because the fight must be conducted on an even playing field.
As the B-side challenger, Lomachenko has no way of getting any leverage in the negotiations regarding a rehydration clause to ensure that Haney doesn’t rehydrate to the mid-160s by the night of the fight.
When Haney stood across from Lomachenko inside the ring after his win over Ortiz, he looked too big.
If Lomachenko does lose, he should consider moving down in weight to 130 because he’s going to continue having to deal with opponents that are considerably bigger than him.
Also, there’s no point in Lomachenko staying at 135 if he loses to Haney because he won’t get a fight against Ryan Garcia or Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
Top Rank could match Lomachenko against Shakur Steveson, but that would be a situation where Loma would be a stepping stone rather than being put in a fight that he has a chance of winning.
Haney is one of those types of fighters that may see his career bottom out when he moves up in weight and begins fighting guys his own size. He can’t punch, and he will have problems at 140 and 147.
As big as Haney drained as he was at the weigh-in for his rematch with George Kambosos Jr on October 16th, he’s likely to look badly still depleted when he moves up to 140.
Size-wise, Haney is arguably a welterweight who is still young enough to take off dramatic amounts of weight without weakening himself.