A great fight, two great performances, one from a fighter who is at veteran stage, the other from a fighter yet to reach his peak – and a controversial, or at least debatable decision. This is what we got last night in Las Vegas, as lightweight champ Devin Haney was awarded a unanimous decision win over an at times sensational Vasiliy Lomachenko.
And, as per Egis Klimas, manager of Loma, there will be an appeal to follow the decision.
“This is the biggest robbery in the middle of the day,” Klimas said as quoted by Pro Box TV. “For the other team, Christmas came in the summer. We’re not going to let it go. I guarantee you we’re going to protest, we’re going to appeal that decision. Somebody needs to end this injustice. Somebody has to put boxing in the place in has to be. It has to be adjusted.”
“Robbery?” “Injustice?” Is this language too strong in describing last night’s decision? Yes, Loma fought magnificently in a number of rounds, these rounds (10 and 11) being ones he won clearer and more dominantly than any of the rounds Haney won. And, when looking at the fight as a whole, even in replay, the feeling one gets is that Lomachenko won. However, when scoring the fight on a round by round basis, Haney won his share of the rounds. A tough fight to score, last night’s fight has strongly divided opinion, that’s for sure.
But an appeal? Will this actually achieve anything? It seems unlikely. We’ve seen so many official protests and appeals before, with nothing done, the decision, the result remaining. In an ideal world, Haney would grant Loma a rematch, and who knows, if the backlash over the decision continues, even intensifies, maybe “The Dream” will do just that. But nobody is holding their breath.
Haney, who may never encounter a more difficult and testing fight for the remainder of his career, difficult mentally as well as physically, can surely improve as a fighter after sharing the ring for those, shall we say, educational rounds with Lomachenko. As for Loma, he showed he has a whole lot left, last night’s showing from him on occasion taking us back in time to his prime years.
It was a superb boxing match, it’s just a shame the decision has angered so many people. But for those who are using the word robbery, put yourself in the position of the judges – would YOU have liked to have scored last night’s fight?
Maybe the whole scoring system needs to be changed. Fighter A (Loma) can win a round big yet receive a 10-9 round in his favour. While fighter B (Haney) can just about edge a round, yet still be awarded with a 10-9 round in his favour. Is it time to add half-point rounds to pro boxing, where a fighter who just about scrapes a round is given 10 points, the other man getting 9.5 points? Would this change things significantly?
Was last night’s decision a bad one, or just a hard one for all concerned to agree on?