Tim Bradley thinks Devin Haney may have made a huge mistake by pushing Vasyl Lomachenko at the weigh-in because that gave the energy that he needed for this fight to win tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
In hindsight, undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) should have played it lowkey at the weigh-in on Friday, but instead, he chose to get violent for no reason other than wanted to punk the more accomplished former three-division world champion Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs).
Haney, 24, didn’t have much of an explanation afterward for why he shoved Lomachenko other than he didn’t like having to wait four years for his opportunity to fight him.
“That push. A guy [Lomachenko] that competitive, you do not want to motivate him,” said Tim Bradley to Fight Hub TV, reacting to Devin Haney pushing Vasyl Lomachenko at the weigh-in today.
“We can say, ‘Loma is at the back of his career.’ That little energy that he needed, he just got it right there. So when things start getting tough, any little fade that he sees inside the ring with Haney, any little mistake, he’s going to try and make him pay.
“Any little weakness, he’s going to be aware of it, and he’s going to try and take advantage of Haneey late in the fight, no doubt. It could be emotion or public perception of him,” said Bradley when asked what caused Haney to go off on Lomachenko today and push him.
“Even though he’s an undisputed champion, a lot of the critics don’t think he’s that good. They think there are other guys better than him. All these types of emotions and things go through your mind when you’re up there, and you’re seeing a guy opposite of you that you’ve been training for in the last three and a half months.
“You’re face to face with the guy. They should have kept some separation between those two. The emotions get the best of you sometimes. Haney is young. This is his first big shot, and he’s headlining it. He showed a lot of nerves, Devin Haney.
“I think right from the first round, Haney is going to feel like he belongs. As soon as Haney gets in the ring with Lomachenko and feels his power, feels his distance, he starts landing on him, and he’s going to get comfortable.
“The thing is, we all know that Lomachenko is going to have to close that gap. It’s a five-and-a-half reach advantage for this man [Haney], and he’s taller as well. He has to close the gap. We know his game is mid-range.
“If you don’t let him get to the mid-range, what is Loma going to do? He’s going to be blocking shots all night. If you push Loma back, what is he going to do? Loma isn’t a guy that fights off his backfoot.
“He’s not a Floyd where he’s slick, off his backfoot, catching & countering. He’s not like that. Loma does his best work when moving forward. What happens when he gets pushed back?
“What happens if he can’t even get into midrange to land his offense? What happens, then? It’s going to be Haney’s fight all night long,” said Bradley.