Haney Edges Lomachenko in a Classic Technical Battle
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Las Vegas, NV (May 21st, 2023)– Despite dominating the first half of the bout with more effective punches and superior ring generalship, Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney wound up fighting Vasyl Lomachenko in a telephone booth at close quarters over the second half of the bout. Lomachenko threw more punches by volume and landed many effective body blows to get back into the bout. By the end of round eleven, it looked like Lomachenko was going to win.
At the MGM Grand on Saturday night, May 20, 2023, Haney, now 30-0, 15 knockouts, dominated the twelfth and final round to avoid a majority draw, and won a unanimous decision over southpaw ex-world champion Vasyl Lomachenko, 17-3 with eleven knockouts, Oxnard, California by way of Ukraine, to retain his undisputed World Lightweight title.
Haney, 24, still saw Lomachenko, 35, throw more punches in front of a pro-Lomachenko crowd in the main event of a nine bout card at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Haney, bleeding from the mouth in the championship rounds, faced Loma’s combinations and straight left hands, and looked on unsteady legs in the tenth round. Haney landed some good body shots and head shots to remain in the match. Loma simply gave away the final round as Haney took command in what was otherwise a bout far closer than the close scorecards indicated, and somewhat difficult to score.
In the early rounds, Lomachenko was throwing many punches, with Haney slipping the majority of them. Haney and Loma engaged in numerous exciting exchanges. In the later rounds, Lomachenko, with a one inch height disadvantage, and a six and a half inch reach disadvantage, took the fight to the inside and forced Haney to fight ihm inside of a telephone booth. Loma dictated the pace during most of the second half of the bout, though Haney did well in the ninth and twelfth rounds.
Two judges had the bout 115-113, close but no cigar. Haney threw less but clearly did more effective work overall. The champion always had the edge in a close bout, and Haney, current the world’s youngest undisputed champion, was well prepared for this test. Whether Haney prefers to remain at 135 pounds, or move up to face more significant challenges, remains to be seen. Almost everybody Lomachenko has fought has been a present or former world champion. Having fought for his country in Ukraine, and having fought the best of the 135 pounds division, Lomachenko, like Haney, might also choose to move up in weight to 140. Former World Super Featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson, who has moved up in weight to 135 pounds and won, is a challenger Haney could accept if he stays at 135 pounds.
Result: Devin Haney Win 12 Vasyl Lomachenko, Lightweights
Haney retains Undisputed World Lightweight title
Scoring: 116-112, 115-113, 115-113 for Haney. Clean bout. Referee: Harvey Dock
MGM Grand Undercard Results
Junto Nakatani KO 12 Andrew Moloney, Super Flyweights (2:52)
Nakatani wins vacant World Boxing Organisation World Super Flyweight title
Nakatani, 25-0, 19 knockouts, Sagamihara, Japan, scores knockout of the year at the very end of the twelfth and final round with a well-timed left hand. Moloney down and out on his back. Maloney, also down in rounds two and eleven, did not win a round. Not a close bout.
Raymond Muratalla TKO 2 Jeremia Nakathila, Lightweights (2:48)
18-0 lightweight prospect Muratalla wins vacant NABF and WBO Global Lightweight titles
Oscar Valdez Win 10 Adam Lopez, Lightweights
In rematch of a November 2019 TKO win by Valdez in which both fighters were down, 31-1 Mexican lightweight Valdez goes the distance the second time with crafty 16-5 vet Lopez, who took quite a pasting in the tenth and final round, running on his bicycle for his life.
Nico Ali Walsh Draw 8 Danny Rosenberger, Middleweights
Surprise! 8-0 grandson of Muhammad Ali struggles with a (13-9) hard-working Danny Rosenberger, who had won eight bouts in a row and tried to win. The judges went three different directions. Scoring: 77-75 for Nico Ali Walsh. 77-75 for Rosenberger. 76-76 a draw.
Floyd Diaz Win 8 Luis Fernando Saavandra, Super Bantamweights
9-0 super bantamweight prospect Diaz gets taken the distance by 9-9 veteran Saavandra.
Abdullah Mason Win TKO 6 Desmond Lyons, Super Lightweights (0:32)
Both Ohio’s 7-0 Mason and 8-2 South Carolina vet Lyons weighed in over 135 pounds limit.
Amari Jones Win TKO 6 Pachino Hill, Super Middleweights (1:16)
9-0 Las Vegas middleweight prospect Jones stops 8-3-1 Iowan vet Hill.
Emiliano Vargas KO 2 Rafael Jasso (1:16)
5-0 Las Vegas lightweight prospect Emiliano Vargas knocks out previously undefeated Texan Rafael Jasso to open the nine bout card. Referee Harvey Dock reaches count of ten.
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