By Craig Page: Jorge Linares is leaning toward Devin Haney to defeat Vasyl Lomachenko if they meet for the undisputed lightweight championship.
Haney doesn’t possess the same hand speed or power as Jamaine Ortiz, so Lomachenko will likely do better against him. Ortiz had a lot of speed and power early on. Where Haney is superior to Ortiz is in the stamina and jab departments.
Linares points to the size of the 23-year-old Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) as something that would set him apart from Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs), who is clearly out of his natural weight class of 130 by competing against much larger 135-pounders.
Lomachenko put in one of his worst career performances last Saturday night in his 12 round unanimous decision over Jamaine Ortiz (16-1-1, 8 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York. Many boxing fans had Ortiz winning, while others felt it should have been scored a draw.
Ortiz had a massive size advantage over Lomachenko in terms of weight and reach. He literally appeared two divisions above Lomachenko in size.
If Loma fights Haney, he’ll be dealing with the same size problems because Devin is arguably a 140-lb fighter, and perhaps you can even make a case for him being a 147-pounder.
When Haney stood next to Lomachenko inside the ring after the fight last Saturday, he looked like a solid junior middleweight. There’s no way you could imagine the two fighting given the size difference between them.
“After that fight, Lomachenko isn’t the same Lomachenko,” said Jorge Linares to Fighthype about his 2018 fight against Vasyl Lomachenko, which he lost by a 10th round knockout.
Linares is giving himself too much credit for the problems he gave Lomachenko in 2018.
Loma has, in fact, looked good in many of his fights since then, defeating Anthony Crolla, Luke Campbell, Richard Commey, and Masayoshi Nakatani with ease.
Where Lomachenko has had problems is when he’s run up against oversized lightweights in Jermaine Ortiz and Teofimo Lopez, both of which look like light welterweights.
“If that fight happens, 60-40, Haney has the best time right now,” said Linares when asked who wins between Devin Haney and Lomachenko. “He’s quick; he’s fast, he has power, and he moves so well in the ring.”
“You seen the last fight with Kambosos. He made an amazing fight. Lomachenko is Lomachenko, but it’s a different weight, different body,” said Linares.
“I don’t think so,” said Lomachenko’s cutman Russ Anber to Fighthype when told that many boxing fans had Jamaine Ortiz beating Vasyl Lomachenko.
“Although he was super valiant with his effort, I’ll give him full credit for that. He tried his a** off, and he fought his a** off. He [Ortiz] was in a situation; you got to remember that everybody was expecting him not to win.
“He was the underdog coming in, and he fought like he wanted to win. That’s huge. Win, lose, draw, I’m sure you want to get the win. But there’s a thing in boxing called a ‘good loss.’
“He just stayed with one of the best fighters on the planet [Lomachenko] and stayed with him tooth & nail, and I think that’s something to be proud of. He fought a hell of a fight.
“I think Loma’s touch rate was higher than Jermain’s, and he was making Jermain miss a lot of punches. Really after round eight is when Loma began to put the pedal to the medal.
He took off like Secretariat [1973 Kentucky Derby winner racehorse] and pulled away. I think that was key in the fight.
“I said to John, Loma’s lawyer, ‘It’s going to be 117.’ So I figured we got nine rounds. I thought we won nine rounds.
“I don’t know if you can call it ring-rust,” said Anber when asked if he thought Lomachenko looked ring rusty from being out of the ring for almost a year. “A guy that rusty can’t be that accurate with his shots put that kind of heat on a guy, and put pressure and take it to him.
“I wouldn’t say ring rust. What I am seeing, though, is these guys are so much bigger than Loma. Whether it’s Commey, Teofimo Lopez, this guy. They’re all massive compared to [Lomachenko].
“You look at them, ‘Is this guy in the same weight class? He just seemed to much bigger. They’re just so much bigger than him, and that’s what he has to do to get to be competitive.
“I think if he stayed in the smaller weight class, I don’t think there’s anybody [that could compete with him]. People wouldn’t even come out to see his fights because he was so dominant.
“So, in order to make it interesting, he had to move up to a bigger weight class, and now look the size of the guys he has to fight. I hope so,” said Anber about Lomachenko possibly fighting Devin Haney next.
“There’s no doubt about it [Haney potentially being the toughest fight of Lomachenko’s professional career. “He’s a world champion. I mean, it definitely could well be and stylistically could be a tough fight because Devin is hard to hit as well.
“It’s going to be like a chess match. It’s not because the rounds are close. It’s 9-3 so easy,” said Anber when asked if Jamaine Ortiz deserves a rematch with Lomachenko because of the 9-3 score given to Loma, which has been widely criticized as being out of sync with the fight that took place last Saturday night.
“You could say 8-4 even. His [Lomachenko] lawyer had it 8-4. It’s competitive. Just because it’s 9-3 doesn’t mean the nine rounds that he won wasn’t competitive, hard-fought rounds. He just had to fight a little bit harder than Jermaine did.
“Listen, Jermaine fought a hell of a fight. I know his trainer Rocky Gonzalez really well. They came prepared, and they came to win, and they gave it their best. Loma is Loma.
“That’s not me,” said Anber when asked if there was a chance for a rematch between Lomachenko and Jermaine. “I’m a cutman. I’m not a part of the business and stuff like that. To me, I think Loma wants his belts back,” said Anber.