By Jim Calfa: Roy Jones Jr. believes that Devin Haney vs. Vasyl Lomachenko is a “50-50” fight despite the huge size & youth advantage of the undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion.
Jones feels that Haney’s size advantage will be balanced out by Lomachenko’s technical ability, and he doesn’t view it as a situation where Loma will be too small like many fans do.
Until Lomachenko’s recent close call against his former sparring partner Jamaine Ortiz on October 29th, many boxing fans felt that he was too experienced & technically talented for the one-dimensional Haney (29-0, 15 KOs).
The 34-year-old Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) looked old, slow, and small in his narrow win over Ortiz and lucky that his foe gassed out in the later rounds.
After the fight, Lomachenko looked tiny next to Haney when the two were interviewed by ESPN inside the ring.
“People always don’t want to give Haney a chance, but you’ve got to remember now, let’s take it back. [Teofimo] Lopez beat Loma, and Kambosos beat Lopez. Haney beat [Kambosos] worse than Lopez beat Loma or worse than Kambosos whooped Lopez,” said Roy Jones Jr to Fight Hub TV.
If Lomachenko is unable to get on the inside on Haney, he’s going to get picked apart from the outside. In Loma’s fight against Jamaine Ortiz, he let him tie him up on the inside all night without fighting out of the clinch.
If Lomachenko allows Haney to clinch nonstop, as he did in his two wins over George Kambosos, he’ll have no chance of winning. Haney does a lot of holding to keep his smaller opponents from getting their shots off when they get in punching range.
Despite Haney’s huge size in comparison to his opposition, he can’t punch and has power at the level of a featherweight. But with Haney’s jab & grab technique and massive size for the 135-lb division, he’s been able to get over and find success.
“He beat Kambosos worse than all of them. So far, if you look at it, he’s the leading candidate,” said Jones Jr. “Loma is a technical fighter, and he’s one of my favorites, and he’s always been one of my favorites, but so is Haney.
“But what I do like about the fight for Haney is it’s going to be size vs. experience because Haney is going to be the bigger fighter. Lopez showed that the bigger fighter is going to give Loma problems. That’s how Loma for his first loss because the guy [Orlando Salido] didn’t make weight, and he beat him.
“We know that the Loma blueprint has been the bigger guy. Haney is definitely the bigger guy who can also box. Can Loma go out and take all the boxing skills away from him? We don’t know. But for them to say, ‘He don’t have a chance,’ that’s bull crap. That’s a 50-50 fight,” Jones Jr said about Haney vs. Lomachenko.
“The size & the boxing ability [Haney] versus age & boxing ability [Lomachenko]. So that’s an even fight; it’s a 50-50.
“I don’t know if there’s anybody that can beat everybody in the division that can beat all of them, and I’m going to tell you why,” Jones Jr said when asked if Shakur Stevenson can beat everyone in the lightweight division.
“This division is like old school boxing. Tommy [Hearns] gave Sugar [Ray Leonard] all he want, but Sugar always seemed to beat Tommy, right? Tommy couldn’t beat Hagler. Hagler struggled with Duran. Tommy knocked Duran out cold.
“Tommy couldn’t get a decision over Sugar. Styles make fights. This is why you’ve got a division like this. Styles make fights. Ain’t no clearcut winner in the division, but we’re going to see what happens. There’s a lot for us to figure out,” said Jones Jr.