By Jack Tiernan: Devin Haney vs. Vasyl Lomachenko negotiations are temporarily stalled due to money, and it’s hoped that the two can bridge the impasse soon, or else they’ll have to move on.
Mike Coppinger of ESPN reports that undisputed lightweight champion Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) was “concessions” from the former three-division world champion Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) in terms of money to make the fight happen for May 20th.
That being the case, the 34-year-old Lomachenko will need to give up some of the money to Haney that he was hoping to get for the fight if he wants the opportunity to challenge for his four belts.
Just how much extra money the 24-year-old Haney wants before he’ll agree is unknown. If Lomachenko refuses, Haney will either need to back down or go in another direction, perhaps defending against Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz or Shakur Stevenson instead.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum would probably be overjoyed if Haney were to defend against Stevenson because that would be an in-house fight and allow Shakur to become the undisputed champion in his first fight in the 135-lb division.
That would work out beautifully for Top Rank because this is Haney’s last fight under contract with them, and he’s expected to move on rather than to re-up with them.
If you’re Haney, it might be a better option to go in the direction of Lomachenko unless he wants to face ‘Pitbull’ Cruz. That’s a winnable fight for Haney, and he can finish his contract with Top Rank with a sure-thing victory.
Haney needs concessions
“We don’t know what’s going to happen when Devin Haney and Vasyl Lomachenko get into the ring. What I do remember is being inside the ring in New York with both gentlemen and Lomachenko saying, ‘I’m willing to make all the concessions because I want to fight for the undisputed belt,” said Bernard Osuna to ESPN+ about the Haney vs. Lomachenko fight, which is still unsigned but is expected to take place on May 20th.
“Give me the nuances for why this fight hasn’t been signed yet.”
“What else, Bernardo? Money,” said Mike Coppinger. “I spoke to Devin earlier today, and he said he’s looking for some more concessions from Lomachenko like he said he would give, and he wouldn’t go into details, but I can only imagine it’s money.
“So they have a date, May 20th, and they have a location, Las Vegas, and ESPN pay-per-view for this fight, but we still don’t have a deal yet. Devin is confident that a deal will get done. I’m confident as well, but they’re not there quite yet, and hopefully, it gets done next week.”
“You know, Copp, it’s about money; that’s why it hasn’t been signed yet,” said Tim Bradley. “Haney deserves every bit of the money. Haney has taken all the advantages. He did what Lomachenko was supposed to do, but didn’t do. He went over to Australia and faced Kambosos twice and defeating him.
Lomachenko wants Haney
“So now coming back, as you said, Bernardo, concessions. He said he would do everything it takes to make this fight happen,” said Bradley. “Understand Loma needs Haney more than Haney needs Lomachenko. Understand that. I was in a similar situation years ago, but not to this exact standard at this high level.
“I got offered a fight by a top contender. I had already fulfilled my contract for the year with two fights. I did that, but I knew they needed a dance partner for this particular guy. So they came and gave me the offer, and I said, ‘Okay, alright. No, I want more money. I need more money.’ I said, ‘I need three hundred thousand more.’ They said, ‘What? Are you kidding me?’ The promoter hung up the phone.
“I said, ‘Well, I already fulfilled my obligation this year; I’m good.’ Five minutes later, I got a ring, and somehow, they got the money. They took the money from the fighter. The fighter was willing to give up the money. So, in this case, if it’s any money that Haney needs to get this fight done, just ask Lomachenko said he needs to give it up.
“I don’t care if he has a minimum. Give it up if he wants these belts,” said Bradley.
“I hope this fight doesn’t fall apart because I’m not going to say a little bit of money because these guys are talking about big money because this is a fight that boxing needs,” said Osuna of the Haney vs. Lomachenko clash.