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Lomachenko delaying fight until May hinders Haney’s ability to make weight

Image: Lomachenko delaying fight until May hinders Haney's ability to make weight

By Craig Daly: Devin Haney will have problems making the 135-lb limit for the title defense of his undisputed lightweight championship against Vasyl Lomachenko if the contest is delayed until May.

Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) has Ramadan from March 22 to April 21st, and, likely, it’ll be difficult for him to make weight afterward because he’ll want to eat well.

Devin says he prefers the fight with Lomachenko before Ramadan, meaning he wants the match to occur in February or early to mid-March. That works for Haney but doesn’t work for the soon-to-be 35-year-old Loma.

Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) needs time to get the remaining ring rust out of his system due to the near-year layoff while serving in the armed forces in Ukraine for the ongoing war.

Although Loma returned to the ring last October for a fight against Jamaine Ortiz, he looked rusty, and his conditioning was less than it had been in his previous fight against Richard Commey in December 2021.

It’s quite possible that this will be the last fight for Haney at lightweight, which is a pity because there are huge question marks about his viability at light welterweight when he’s forced to move up in weight.

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Haney lacks power, and his punch resistance isn’t where it needs to be for him to take the solid shots he’ll be getting routinely hit with by the 140-pounders.

Further, Haney doesn’t possess Mayweather-like hand speed or reflexes to avoid getting hit by his opponents. As such, when Haney moves up to 140, his chances of continued career success will be dependent on slick match-making by his promoters to keep him away from the talented fighters and only matching him against flawed guys with little power.

“Haney and Lomachenko have been talking with Top Rank for weeks, but there’s still no deal. Haney raised an issue on Twitter, saying that he wanted the fight before Ramadan since he’ll need to fast,” said Mike Coppinger to ESPN about undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney.

“Ramadan runs from March 22 to April 21, which could push the fight to May if it takes place after the observance period. It could hinder Haney from staying at the weight even longer as he grows into his strength and eyes a move to 140 pounds later in the year.”

Lomachenko will be turning 35 years old on February 17th, and he’s slowing down as far as his hand & foot speed. It wasn’t just ring rust that caused Lomachenko to look slow on his feet in his recent fight against his former sparring partner Jamaine Ortiz on October 29th.

That fight showed that Lomachenko has lost both hand & foot speed, and he will not get that back, no matter how much time he takes in training camp. That’s an age-related problem that Lomachenko has now.

If Loma loses this fight, he needs to consider moving back down in weight to 130 or 126 because if he can’t beat Haney, he’ll have as many problems in fights against top lightweights like Shakur Stevenson, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Frank Martin.

“I think it’s a great fight. It all depends on how much ring rust Loma knocked off and how well Devin makes the weight again,” said super featherweight contender Albert Bell to Fighthype, when asked about his thoughts on Devin Haney vs. Vasyl Lomachenko fight.

“It’s a tremendous fight with contrasting styles. You’ve got the technical-like fighter that does a lot of things [Lomachenko], and you’ve got the traditional classical fighter in Devin.

“Devin is the much bigger man, he’s longer, and he’s peaking right now. He’s doing good. It’s perfect timing on Devin’s end, and if Lomachenko wants his dream to be the undisputed champion, he has to try and seize the opportunity, but Devin is looking amazing right now,” said Bell.

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