Devin Haney on Vasyl Lomachenko clash: “It’ll be a tactical chess match”

By Boxing News - 02/25/2023 - Comments

By Sam Volz: Devin Haney says his May 20th title defense against Vasyl Lomachenko will be a “tactical chess match’ when the two potentially face off in Saudi Arabia.

Rather than using his huge size advantage, undisputed lightweight champion Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) plans on looking to outbox Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) and beat him at his own game.

That might a mistake for Haney, who has welterweight size, and likely look two to three divisions larger than the former featherweight.

When you have the size advantage that the 24-year-old Haney possesses, it’s a mistake not to use it, particularly against a fighter that struggled in his previous fight against a bigger fighter in Jamaine Ortiz.

Haney outboxed George Kambosos Jr last year to capture his IBF, WBA & WBC lightweight belts in Australia, but he wasn’t facing a guy with great skills like he will be when he gets inside the ring with Lomachenko.

Kambosos Jr was a nobody until he pulled off an upset against an injured & sickly Teofimo Lopez, so it wasn’t a surprise that Haney dethroned him.

“Stay tuned for May 2oth. Devin Haney vs. Vasyl Lomachenko. It’s going to be a very tactical fight, chess,” said Devin Haney to iD Boxing. “It could very well be a very entertaining fight due to the styles clash. I just can’t wait.”

“Right now that’s the goal for the fight to be here, but we don’t know yet. It’s not set in stone yet, but we’ll know soon,” said Haney to Secondsout when asked if his fight with Lomachenko will take place in Saudi Arabia.

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“I never knew it would happen like this, but we still don’t know. It’s still up in the air, but I hope that it does, and I’m all for it. This looks amazing. This is a huge stage for me and for any fighter, and hopefully, I will be fighting here [in Saudi Arabia] next.

“I told him [Lomachenko] a long time ago, ‘Fight me now because it’s only going to get worse.’ Right now, I’m just a different breed of fighter right now. I’m a much more mature fighter than I was when I was calling him out years and years ago, even though I still think I would have won.

“Now, I want to show him how many levels above him I am at this point in my career. I’m a different type of fighter; I’m a throwback fighter. I’m willing to fight the best fighters in the world, whenever, wherever, however. I’m just a different breed of fighter.

“This is a dream come true. There’s a huge amount of Muslim support here. That’s a reason why I want the fight to be here [Saudi Arabia]. For me to be able to fight in front of my Muslim people, just to be here. This is amazing; it’s a blessing,” said Haney.