Devin Haney and Vasyl Lomachenko finalizing a deal for May 20th in Las Vegas

By Boxing News - 03/10/2023 - Comments

Dan Ambrose: Devin Haney and Vasily Lomachenko are finalizing a deal for the two to fight on May 20 in Las Vegas for the undisputed lightweight championship on ESPN PPV.

ESPN reports the news of the unbeaten four-belt lightweight champion Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) and #1 WBC Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) finalizing a deal to meet on May 20 in Las Vegas.

There’s no word yet on what the pay-per-view price will be for the fight, but hopefully, it’s not too high to scare away the fans from wanting to see the contest.

It’s a bit early in Haney’s career to be moving to pay-per-view, and that would be putting the cart before the horse, putting him behind a firewall that will slow his popularity growth.

This means that Haney and his management struck out in their recent attempts to put together a deal with the Saudis to stage the Lomachenko fight in Suadi Arabi for May 20th. That’s a location that Haney badly wanted for his fight, but it’s possible that the Saudis didn’t view it as big enough to stage in their country.

Haney is popular but not a huge worldwide star, and his fame in the U.S. is still in its infancy due to his lack of high-caliber opposition. The best names on the 24-year-old Haney’s eight-year professional career are limited to this small bunch:

  • George Kambosos¬† Jr
  • Jorge Linares
  • Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz
  • Yuriorkis Gamboa

Those are not the big names Haney needs to attract the Saudis to want to stage his fight with Lomachenko in their country. Haney needs more substantial names than those mostly older fighters to become a star, and it’s still too early for him to be courted by the Saudis.

Haney’s got the youth and the mammoth size to beat the 35-year-old Lomachenko potentially, but it will get a lot tougher after that if he elects to stay at 135 to face Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Shakur Stevenson. Those two will likely beat Haney and give him a bad goodbye present as he leaves the lightweight division to head north for the 140-lb weight class.

Haney says his fight with Lomachenko will be a “war,” but that’s not how he fights. The style that Haney uses is a blend of jabbing & clinching. He jabs & grabs his opponents while falling in or clinches them when they get near enough to get their shots off.

Haney lacks the power to go to war with his opponents, and his mindset is more about neutralizing his opponents defensively by holding them or staying on the outside to use his big height & reach advantage over his short foes.

When Haney moves up to 140, his career could go downhill for lack of power. Fighting guys his own size for the first time in his career could be the end for Haney, so if he’s smart, he’ll try and remain at 135 for as long as he can to avoid the inevitable.

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