Devin Haney Is Fighting For Legacy And Lomachenko Is Pursuing His Dream

By Boxing News - 03/31/2023 - Comments

By Vince D’Writer: Everyone has a favorite, and everyone has an opinion in regards to the top lightweight in the world, but the official top guy in the division is the undisputed champion, and on May 20, Devin Haney will defend his undisputed crown against Vasiliy Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.

Back in October 2020, Vasiliy Lomachenko was the WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion. He was attempting to add to his strap collection as he faced the IBF titlist Teofimo Lopez, but Lomachenko’s attempt fell short as he lost the unification bout to Lopez by way of unanimous decision.

A year later, Lopez would lose his belts to George Kambosos Jr, and all of a sudden, Lomachenko was back in the mix. Lomachenko agreed to face the four-belt lightweight champion in February 2022, but unfortunately, a month later, he decided to withdraw from the potential June 5th match due to the war that was taking place in his native Ukraine.

The then WBC champion Devin “The Dream” Haney filled the void, and he traveled to Melbourne, Australia, as he was attempting to make his dream become a reality. Haney stepped up to take Lomachenko’s place, and he inherited the golden opportunity to fight for the undisputed lightweight title.

George Kambosos was never acknowledged as undisputed because Devin Haney was recognized as the WBC lightweight champion, while George Kambosos was the owner of the WBC franchise belt.

The battle for undisputed took place in Melbourne, Australia, back in June 2022. Haney ruined the unified champion’s homecoming party by using a laser-sharp jab to dictate the pace and range of the fight from start to finish. He would go on to collect a unanimous decision victory, remain undefeated, and win the undisputed lightweight crown.

Kambosos immediately activated his rematch clause, and four months later, he was defeated once again, as the second fight turned out to be a carbon copy of the first. Devin Haney retained his crown by using his ring generalship, his sharp jab, and an accurate right hand.

While Haney was reaching the pinnacle of success, Lomachenko was busy making the difficult decision to leave Ukraine and come back to the United States to resume his boxing career. In his return to the ring, Lomachenko fought Jamaine Ortiz, and Ortiz got off to a good start, but Lomachenko poured it on late and secured the victory.

Now the stage is set for a high-level battle for the undisputed lightweight crown as two skilled ring technicians are ready to face each other. In the past, both Haney and Lomachenko verbalized their dream of being undisputed. Haney achieved his dream last year, and on May 20, Haney will try to make sure that Lomachenko’s dream remains a fantasy.

Vasiliy Lomachenko always believed a boxing division shouldn’t have four champions. He stands on his notion in regards to each weight class only having one recognized champion. That thought process fueled his goal to someday fight for the undisputed crown.

Lomachenko is aware of the fact that in order to defeat Haney, he will have to take his game to another level. The challenger believes he is physically and mentally prepared for the biggest test of his career.

“For me, it’s like I prepared for the first Olympic games. I go to bed with this dream. I wake up with this dream. I live with this dream.”

The 24-year-old Devin Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) has already achieved his goal of becoming undisputed, and now he will step into the ring to earn the respect he deserves. A win against Lomachenko on May 20 will give Devin Haney validation in regards to being ranked as a top pound-for-pound fighter.

After their initial press conference, the two boxers stood side by side, and Haney told Lomachenko, “you’re not touching these belts.” Prior to that moment, during the course of the press conference, Haney spoke about the importance of his bout with the former three-division champion Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko.

“This is a legacy fight. This is a real fight. This is not like an influencer; this is really for the belts. This really for the gold, for everything, the pound-for-pound, the best in the division, and possibly the best in the world.”