By Adam Baskin: Devin Haney says he will dismantle the challenger Vasily Lomachenko next Saturday, May 20th, and take his perch as the #1 pound-for-pound in the sport.
Haney thinks the victory will be significant enough to be moved to the sport’s top as the top pound-for-pound guy. It’s more likely that he’ll need to defeat Gervonta Davis to become #1, which will not be easy.
The 24-year-old Devin (29-0, 15 KOs) will defend his undisputed lightweight championship against the former three-division world champion Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) on ESPN PPV an event that starts at 10:00 pm for the main pay-per-view portion of the card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
We’ll see how much energy Haney has after he makes weight this Friday. He will have to take off a lot of weight to get down to 135. It appears that he’s already stripped off a lot of muscle, but he’s still got a long way to go before he’s ready to make the lightweight limit.
Lomachenko has never been an underdog
“I don’t have the time. I’m not young. It’s only one fight, four belts, and now it’s close, it’s very close,” said Vasily Lomachenko to Top Rank Boxing about his fight next Saturday, May 20th, against the undisputed four-belt lightweight champion Devin Haney on ESPN PPV.
ESPN+ & ESPN @ 8:00 pm ET preliminary
- Andrew Moloney vs. Junto Nakatani
- Nico Ali Walsh vs. Danny Rosenberger
ESPN+ PPV@ 10:00 pm ET
- Devin Haney v. Vasiliy Lomachenko
- Oscar Valdez vs. Adam “BluNose” Lopez
- Raymond Muratalla vs. Jeremia Nakathila
“When Loma started his career, he was the one that was always pushing. Every division has to have only one champion, which means the undisputed,” said Lomachenko’s manager Egis Klimas.
“If you recall, ten years ago, nobody was the undisputed champion. He went from 126. We couldn’t get unified fights. 130, we couldn’t get unified fights. He went to 135 for the bigger guys to go into undisputed.”
“In professional boxing, we have four belts. You can be a world champion in one organization,” said Lomachenko. “How do we have four different champions in one weight class? It looks like a race with a lot of cars and two cars will be two first places. How? I can’t take it.
“For me, it’s only one world champion. It’s not hard to wake up at five in the morning, but this is the price you’ll pay for your dream. You’ll b undisputed world champion,” said Lomachenko.
“Loma has a good resume. He has a lot of names on his resume that fought in the lower weight classes, but every time Loma has fought somebody that didn’t come to lay down, he lost, and that’s just reality,” said Devin Haney.
Devin wants to end Loma’s excuses
“He only has two losses, and in both of his two losses, he has an excuse,” said Bill Haney, Devin’s dad, talking about Lomachenko. “We want to put an end to his excuses and put a nail in the coffin of Mr. Lomachenko and send him on his way.”
“Loma has never been an underdog. This is the first time that Loma is an underdog. This time he’s not a champion,” said Haney. “He’s fighting a bigger guy, younger guy, stronger guy, faster guy. All odds are stacked against him, and on May 20th, I will show the world why.
“It’s cool having a nice relationship. You hug, you shake hands, and you say, ‘Thank you,’ and then he goes in there and beats you up. No, I’m different. We don’t got to be friends. We’re not friends.
“I don’t care to have a relationship with Loma. I don’t care to be his friend. I want to beat him bad. I’m mad at Lomachenko. We’re not friends. He made me wait all this time for these belts. We’re not cool. It’s personal.
“On May 20th, we put it all to rest,” said Haney.
“What my father taught me and explained to me is that boxers needs to be like athletes. Not only does he need to know boxing and he needs to use a lot of other sports,” said Lomachenko.
“If you train in a lot of other sports, you grow up like an athlete, and it helps you be the best in this game in boxing. It’s all sport where you need to be able to think very fast, like in boxing. But in boxing, it’s faster.
“You need to be prepared for this. You need to be ready for this. That’s why we do all these things. If you’re not learning every time during training and in the gym, and don’t want to be the best every day, every time, I think you are a fool,” said Lomachenko.
“This wasn’t an overnight thing. The world sees it as a quick success, and it happened so fast, but my grandma sees the work that I put in,” said Haney.
“34, absolutely nothing wrong with the person if you live the right life and you do what you’re supposed to do that age doesn’t really matter,” said Klimas. “I would probably put more danger on a 24-year guy than a 34. A 24 guy isn’t mature enough.
“Loma made three fighters quit on their stool because of his style, and they couldn’t see. They couldn’t find him in the ring. Loma is going to wear him down,” said Klimas, predicting that Lomachenko would tire the much bigger Haney down next Saturday night.
“For me, he’s a very talented boxer, a smart boxer with a high boxing IQ and speed. Yeah, it’s dangerous, but it’s our job. We prepare for this. We train for this,” said Lomachenko.
Haney will bring nothing new
“Nobody brings in the ring something new. We all know about each other,” said Lomachenko. “It’s about strategy and about how fast you can adapt to your opponent. For this fight, I just do because it’s my job because it was my work,
“But now, you have a big, big motivation. Now, you’re close to your goal, and you’re close to your dream. Now I enjoy it because it’s very close to what I want in the boxing,” said Lomachenko.
“Loma is a tricky fighter, but I’m just better than him, and that’s what I look to prove,” said Haney. “I think Loma is an amateur. He never fought nobody like me, who don’t care what you did in the amateurs.
“It’s about what you’re going to do on May 20th, and on May 20th, I’m going to run over him. Whatever he brings on fight night, it won’t be enough. I’m going to make him look average. I’m going to make him look ordinary.
“They’re going to see how great Devin Haney was. I dismantled Loma,” said Haney.
“With this being the 30th fight for Devin, he’s matured. He’ll stick to the game plan and make for an easy night,” said Bill Haney. “He’ll show the world that he’s pound-for-pound #1.”
“I’m #1 pound-for-pound. I’m the best,” said Haney. “I’m going to prove it.”