By Adam Baskin: Devin Haney may have inadvertently stirred up a hornet’s nest today by shoving the peaceful, mild-mannered Vasyl Lomachenko during their face-off at the weigh-in for Saturdays between them.
This move Haney may have sealed his fate for tonight with Lomachenko vowing to unleash the dogs of war in their 12-round main event fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Haney (29-0, 15 KO) just saw something in Lomachenko’s eyes that caused him to get froggish and violently push the two-time Olympic gold medalist & former three-division world champion hard enough to cause him to fly back across the stage.
It was a poor welcome for Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs), who was involved in the war not long ago, defending his country from the Russian invasion.
Mark Kriegel: “You came over here smiling, Vasyl. Why are you smiling?” said Kriegel of ESPN moments after Devin Haney nearly shoved Vasyl Lomachenko off the stage at the weigh-in.
Vasyl Lomachenko: “Because now he’s mine. He’s mine. He doesn’t have power.”
Kriegel: “Oh, you felt his power. Nothing much?”
Lomachenko: “I felt it.”
Kriegel: “Why do you think he shoved you?”
Lomachenko: “Because he’s scared. He’s scared.”
Kriegel: “That’s the first time you said that to me. What changes?”
Lomachenko: “Because I see it right now 1o0%.”
Kriegel: “You think he tried to punk you, and he showed his fear? Is that correct?
Lomachenko: “Why do you do this? If you want to fight inside the ring, you do a clean jab, but he talks about my dirty fighting, but now it looks like it’s him.”
Kriegel: “Do you think this is to your advantage? Why do you think Devin Haney spent so much time this week talking about you being a dirty fighter?”
Lomachenko: “Because he knows what happens on the inside. He understands what happened. I will always be working, working, working. That’s why he’s talking about it.”
Kriegel: “Is that dirty, or are you just working?”
Lomachenko: “For him, maybe it’s dirty.”
Kriegel: “Why do you think he’s so concerned about you inside?”
Lomachenko: “Because he knows it’ll be very, very hard for him. He understands this.”
Kriegel: “Vasyl, this is your second chance and, as you told me weeks ago, your last chance to unify completely. You’ve been here before against a bigger, younger man against Teofimo Lopez. What is the difference now compared to then?”
Lomachenko: “I think it’s two different styles and skills. This is the most different.”
Kriegel: “Thank you, champ. I with you luck.”