By Adam Baskin: Tim Bradley says Devin Haney is going to be in for a whole lot of problems tonight if Vasyl Lomachenko can get to the inside or midrange.
It’s not going to be easy for Lomachenko to work inside because Haney will clinch tightly and lean on him. That style is ugly to watch and is borderline cheating, but Haney gets away with it.
Lomachenko will be battling Haney for his undisputed lightweight championship tonight on ESPN PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event begins at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) will try and keep the fight at long range at all costs so that he can use his six-inch reach advantage to pepper Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) with jabs and his chopping right hands.
Bradley states that Haney will speak to the referee Harvey Dock in the dressing room before the fight to warn him about Lomachenko’s hitting on the break.
The objective behind that move is that Haney wants the referee on his side to help him win.
For example, when there’s a clinch, Dock will step in and push Lomachenko to the outside so he can’t quickly get to Haney. That will enable Haney to keep Lomachenko bottled up on the outside.
Haney won’t be weight drained
“We know Loma is super conditioned, but we got a young gun that is super conditioned as well,” said Tim Bradley to Fight Hub TV about Devin Haney. “I thought him being able to make weight and having a tough weigh-in when he was in Australia for Kambosos that he might fade late.
“The fact that he’s young, he bounced back quick and rehydrated and never faded at all during the course of that fight. He actually got stronger as that fight kept going on.
“The second time, it was the same thing. Got stronger and stronger. He fought a different game plan and took it to Kambosos as well,” said Bradley about Haney. “So he’s shown that he’s not just gotten physically better, but he’s gotten mentally better.
“He’s emotionally strong in this business of boxing, and he’s ready. He’s ready for the throne, bro. He wants to be the man at 135. It’s all to gain an advantage,” said Bradley.
Devin wants to get ref on his side
“It’s all to make him aware that, ‘Hey, I know what you’re going to be doing,” Bradley. “I know what you’re going to try to do. It’s not going to work against me,’ and he wants to get the referee on his side.
“He wants to get [referee] Harvey [Dock] on his side. Just watch and pay attention to the referee in the dressing room tomorrow night. Just pay attention.
“They’re going to be talking about that. ‘Hey man, he likes to hit on the break. Make sure,’ and then the referee is going to be like when they get close, he’s going to break them up, and say, ‘Step back, step back.’ That’s going to allow Haney to be back at distance.
“If Dock says, ‘Break, break,’ and steps back and doesn’t get in between, that’s an opportunity for Lomachenko to strike. But if Dock is in there actually separating them and pushing them back, now who has the advantage? Haney has the advantage. Now he’s back on the outside.
“Devin came in with a half a gallon of water, and it was almost gone with ice in it. He’s drinking water. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Everybody refrains from drinking water the week of the fight. You’re supposed to drink water because the more water you drink, the more going to come out. Drinking water actually helps you lose weight.
“Anyway, he looks strong. He’s hydrated. You can restrict your food for a week and be fine. You can restrict your food for 21 days and be fine. He’s going to be a big boy tomorrow,” said Bradley about Haney.
“It’s the skillset of both fighters. Haney is a great fighter. He has a ton of skill, and ability and has size over these guys. I just think a guy like Shakur is defensively better. He knows how to control every avenue in that ring. Not just from the outside to the midrange.
“He can walk you down, be in your face, and he can maul you. I think he’d have the advantage over Haney on the inside. Then you have a guy like Tank. If you make one mistake against Tank, it’s a wrap. So a guy like Shakur, he limits his mistakes and makes guys pay for their mistakes.
“I think those two with the power and IQ Tank has, and the IQ Shakur has, I think they’d give Haney a run for his money and probably beat him if they were to fight. We still got to see the fight.
“I’m not saying that Haney can’t win the fight, but for me, with my knowledge of the game, I think those two guys might be it, although Haney is the champion, and he holds all the belts.
“I think it’s fair game to look at the skills, look at the facts of things and pick who you think is the best guy in the division, but we don’t know until they all get in the ring and fight,” Bradley said.
Lomachenko will be a problem on inside
“If he gets in close, he’s going to give him a whole lot of problems,” said Bradley when asked what kinds of problems Lomachenko can give Haney. ”
If he gets past that jab, he’s going to give him a whole lot of problems at mid-range. He’s no joke. He’s a straight shooter. The thing with Devin is that when he’s in front of you, he likes to take a half a step back or take a full step back and make his opponents fall short.
“Now, if Loma gets accustomed to that and he sees a pattern from Haney, he’s going to exploit it. He’s going to find a way to exploit that. He’s going to find ways to sneak in. He might sneak in behind his jab. When Devin throws his jab, he might sneak in and get inside and work his offense.
“The thing is, it’s going to be tough. We still got to see it. I’ll telling you. If he [Lomachenko] gets mid-range and Devin starts tying up, and the referee comes to break them up, you’re going to see Loma attack quickly again, he can give Haney problems,” said Tim.
Devin wants to keep Loma at long range
“Look, Haney is a different fighter than what I saw a year ago when he fought against JoJo Diaz,” said Bradley. “If Haney has fixed those holes because when he fought JoJo Diaz, he was getting caught with some stuff.
“The dude was getting caught with straight left hands, and he was getting hit to the body. JoJo closed the gap in two rounds. Now if Lom can close the gap in two rounds, Haney is in trouble.
“You just turn with him. Yeah, he can take away that, and with his reach, and with the probe [straight-arm]” said Bradley when asked if Haney can take away Lomachenko’s angles of attack. “He can keep him long distance. It’s a five-and-a-half-inch reach advantage [for Haney],” said Bradley.