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Lomachenko must get inside on Devin Haney says Tim Bradley

Image: Lomachenko must get inside on Devin Haney says Tim Bradley

By Adam Baskin: Vasily Lomachenko’s best chance of winning on Saturday night against Devin Haney is by taking it to the inside, says Tim Bradley.

Haney vs. Lomachenko will meet in the 12-round main event this Saturday, May 20th, on ESPN pay-per-view at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The real question is, what will Haney’s physical state be after he cuts the weight from 160 to 135? Will he feel strong or be so drained that he’ll fight like he’s ill on Saturday?

If Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) stays on the outside, he’ll get picked apart by the long jab and right hand shots from Haney (29-0, 15 KOs).

Undisputed lightweight champion Haney is coming into the fight with a lot of confidence from his wins against George Kambosos Jr, Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, and Jorge Linares.

However, Haney didn’t start looking good until his fights with Kambosos, as he’d been hit a lot and hurt in his fights against Diaz and Linares. Facing the vulnerable Kambosos, who was arguably a badly flawed paper champion, made Haney look better than he was.

Obviously, the wins have gone to Haney’s head, making him believe he can walk on water and turn water into wine. It’s surprising how quickly a fighter’s ego can run amok after a few simple wins over ham & eggers, but we’re seeing it with Haney.

Will Haney be the aggressor?

“I look at this fight, and I see it going a couple of different ways. I wouldn’t be surprised if Devin Haney is the aggressor in this fight,” said Tim Bradley to ESPN+ about Haney’s title defense against Vasily Lomachenko this Saturday night.

“The reason I say that is because I know it’s about controlling range, but I’ve noticed something about Lomachenko. When he disengages, sometimes, he’s out of position.

“When he’s out of position, he’s not set to punch, and if you keep him having to reset, Haney has a 5 1/2” reach advantage. Then you can dominate him out on the outside, and you won’t allow Lomachenko to get to where he wants to get to, and that’s at midrange.

“Now, on the flip side of that. When I look at Haney, and I see his fight against JoJo Diaz, that was some years ago, I get it. But he made a ton of mistakes against the southpaw JoJo Diaz. he was getting hit with straight left hands.

“He was getting quite often to the body by JoJo Diaz. Now, I know that Lomachenko is not a body puncher, but I can tell you this,” said Haney.

Loma can have success on the inside

“Lomachenko likes to operate at midrange, and if he can get past the lead hand of Haney and get past some of those counters and work his way to the inside and work his quick set offense and get around to that angle, then he’s got a dang good chance of pulling off this upset,” said Bradley.

“Compelling styles, fantastic match-up. You have the highly experienced and well-accomplished Lomachenko, and he’s facing the young, hungry, talented undisputed champion in DevinHaney. It doesn’t get any better than this,” said Bradley.

“There are so many storylines for me going into this fight. I see a younger fighter in Devin Haney, who has the momentum,” said Andre Ward.

“He’s done something that I didn’t get a chance to do, which is to go to another country to lift not only a belt but the undisputed championship in Australia in front of 60,000 fans. And then go back and defend.

“He’s better off because of that. He’s more confident, more sure of himself. I got that sense when I talked to him. He’s got the momentum going into this fight,” said Ward.

Haney wants to dominate

“Loma, in his last fight against Jamaine Ortiz, being inactive for as long as he was defending his country in Ukraine, he didn’t look that great,” Ward said. “Jermaine Ortiz is a very, very eager, explosive, and unpredictable fighter. It’s hard to look good against him.

“That didn’t really fare well for Loma going into this fight with Haney. I give Haney a slight edge of 60-40 going into this fight, but speaking to Devin Haney; he’s not even putting stock into the Ortiz fight. He’s saying all the right things.

“He’s confident. ‘I just don’t want to beat him,’ talking about Loma. ‘I want to dominate him and beat him up, but I respect him.’ So this is one of those ones that you have to tune in for, or you have to be in the building because it’s going to unfold in real time.

“We can talk about it, we can assess it, and we’ll do that for the next week, but nobody knows who’s going to win this fight,” said Ward on this Saturday’s Haney vs. Lomachenko fight on ESPN PPV.

“The truth is that Vasily Lomachenko, who is widely accepted as the best pound-for-pound fighter, has been demystified,” said Mark Kriegel. “First, it was the loss to Teofimo, and then it was something a little more subtle against Jamaine Ortiz.

“I think Jamaine Ortiz is a much more formidable fighter than he was recognized as being going into the fight. I suspect Devin Haney and his dad know that full well,” Kriegel said.

Is Loma still the same fighter he was

“The question is, is Loma still Loma? In a certain way, he isn’t. I sat down with him this week, and I remember the first time we spoke,” Kriegel said. “He said, ‘I want to be remembered for decades after I retire. I want people to remember me forever.’ I said, ‘Do you still feel like that?’ ‘No.’ ‘What do you want people to say after the fight?’ ‘I don’t care.’

“‘What do you want people to say about you ten years from now.’ ‘I don’t care.’ I think he’s actually serious, and what he spoke of is something that he didn’t realize happened after the Teofimo fight. His ego broke down.

“He said, ‘I was essentially getting too big for myself,’ which I’ve never heard him say before. The question is, is he demystified in his own mind too? Does the loss of his excess ego make him more or less dangerous?” said Kriegel.

“I don’t know, but he better figure it out,” said Ward about Lomachenko. “He has a guy that is sure of himself. He knows who he is, and I’m talking about Devin Haney.”

“To your point. His confidence has grown and justifiably so over the past year because of going to Australia,” said Joe Tessitore.

“He’s carried himself like an undisputed champion, and I’m not talking about the external. I’m talking about within himself,” said Ward about Haney. “I said, ‘Tell me about the pressure,’ and he said, ‘I think we put more pressure on ourselves than we have to.’

“He said, ‘I know this is my biggest fight.’ He acknowledged the moment, but Loma didn’t have it. This is the defining moment for both of these fighters,” said Ward.

“The fight with the more relevance with more is on the line to define the actual merits of boxing,” said Tessitore. “This is the biggest fight this year in boxing.

“The undisputed lightweight championship of the world between Devin Haney and Vasily Lomachenko. It’s not just what sits on top of this ESPN PPV. This is a loaded card that starts at 6:00 p.m. Eastern,” said Tessitore.

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