By Allan Fox: The WBC has chosen to keep Vasyl Lomachenko at #1 at lightweight despite losing to the undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney last Saturday night.
The WBC’s decision to keep Lomachenko locked in at #1 will play well with the boxing world because of the controversy surrounding Haney’s win last weekend. A lot of fans think Loma won, and they feel he should be the one targeting Gervonta Davis next.
What this means is that if Haney vacates his WBC 135-lb title, Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) and #2 Shakur Stevenson will fight for the vacant belt.
If Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) stays at lightweight, the World Boxing Council could order him to face mandatory Shakur next if he doesn’t fight a rematch with Lomachenko or take on WBA ‘regular’ champion Gervonta Davis.
Haney hasn’t said what he wants to do next, but it’s thought that if he has the opportunity to battle Gervonta, he’ll go in that direction. He’s too shaky of a fighter to move up to 140 and hang with fighters like Subriel Matias, Regis Prograis, or Josh Taylor.
The only belt that Haney can possibly win at 140 is against WBA champion Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero because he’s a flawed guy who shouldn’t be a world champion.
Fans want Tank vs. Haney next
“I thought Loma won the fight 7-5,” said Sergio Mora to JABS at DAZN.
“I thought Loma did a great job in this fight, and if he had won, I would have had no problem with the decision, but Haney won, and I still had no problem with the decision,” said Chris Mannix.
“I scored the fight at ringside 8-4 in favor of Lomachenko. I had it even through eight, then gave Lomachenko each of the last four rounds. I believed Lomachenko won, but when those scores were read, I had no problems with it.
“A lot of these early rounds were razor-thin. Two of the four last final rounds, I thought, were incredibly close as well. Judges scoring it in a particular way when it’s that close, I don’t have a problem with that.
“I did have a problem with Dave Moretti, who scored the fight 116-112 in favor of Haney, giving the tenth round to Haney. If you want to look at this at a micro-level, that tenth round was not a Haney round. That was a round that he was hurt by Lomachenko.
“I don’t know how a judge can look at that and still score it that way, but that is irrelevant. Even if Dave Moretti had scored that round for Lomachenko, Lomachenko still would have lost 115-113 on the other two scorecards.
“So, I did not consider that to be a major robbery. So moving forward, we had Shakur Stevenson jump into the ring and challenge Haney.
“There are now calls for a showdown between Haney and Gervonta Davis at lightweight. Should Haney stay at 135 pounds or move up to 140?”
Only one marketable fight for Haney at 135
“First of all, Ryan Garcia is a 140-pounder, so he’s not at 135, available for Devin Haney, and he wouldn’t be a comeback fight for Devin Haney,” said Mannix.
“He’s not doing catchweight’s anymore. Ryan Garcia is a full-fledged 140-pounder, and that’s one of the reasons why I think Devin Haney should move up to 140.
“I do agree that if a Tank Davis fight can get made, Devin Haney should stay at 135. Tank Davis-Devin Haney is the most marketable fight you can make at 135 because you have all the popularity of Tank Davis and all the titles and accolades of Devin Haney.
“This is a tremendous clash of styles. The boxer versus the puncher. The guy that peppers you with the jab versus the guy that hits you with the exploding counter shot. It is a terrific fight, and it would do big numbers. But if the Davis fight isn’t there, move up.
“The Shakur Stevenson fight is going to happen at some point. Shakur is going to move up to 140. He might even go all the way to 147. Down the line, that fight is going to happen, but Shakur Stevenson, even though he’s one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing, he’s not one of the more marketable fighters in boxing just yet.
“Frank Martin, you [Haney] don’t stay at 135 for Frank Martin. I think for Devin Haney, who has been a lifelong lightweight since he was a kid, he was a lightweight. I think now is the time to move up in weight.
“He has accomplished everything that he can accomplish at 135 pounds, and at 140, the terrain is ripe for Devin Haney to win some belts and potentially establish himself as the undisputed champion at 140,” Mannix said.
Devin has many options at 140
“Thank about who’s up there. You got Regis Prograis, who would be aching for a Devin Haney fight,” said Mannix. “You got Rolly Romero, who just won a title at 140 pounds. You got Subriel Matias, who is out there without a promoter at the moment, eager for a big fight.
“These are very makable fights for Devin Haney, and if he gets a couple of wins, and Ryan Garcia gets a couple of wins, all of a sudden in 2024, we’re talking about Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia in a super fight.
“I agree with you. The biggest fights are at 135, but the only marketable one is Gervonta Davis. Other than that, if I’m Devin Haney, I’m going north; I’m headed to 140,” said Mannix.
“He did look weight drained going into that fight. Go look on social media for pictures of the actual weigh-in. Not the ceremonial weigh-in where he shoved Lomachenko. You could see his ribs through his body.
“He had to drain himself down to that weight , and you know as well anyone if you spend your entire career at one weight class, even though he’s young, 24 years old, that’s a lot to ask a fighter that size.
“I don’t think it makes sense to stay at 135 just to fight Shakur Stevenson when the reality is that in a year, two years when both of these guys are in their mid-20s, that fight is going to be available at 140. It might be available at 147.
“It just doesn’t make a whole lot of business sense for him [Haney] to stay at 135 for that particular fight. Go up, win a bunch of titles, and then target Shakur Stevenson sometime in the next couple of years,” said Mannix.
“There’s the lesson for Devin Haney. Don’t lose your title on the scale. move up and win some more.”