There must be something in the water giving people the courage to actually step up and fight people that are a danger to their undisputed claim as the “king” of their division, it might be that cucumber lemon thing I see at fancy hotels, it’s really refreshing, either way, whatever it is, they should drink more of it. In a boxing match, which is sure to be a classic, the undefeated Devin Haney will square up with a former pound for pound king and current real threat to win Vasyl Lomachenko. The lightweight bout for undisputed will take place this Saturday, May 20th, at the MGM Grand. This fight is going to be filled with intrigue, as these two technicians match their skills and IQ in a 20 foot by 20 foot ring. The word that comes to mind when I think of this fight is proceleusmatic (word of the day on my dictionary toilet paper). I’m trying to expand my vocabulary and hopefully one day someone can tell me how to pronounce it. It means inspiring. So, this fight is going to be inspiring. Two combatants, one in the beginning of his dominance, the other towards the end. It’s the optimistic, not really brash, but definitely confidant young gun against the wily older veteran who moves like a samba dancer and punches like he was an octopus, just punches from every angle and you swear he has more than two arms.
Let’s start with the betting favorite, Devin Haney who sports an undefeated record of 29-0 with 15 KO’s. Haney (pictured above asking for his two dollars and lets see who can guess where that reference is from) made his bones fighting in Tijuana before taking his talent back to the U.S., has quick hands and an educated jab. Haney (pictured above looking dissatisfied with his Happy Meal) has really good ring generalship and controls distance with sharp punches. While Haney isn’t the hardest puncher in the division, that distinguishment goes to Davis, he still has a hefty punch and has a good eye for the openings. If Haney has a weakness, which all fighters do, it would be his power. When I say power, I don’t mean force, which is the one punch knockout threat, it’s maintaining that force from round 1 to round 12. The definition of power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time or power equals work (force) over elapsed time. In this case, the youngster, like all youngsters, comes out hard and fast and then fades, as most of his KO’s come before the 7th round. Haney (pictured above disgruntled with the seating arrangements) will eventually learn how to disperse his energy as he gets older and wiser.
The opponent, since he is fighting for the belts and not to retain them, Vasyl Lomachenko has an impressive resume with the limited amount of fights he has had at the pro level, with 17 wins against 2 losses and 11 wins by KO. Lomachenko (pictured above trying to recall how to say “let the best man win” in English) is a unique case in the fight world as he has fought more current and former world champions than Haney even though he has less pro fights. Lomachenko (pictured above trying to locate the buffet at the MGM Grand) has a vast amount of experience and some crazy movement. If a person didn’t know any better, you would think that he was doing the pee pee dance in the ring, by the way he moves quickly in and out and has excellent lateral movement. Loma isn’t and has never been an “opponent” and he isn’t, yet, a gatekeeper to the upper echelon. What he is… is a former pound for pound candidate and an excellent fighter. His game plan of playing ghost, as people seem to punch and miss a lot, and counter is a really good one but the one thing he does have is power. Loma’s knockouts come on the later half of the fight, after he has his opponent flustered and weary, he seems to have an extra gear and he turns it on to get his opponents out of there. Maybe he is a hybrid, half gas – half electric. His weakness is that he is a natural featherweight, but as all fighters do as they get older, they pig out on NY pizza and eventually have to move up in weight.
The fight is set and these two guys, two actual real nice guys, at least as far as I can tell. Not vociferous (toilet paper) or braggadocious (had to look that one up) but two guys that enjoy the sport and want to be at the pinnacle (that one I knew) of their division by challenging themselves with the best and not making excuses. One of my favorite fighters Willie Pep, reminds me a little of Loma by the way he moves, not the way he punches, lost to Sandy Saddler 3 times and won once. Even though Sandy had Willie’s number, Willie kept fighting him….not avoiding him, you know why… because he was a fighter. I don’t think you can be the best ever without having a loss and avenging that loss. That’s why I always considered Sugar Ray Robinson the best ever, you thought I was going to say Willie Pep, hahaha , are you crazy. That’s also why I admire these two fighters because either one can lose and one will most likely will but they want to be recognized as one of the best ever, so they do what fighters do, they fight, in their prime, where there is a real chance of losing.
My prediction for this fight is simple, the one with the most points and is still standing at the end will be the winner. Good luck to both combatants.
UPDATE: It was a great true boxing match. Both fighters gave their all with Haney coming out strong and then fading a bit and Loma, maintaining his power all through the fight. As for who won, what I think doesn’t matter, Haney won and what I think won’t buy you a taco on Tuesday, Haney could have won even though some people saw it differently. My opinion is that there is something wrong with the scoring process. The most clear rounds were the 10th, 11th, and the 1st…. and anyone that watches the fight again will see those were Loma’s rounds. I always said that, for some reason, the scoring ringside is more difficult due to the angles then scoring it on TV, where you can see all, well, most of the angles. The fighters were getting credited for missed shots, blocked shots….. no shots. That’s why I think their should be 6 judges, 3 ringside, 3 TV judges. Watch how the ringside judges differ and how the TV judges would be similar. Dave Moretti gave the 10th to Haney, which was a clear Loma round, but his angle of view made it seem like Haney squeaked it out or he couldn’t really see Loma’s clear punches. Congratulations to Haney…. If I was his matchmaker, I would stay away from Davis, at least for the next fight, you will eventually have to fight him because you’re a fighter, and fight Stevenson next and I would ask Loma to train me. Maybe you can have AI score the fight, it can’t do any worse.
One more thing, Haney looked like a monster next to Loma, in stature and yet, David always finds a way to defeat Goliath, in theory, anyway. I hope Loma doesn’t quit and goes to 130 and fights Navarette, That’s the fight to make for Loma.