Haney by Decision over Lomachenko
Lightweights, Recent Fights, Tom Donelsonadmin
By Tom Donelson (BWAA) Member Boxing Writers Association of America
Devin Haney engaged in his toughest fight as he faced Vasiliy Lomachenko for the undisputed light weight title and the fight went as I thought as Haney used his size to jab and Lomachenko was the more aggressive fighter.
The fight was close most of the way and when reviewing the various scorecards, there were many close rounds which made it difficult to score . The only two rounds that were easy to score was the 10th and 11th in which Lomachenko dominated with 31 punches landed versus 7 punches landed for Haney. These two rounds impacted how many boxing fans and pundits viewed this fight as these two rounds were near the end of fight.
ESPN had the fight 115-113 for Haney and MMA had the fight 115-113 for Lomachenko . (My good friend David Martinez / dmboxing.com agreed with MMA with a 115-113 score). The first round was a close round as Haney tried to land couple of good jabs, but Lomachenko ended the round with a flurry but interesting, it was Haney who landed more effective power shots, landing 45 percent of his shots but only landed 1 jab out of 21 attempts. Close round, I gave it to Haney by a whisker, but it could easily gone to Lomachenko.
In the second round, Haney was the more accurate puncher as his jab won the round, but the third round belonged to Lomachenko as he pressed the action and landed 40 percent more power shots . First round that he found a rhythm. After three rounds it was 29-28 in favor of Haney, but it could easily have been 29-28 in favor of Lomachenko.
The fourth was Haney best at that point as he landed nearly double punches but in the fifth round, Lomachenko nailed Haney with a solid right that shook Haney. Haney landed 13 punches to Lomachenko 12 punches, but the best punch of the round belonged to Lomachenko. After five rounds I had 48 to 47 for Haney.
In the sixth round, Haney landed some solid rights and Lomachenko left side has some redness, but Lomachenko landed some good head shots . Halfway through the fight, I had Haney up by 58 to 56 but depending on how you scored the first round, it could easily be 57 to 57.
Haney opened the seventh round with an uppercut partially blocked while Lomachenko landed two solid rights and after tying up Lomachenko, Haney landed a solid right plus he landed a jab and left hooks while Lomachenko landed a combination. Close round but I gave it to Lomachenko but could easily gone for Haney. 67-66 for Haney after seven rounds, Compubox noted that Haney landed 70 punches to 62 punches at this point of the fight and Lomachenko only landed 20 percent of his punches when he normally land close to 40 percent . Haney defense frustrated Lomachenko.
Another close round but Haney landed solid jabs and more efficient with his punches as he won the eight round and after eight rounds, Haney was winning on my scorecard 77 to 75. In the ninth round Haney beat Lomachenko to the punch and Lomachenko could sustain a consistent attack, and with three rounds left I had Haney up by three points, 87 to 84. After nine rounds, Haney landed 92 punches to 80 for Lomachenko.
Lomachenko dominated the tenth and eleventh round as he landed clean shots, easy for judges to score. (these two rounds were the easiest to score.) He appeared to get the upper hand and Haney suddenly looked confuse and after round tenth, Haney face showed concern. Concern were well founded as Lomachenko buckled Haney with a left hand from his southpaw position in the eleventh round. He landed punches in bunches as Haney only landed 2 punches to Lomachenko 20. Over these two rounds, Lomachenko landed 24 more punches. With one round left, it was 105 to 104 on my scorecard but Lomachenko had the momentum.
Haney made his last stand as his corner had to assume this was a close fight on the scorecard. Lomachenko closed out the fight as he consistently beat Haney to the punch and swarming style gave Haney fits. Lomachenko won the final three rounds as he landed 44 punches to 18 for Haney. I had this a draw but there were several rounds over the first nine rounds that were close and could easily have gone for either fighters.
Lomachenko landed 124 punches compared to 110 punches for Haney, but he landed only 22 percent of his punches, lower than his normal output but then Haney only landed nearly 28 percent. Lomachenko higher punch landed output came over the final three rounds and these last three rounds is what most fans will remember and not how close it was for the first nine rounds.
This was intriguing fight, but Lomachenko won the last three rounds on my score card and leaves me wondering if Lomachenko had started earlier with his more aggressive stance, if he could have easily won.
The lightweight division is loaded but Haney should give Lomachenko a rematch to see if he truly the better fighter. This fight was close and not a definite win for either fighter, so a rematch is in order.
There are several intriguing fights involving Shakur Stevenson and Gervonta Davis that could be made. Haney, Davis, and Stevenson are undefeated but as Lomachenko showed, he is as good as the top three.