LAS VEGAS – Devin Haney isn’t sure if Vasiliy Lomachenko’s last performance is a real reflection of the three-division champion’s capabilities at this point in his celebrated career.

Lomachenko has turned 35 since his 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over huge underdog Jamaine Ortiz on October 29. Lomachenko himself admitted he wasn’t at his best that night, but Haney has prepared to box the version of the complicated southpaw Saturday night who was listed toward the top of pound-for-pound lists once upon a time.

“I don’t think it was his best performance,” Haney told “You know, he showed ring rust. He showed flaws in his game. But we don’t know if that was just ring rust. We don’t know if it was, you know, what Jamaine did well because he sparred him before or if Loma completely just lost a step. We’ll see on May 20th.”

Ukraine’s Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) hadn’t boxed in 10½ months before he opposed Ortiz at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York. His country’s war with Russia took Lomachenko away from training earlier in 2022 and prevented him from challenging then-unbeaten Australian George Kambosos Jr. for the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight titles.

Haney (29-0, 15 KOs), of Henderson, Nevada, instead beat Kambosos easily in their 12-round full title unification fight last June 5 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. After thoroughly beating Kambosos (20-2, 10 KOs) a second time in their 12-round rematch October 16 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Haney has taken what is commonly considered his most difficult fight in seven years as a pro.

The taller, younger Haney has been installed as more than a 2-1 favorite over Lomachenko by numerous sportsbooks, at least in part due to how Lomachenko looked against Ortiz. Lomachenko overcame a slow start and rallied during the second half of their bout to defeat Ortiz on the scorecards of judges Mark Consentino (116-112), Frank Lombardi (117-111) and John McKaie (115-113).

The 27-year-old Ortiz (16-1-1, 8 KOs), of Worcester, Massachusetts, feels he did enough to upset Lomachenko, who opened as almost a 25-1 favorite. Regardless, the 24-year-old Haney was impressed by how Ortiz competed in the biggest fight of his career.

“I wasn’t familiar with Jamaine Ortiz before that,” Haney said. “I never had saw him fight, so yeah, I was very surprised with that. I knew from what Jamaine was saying that he was coming to fight. But I didn’t think he would have that much success.”

Ortiz predicted recently that Haney will beat Lomachenko in their ESPN Pay-Per-View main event at MGM Grand Garden Arena (10 p.m. EDT; 7 p.m. PDT; $59.99).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.