No matter how many people acknowledged him as an undisputed champion, and regardless of how bright his IBF, WBO, WBA, and WBC 135-pound titles shined in the light, Devin Haney found his reign somewhat extraneous.
Deep down, the 24-year-old knew that Vasiliy Lomachenko held the keys to his validation. Desperate to prove that he’s the division’s top man, Haney and Lomachenko conducted several conclaves until a fight deal was to their liking.
On May 20th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, the two slugged it out in front of a jam-packed crowd. With 12 close rounds in the books, Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) anxiously awaited the judge’s scorecards. While it was close, he pumped his fist in the air and screamed as he was given a close and somewhat controversial unanimous decision.
Stoic and in stunned disbelief, Lomachenko shook his head in disapproval. Although countless prognosticators and fighters have sided with the Ukrainian, Haney appears poised to move forward with his career.
Amongst a long list of options he has at his disposal, Gervonta Davis has protruded toward the top. But, despite team Davis openly calling out Haney, Lomachenko believes that, at least to a certain extent, he exposed Haney, leaving it incredibly unlikely that he’ll face Davis next.
“It’s never happen,” said Lomachenko to ESNEWS when asked who would win between Davis and Haney. “Because now he understands his skills, he understands his level.”
Davis, over the past several months, has promised to permanently close the mouths of all his adversaries, including Haney. When last seen, he thoroughly put a beating on Ryan Garcia, stopping his longtime rival in the sixth round of their clash.
Although big fights are awaiting him at 135 pounds, Haney’s time in the lightweight division could be transient. Still, while Haney admits that depleting his body to register safely on the scales has become arduous, he did reveal that if a showdown against Davis were even remotely possible, he would be willing to protract his lightweight stay.
Sticking around, however, is a scenario Lomachenko finds comical. Though Haney is keeping his future plans under wraps at the moment, Lomachenko whips out his crystal ball and peaks inside. From his point of view, the days of Haney facing elite-level fighters at 135 pounds or even five pounds north, are officially over with.
“I think he will go up to 140 and fight just regular fighters.”