HOLLYWOOD, Calif – At the age of 35, Vasiliy Lomachenko is aware that he might never get another opportunity like the one that will be presented to him on May 20 when he challenges undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
“This chance, this fight, is the biggest moment of my professional career. This is my last chance [to win an undisputed title]. I don't want to talk about the future. We don't know the result [yet against Haney],” Lomachenko said in an interview with BoxingScene.com and other reporters.
“Yes [this is the most excited I've been for a fight]. Because it's too close. I'll be honest, this is my last chance to be an undisputed world champion. That's why it's very important.”
Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) is a two-time Olympics gold medalist for Ukraine and a three-division champion who has won titles at 126, 130, and 135 pounds.
Lomachenko said being crowned undisputed champion would carry the same weight as winning a gold medal.
"I have big motivation, and that's my goal, to win the undisputed title,” said Lomachenko.
Lomachenko will have to overcome serious size disadvantages against Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) in order to land a victory and further stamp his Hall of Fame-bound resume.
In October against Jamaine Ortiz, Lomachenko clearly lost several rounds yet still scored a unanimous decision victory with scores of 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113.
“Look, everybody forgets about preparation, and that Jamaine was [previously was] my sparring partner. We had a lot of rounds with him,” said Lomachenko. “He absolutely knew me very well. But it is what it is. I agreed to fight him. He's a very talented and fast boxer. I think Jamaine Ortiz will be a big problem for any fighter in our weight classes.”
In the fight against Ortiz – his first since returning from the war in Ukraine – Lomachenko barely outlanded Ortiz 125 to 122.
“It's time to fight [against Haney] – no excuses,” said Lomachenko.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.
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