Quietly, promoter Bob Arum is crossing his fingers and hoping that both Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko emerge from their respective bouts victoriously.
For the 23-year-old resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, he’s thoroughly enjoying life as a newly minted undisputed champion, a distinction he would earn following his lopsided decision win over George Kambosos Jr. on June 5th. Although the Australian product struggled to bank rounds, he swiftly enacted his immediate rematch clause, forcing Haney to face him once more on October 16th, in Melbourne, Australia.
Should Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) repeat his career-best performance, and Lomachenko takes care of business against Jamaine Ortiz on October 29th, in New York City, Arum has revealed that a showdown between them would likely take place next.
Should everything go according to plan, Lomachenko, at least on paper, figures to be Haney’s most difficult opponent. Still, even with the awe-inspiring skillset of the former two-time Olympic gold medalist, Mikey Garcia views him as a clear underdog in a possible future showdown against Haney.
“I’m picking Haney in that one,” said Garcia recently to FightHype.com. “I think Haney is naturally the bigger fighter and he's so talented, I’m picking Haney. I think Loma, he’s got great skills but naturally, he’s the smaller fighter.”
Lomachenko, 34, will attempt to rid himself of whatever ring rust has infiltrated his game over the past few months. After pitching a near shutout against Richard Commey in December of 2021, the former multi-divisional belt holder has spent the better part of the past six months aiding his native countrymen in Ukraine in the ongoing invasion from Russia.
While Lomachenko believed that lending a helping hand was in the best interest of his country, he willingly allowed a showdown against Kambosos to slip through his fingers and into the waiting arms of Haney.
Regardless of the unexpected delay, Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) arrived stateside just a few short days ago and has begun his preparations. Prior to taking up his war duties, the crafty southpaw had successfully reeled off two consecutive victories. However, the images of Lomachenko losing a close but clear decision to Teofimo Lopez has been permanently embedded into the mind of Garcia.
Seemingly on top of his game and anxious to quiet Lopez’s perpetual trash talk, Lomachenko appeared bemused and hesitant during their 2020 showdown. Although he closed strong, he was left disappointed as he was handed the second defeat of his career.
As Garcia continues to ponder how a contest between Haney and Lomachenko would play out, he adamantly concludes that the Ukrainian star will suffer a similar fate against Haney as he did against Lopez.
“You saw what happened when he fought Teofimo. It was the size, it was just the size so I would have to go with Haney.”