Haney puts undisputed lightweight title on line against Lomachenko
Unbeaten Devin Haney puts his undisputed lightweight world title on the line against former three-division Vasiliy Lomachenko of Ukraine on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It's a bout the 24-year-old American champion believes is overdue, and now he says he has the tools to make even this tough test look easy.
"I feel like he should have fought me four years ago," Haney said this week. "But now the time has come.
"It's going to be worse for him than it would have been had we fought back then," he added. "On paper, this is my toughest test. But I look to make it an easy night. I look to make it as easy as possible and come out victorious."
Four years ago Lomachenko was a lightweight world champion and seen by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.
Now the 29-0 Haney, with 15 knockouts, holds the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization belts.
He became the first undisputed lightweight world champion since Pernell Whitaker in 1990 with a lopsided decision over George Kambosos in Melbourne in June 2022.
He battered Kambosos with his thunderous right hand in the rematch last October on the way to another unanimous decision victory.
Lomachenko, whose camp wanted him to fight Kambosos, instead spent time away from the ring after enrolling in a territorial defense unit for Ukraine after the invasion of the country by Russia.
"You can't think about your future when there’s a war coming to your house,” Lomachenko said. "You just think about life, and about your family, and about the people around you. "You can’t think about a professional sport."
Lomachenko returned to the ring in October with a unanimous decision win over Jamaine Ortiz in New York.
The 35-year-old, who owns a record of 17-2 with 11 knockouts, knows that as an "old fighter" he's the underdog.
But he thinks experience could make a difference.
"He is a high-level boxer. He understands boxing. He knows what he needs to do," Lomachenko said of Haney.
"He can use his reach. He can use his feet. He can create distance. But I have a lot of experience in this sport. It will be very interesting for me."