“If you have your head on your shoulders, bet on Lomachenko.” Does the boxing world believe in the Ukrainian?
Sergey Sorokin May 18, 2023, 14:15 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Haney is a dangerous opponent, but don’t be too quick to write Vasily off.
On the night of May 20-21, MGM Grand (Las Vegas, USA) will host a brilliant evening of boxing. Their headliners will be Vasily Lomachenko (17-2) and Devin Haney (29-0). For the Ukrainian, this fight will be a true test of strength. He is opposed by an undefeated American great, who is considered the favorite of the battle. But the opinions of professionals are divided.
Former world champion, and now commentator and analyst Grigory Drozd decided not to go against the opinion of the majority: “Like the bookmakers, I consider Haney a favourite. There are good reasons for this. Will Vasily cope with it? This is a very difficult fight for Lomachenko. It seems to me that Haney has more assets: a weight class better suited to his size, a younger age and excellent skills. It will be a very interesting fight. Vassily will need to surpass himself and be in very good shape to be able to win.”
But Top Rank boss Bob Arum urged belief in the Ukrainian: “If you have your head on your shoulders, if you want to make a smart bet, then bet on Lomachenko. This is one of the best boxers to have appeared in the pros in the last 10-20 years. Shakur Stevenson is very close to this level. Another question is whether Haney will be able to cope with this experience and his quick wits. If he had a punch, then at least I understood that some experts don’t consider this fight to be competitive. And so… Everyone knows that Devin is a good boxer, but definitely not a puncher.
“Lomachenko is simply not to be taken. I don’t consider him a stranger.” Pogodin – about the fight between Ukrainian and Haney
Of the same opinion is the former world champion in two weight classes, the American Danny Garcia: he is sure that the undefeated compatriot will have a hard time: “This is a good fight. If I had to pick a winner, I’d bet on Haney, he’s got a good jab, he’s younger and stronger. But I think Lomachenko will be able to fight him, the fight will be competitive. Is Lomachenko considered a serious loser? In boxing, things change quickly. But I do not think so. The duel will be close. Lomachenko will fight. I’m telling you, Haney won’t be easy.”
Oleksandr Krasyuk, the promoter of WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, left his prediction: “I would like Lomachenko to win, but this is a dangerous fight. Two years ago I would have bet on Lomachenko without looking, but after the loss and injuries his chances of winning fell. I don’t have a good prediction. Haney is a favorite because of his youth, hunger and size. And he is a champion. But the title of absolute world champion is Vasily’s main motivation, his dream.
Lomachenko – Haney: will a great American send a Ukrainian to retire? LIVE
The eminent former American champion Fernando Vargas was as brief as possible. He is confident that Vasily will cope with an unbeaten opponent: “Lomachenko will win.”
The former world champion in two weight classes, and now American commentator and analyst, Timothy Bradley, warned his compatriot: “Haney is excellent at medium and long distance boxing. He has long, fast hands, he strikes beautifully towards. However, he does have a drawback, and that is hand-to-hand combat. When you get close to him, he tends to clinch. And Lomachenko knows how to avoid it. That’s why Haney’s team calls Lomachenko a “dirty” fighter. They understand that if they try to keep Lomachenko, they will fail.”
“I’m undefeated if you understand boxing.” Why is Lomachenko fooling himself?
An experienced Ukrainian looks like a stranger, but he is capable of surprising. So even the pros who bet on Haney are trying to “keep him safe.” The boxers are sure that it will be extremely difficult for Devin. And Lomachenko had a great opportunity to embarrass all the skeptics.