Lomachenko stolen in the main fight of life? The Ukrainian fought smartly, but lost
Alexander Frolov May 21, 2023, 07:55 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Vasily showed his best boxing in many years.
After losing to Teofimo Lopez, the famous Vasily Lomachenko was quickly written off by many. In fact, the Ukrainian boxer seemed to be aging rapidly: Vasily’s famous speed decreased, the number of rapid streaks decreased, and we did not see the previous pressure from Lomachenko. But the two-time Olympic champion didn’t give up, he won three straight wins and had a title shot: all the lightweight belts were on the line.
We remember the dramatic trilogy Lomachenko – Selimov
The Ukrainian was crying, the Russian was being rude. The only trilogy in Lomachenko’s career
But few people believed that Vasily could cope with Devin Haney. The undefeated 24-year-old American seemed too dangerous for the aging Vasily – youth and incredible physical strength spoke in favor of Haney. This guy somehow miraculously fits into the lightweight category – Devin looks much more like a middleweight, but he always successfully shows the right numbers on the scales. Also, Haney isn’t deprived of boxing talent, because he can’t go 29-0 if his skills aren’t good enough.
But from the point of view of psychology, Lomachenko had a clear advantage. There was no psychological burden behind him, because he was considered an absolute stranger. At press conferences, he sat with a calm face while Haney nervously spat, trying to offend Vasily as much as possible. The culmination of Devin’s nervous state was the final sterdown, where he suddenly shoved the ruthless Lomachenko, drawing a disgruntled hiss from the crowd at his speech.
The boxers started the fight without swinging. Lomachenko moved in quite aggressively, trying to get into infighting quickly. Haney carefully slowed down the opponent with jabs, but when the Ukrainian nevertheless closed the distance, the champion had a hard time. In the second round, Devin went through some nasty seconds, taking hit after hit into a corner he couldn’t get out of. During the break, the American’s father was very dissatisfied and scolded him for serious mistakes.
Haney also had good moments. Due to the length of his arms, he sometimes trapped the Ukrainian with heavy blows, but most of the time Vasily managed to respond with aggressive counters. The Ukrainian looked incredibly cool in general: he demonstrated his characteristic boxing, based on intelligence and speed. The champion seemed a bit lost, the expected dominance could not be demonstrated. Devin looked his best during spikes, where he managed to land hard hooks on Lomachenko.
In the sixth round, the fight evened out – the American caught his boxing, but Vasily slowed down a bit. Periodically, both boxers punched well, but didn’t even think about going down. All right, Haney punched the applicant’s body. In the championship rounds, both opponents began to slow down, the speed steadily dropping. In the tenth round, Lomachenko struck with an excellent series, the American was slightly ahead, but was saved in the clinch. The tension of the fight became prohibitive, and more and more injuries appeared on the faces of the athletes.
In the eleventh round, Vasily boldly stepped forward and again pinned Haney to the ropes. The champion was frankly shaking both physically and psychologically, he could hardly cope with the challenger’s attacks. In the last three minutes, the fight died down, but the center of the ring still held behind Loma. End of the fight! According to the results of twelve rounds, it seemed that Vasily slightly, but outperformed his opponent. Unfortunately, the judges decided otherwise: Haney took the victory by unanimous decision (116-112, 115-113 and 115-113)!