Las Vegas, NV - In a highly anticipated clash of boxing titans, undefeated undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney successfully defended his titles against the formidable Vasiliy Lomachenko in a thrilling battle at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The event had fight fans on the edge of their seats as both fighters showcased their immense skill, determination, and hunger for victory.
Haney (29-0) made his triumphant return to the ring after a decisive unanimous decision win over George Kambosos last October. Known as 'The Dream,' the young champion aimed to add a stoppage victory to his impressive record.
Lomachenko (17-2), a former two-time Olympic Gold Medallist and three-division champion, entered the contest on the back of a three-fight winning streak, seeking to re-establish himself as one of boxing's pound-for-pound best.
The opening round set the tone for the exhilarating encounter, with Haney displaying his aggression by pressing the action. He showcased his impeccable boxing skills, landing effective body shots and utilizing his jab to the midsection. However, Lomachenko closed the round with a flurry of his own, leaving the outcome of the round in question.
As the fight progressed into the second round, Haney's jab and range became a challenging puzzle for Lomachenko to solve. Haney cleverly doubled up on his jab and forced Lomachenko to reach with his punches. Although Lomachenko connected on a few occasions with combinations, it was not enough to sway the round firmly in his favor.
In the third round, Lomachenko found his footing, employing his signature angles and landing precise punches. He demonstrated his skill and began to assert himself in the ring. However, Haney's resilience and determination were on full display in the fourth round, as he re-established his dominance with a commanding jab. Lomachenko managed to break through in the final moments of the round, injecting more excitement into the bout.
The fifth round intensified the drama as Lomachenko seemingly rocked Haney with a powerful straight left early on. Haney momentarily staggered but showed great resilience by finishing the round strong with his jab and body shots. Although it was another close round, the consensus leaned towards Lomachenko.
Round six proved to be a turning point as Haney relentlessly targeted Lomachenko's body with precision and ferocity. Haney dictated the pace throughout the round, leaving Lomachenko's midsection visibly reddened. In the following round, Haney continued his body assault whenever Lomachenko attempted to close the distance. Although Lomachenko landed a couple of decent combinations, Haney connected with a well-timed left hook in the closing moments.
As the championship rounds unfolded, the closely contested affair showed no signs of waning excitement. Both fighters traded blows and displayed flashes of brilliance. Lomachenko's tenth round was undoubtedly his best of the fight, as he unleashed a blistering combination early on and proceeded to back up Haney for the majority of the round.
Round eleven followed suit, with Lomachenko landing a left cross that buckled Haney and then unleashing a barrage of punches reminiscent of his vintage performances.
In the final round, Lomachenko maintained his momentum, consistently beating Haney to the punch and delivering crisp shots. Although Haney managed to land his jabs, the round was widely seen as another victory for Lomachenko.
Ultimately, the judges' scorecards reflected a hard-fought contest, with Devin Haney securing a unanimous decision victory (116-112, 115-113 x2).