Hall of Fame fighter turned manager, Barry McGuigan, has weighed in on the ‘chess match’ between Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Haney because four-belt champion in Australia against George Kambosos Jr and, despite a successful defence in the rematch, faces his real test as the division’s ruler against an elite but ageing Lomachenko.
In his column for the Mirror, McGuigan praised the Ukrainian as one of the greatest of all time, largely due to his amateur pedigree.
“Vasyl Lomachenko is one of the greatest fighters of all time, despite having had only 19 professional bouts. Two Olympic Golds and three World Championships in an amateur career spanning 397 fights are treasure enough. That he lost only once is even more astonishing.”
Despite not holding Haney – whom he feels is not as exciting – to the same standard, McGuigan believes the younger man has too many advantages at this point in time, and draws on the memory of Loma’s loss to Teofimo Lopez as proof.
“Haney is huge for the 135-pound lightweight limit and looks so much bigger than Loma. Like Teofimo Lopez, Haney could easily be at super welterweight by the time he enters the ring, as much as 20 pounds heavier.
Haney will use the same physical advantages but in a different way. He is very fast and accurate. Loma is brilliant coming forward but at this stage his career I don’t see that troubling Haney, who will be too quick.”
Ultimately, McGuigan feels Haney comes out on top over the distance.
“Haney is unmarked, bright and intelligent but just doesn’t excite me. As exceptional as he is, I get the feeling that I have seen it all before.
I have never felt that watching Lomachenko, who is a complete one-off. I see Haney winning but not by stoppage. Loma, who has won three times since losing to Lopez in 2020, is still too good to suffer that fate.”
The pair face off for Haney’s undisputed lightweight title in Las Vegas, live on ESPN+ and Sky Sports.