Devin Haney will defend his undisputed lightweight titles against Vasiliy Lomachenko at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on May 20.
The champion returns to home soil since winning the belts and then defending them down under.
The two fights with George Kambosos Jr in Australia cemented Haney as the top dog in the division, and he’ll look to pass the ultimate test in Lomachenko – a man who has been atop pound-for-pound lists for some time.
Many fans and pundits regard Haney’s (29-0, 15 KOs) jab as one of the most effective in the sport, and pitting that against Lomachenko’s (17-2, 11 KOs) elite movement and ability to find angles for shots makes the poster design of a chess match apt.
‘The Dream’ paid respect to his challenger when announcing the fight, but has no doubt as to keeping the belts.
“Lomachenko is a good fighter and future Hall of Fame candidate. I take nothing away from him or what he has done in the sport of boxing. Although he didn’t give me a shot when I challenged him in 2019, I won’t be petty.
This is the fight the fans really want, and I made it happen. I’ve gotten two times better since the Kambosos rematch, and believe it or not, the better my opponent is, the better I perform. I can’t wait for this fight.
I know Lomachenko has an extremely high boxing IQ, and I will show the world on May 20 that I’m the best fighter on the planet. I’m ready to defend my undisputed title in devastating fashion.”
Beating ‘Loma’ – even if he has taken a step of two out of his prime – Haney will have a good case.
The Ukrainian’s goal has to become undisputed in the division, and a loss to Teofimo Lopez in 2020 for his unified titles derailed that rather than crushed it.
Following a period of inactivity due to the war in his home country, ‘The Matrix’ has built up two unanimous decision wins – Richard Commey and Jamaine Ortiz – to find himself back in the title picture.
He gives away five inches in reach to the champion and one in height, and whilst he is a three-weight world champion beginning with featherweight at 126, Haney is a career-long 135 pounder who will move up soon.
Still, the 35-year-old will go into the ring as determined as ever, looking to dethrone the man ten years his younger and return to Ukraine with the four belts.
“My goal is to become the undisputed lightweight champion, and Devin Haney is the man with the belts. I respect his boxing IQ and am excited for this challenge.”
The fight will be broadcast on ESPN+ in the US at a price of $59.99. A UK broadcaster has not yet been confirmed, although it’s likely to land on Sky Sports.