Surprise on the cards: Devin Haney defeats Vasily Lomachenko by unanimous decision

Undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney retained his titles Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden, but not without a controversial decision that former three-division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko’s team plans to appeal.

Lomachenko dominated the later rounds and outpointed Haney, 124-110.

But much to the dismay of the 14,436 fans in attendance, all three judges had Haney winning. Tim Cheatham and David Sutherland scored the fight 115-113, while Dave Moretti had it 116-112.

Lomachenko’s manager said they plan to appeal the decision.

“The biggest daylight robbery. The Haney team received Christmas in the summer,” said Egis Klimas. “We are going to appeal this decision. Those judges, they don’t understand how hard the boxers are working. I guarantee we won’t let it go. We want to show that there has to be justice.”

Haney improved to 30-0. Lomachenko, 35, fell to 17-3.

Both fighters displayed aggression throughout the first half of the fight, Haney using his length and strength working his back foot, while Lomachenko continued to pound the champion with a jackhammer left hand to the head.

But as the fight progressed, it was the older statesman who punished the 24-year-old Haney, stunning him with combinations, including a powerful ninth round, as the champion began to show his fatigue.

All three judges scored a relatively close round 12 that could have gone either way in Haney’s favor, 10-9. A ruling to the contrary would have seen the fight tied on two judges’ scorecards.

Moretti faced his colleagues twice in the later rounds, giving Haney the eighth and tenth rounds, despite Lomachenko landing several headshots in the eighth and landing his deadliest blow in the tenth.

“I think I showed that I can still be in boxing, now I’m in good shape,” Lomachenko said. “I win this fight. Twelve round finale, I was sure I won this fight. I feel like I controlled this fight.”

Haney was nothing short of complimentary of his challenger.

“Lomachenko is a future Hall of Famer,” Haney said. “It was a blessing. He was my toughest opponent. He was very cunning. He moves up in the championship rounds. (This fight) put me in the history books forever.”

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Now Haney has a decision to make as he will be a free agent when he wakes up Sunday morning, his three-fight contract with Top Rank and Lou DiBella already expired.

Haney certainly has plenty of options, as he could remain at 135 pounds for one final fight, where a highly anticipated bout against fellow pound-for-pound contender Shakur Stevenson, who was in attendance on Saturday, awaits.

Stevenson disagreed with the result.

“Lomachenko should be the undisputed champion, he won that fight,” Stevenson said.

But if Haney is ready to step into the ring with another undefeated fighter, Stevenson said: “Let’s make it happen. I can not wait.

Haney could also move up to junior welterweight, where he would seek a second division title while positioning himself to face the winner of the June 10 bout between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez Jr.

The wild card fight would be against Gervonta Davis, who looked impressive in his win over Ryan Garcia on April 22.

“My team and I are going to go back home and watch the fight and reflect on it,” Haney said, adding that it’s always been tough for him to make weight at 135. “I’ve been at 135 for a long time. , long time. This is my 30th fight. I’ve been here at 135 since I was 16 years old. Let’s go back to the lab and find out what’s next.”

On the billboard:

Oscar Valdez roughed up Adam Lopez in the final undercard, including a dominating 10th round. Valdez (31-1, 23 KOs) defeated Lopez (16-5) by unanimous decision.

Raymond Muratalla punched Jeremia Nakathila early and the fight was stopped at the 2:48 mark of the second round. Muratella improved to 18-0 and 15 KOs. Nakathila fell to 23-3

Junto Nakatani improved to 25-0 with his 19th KO, dropping Andrew Moloney with a devastating left to the face in the 12th round. Moloney, who fell to 25-3, was taken to University Medical Center for evaluation on him.

Nico Ali Walsh (8-0-1) and Danny Rosenberger (13-9-5) battled to a draw, each scoring 77-75 on two of the judges’ scorecards, while the third ended at 76-all.

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