By Dan Ambrose: Jeff Mayweather is picking Devin Haney to defeat Vasily Lomachenko based on his size advantage for their headliner on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Jeff says that Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) must take risks because without doing that, he stands no chance of winning against the bigger Haney (29-0, 15 KOs).
(Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)
Lomachenko cannot afford to get off to a slow start like he did against Teofimo Lopez in 2020, says Mayweather.
In that fight, Loma didn’t do anything until six rounds were already gone and then complained afterwards that he thought he won. It was wretched. How could Loma be so wrong?
Even if Lomachenko does take risks, it’s going to be difficult because Haney has already tipped his hat on how he plans on fighting on Saturday by mentioning repeatedly that Loma is a “dirty fighter.”
For the casual boxing fans that have never seen Haney fight, what he’s talking about is that Lomachenko is going to try and foil his clinching game.
The constant holding that Haney does is the main defensive tactic that he uses when his smaller opponents get past his long jab and his straight arms to try and land their shots.
If Lomachenko can pry free from Haney’s clinches to pound him on the inside, then we’ve got a real fight on Saturday in a David vs. Goliath manner.
The foot speed of Lomachenko could come in handy for him in this fight because it can enable him to get in quickly to land his shots against the mobile Haney.
Lomachenko can’t start slow
“Yes, I think Devin wins the fight. I think Devin is very crafty, he knows range, he knows distance, and he’s much bigger,” said Jeff Mayweather to Fighthype, picking Devin Haney to defeat Vasyl Lomachenko.
“I think the size is going to be a factor, and it’s going to be kind of a chess match. They’re both going to be looking for, but Devin’s size is going to be too much. It’s going to make a huge difference in this fight.
“I hope he does because if he doesn’t, what chance does he really have?” said Jeff when asked if he thinks Lomachenko will take more chances against Haney than he did in his loss to Teofimo Lopez in 2020.
“If he doesn’t take no risks and doesn’t take no chances, he has no chance at all. The one thing is this. He can’t give away rounds likee he did with Teofimo. He gave away six rounds before he did anything,” said Jeff.
Taking risks is a must for Loma
“I mean, take the risks, take a risk, and if you get knocked out, you get knocked out,” said Mayweather. “Take a risk to win. Don’t just try and play it safe. That’s what he’s going to have to do. He’s going to have to make himself uncomfortable.
“He’s going to have to put himself in an uncomfortable situation to really win to even give himself a chance to win. If he doesn’t do that, I think Devin is going to win easy.
“I think so. He’s the one, the smaller guy; he’s going to have to take the risks more. We know that Devin is going to box from the outside, use his range, and his distance, and he’s a master at that.
“I don’t see him going in there, chasing Lomachenko, trying to knock him out. I don’t see that, even though he’s bigger. I still don’t see him doing that,” Mayweather said.
Haney staying at 135 for one reason
“I think that’s a high possibility, but as long as Devin wins, I think Devin has made up his mind that he’s fighting Shakur Stevenson, no matter what, as long as he wins,” said Jeff. “He said, ‘That’s the only reason I’m staying at 135 pounds is to shut up Shakur Stevenson.’
“I don’t think Tank is actually in the mindset of Devin right now, but after the fight is over with, it might be a little different. I think right now, he’s made it clear, he wants Shakur Stevenson.
“I don’t know. They’re two of the best young boxers out there right now, and I think that either one of those guys could win,” said Jeff when asked who wins between Haney and Shakur.