By Vince D’Writer: He’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist, held multiple titles in three weight-classes, and now Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko is one step away from his crowning achievement, as he’s scheduled to step inside the ring on May 20th to challenge the reigning, defending, undisputed lightweight champion, Devin Haney.
Lomachenko is a high-level boxer who has speed, exceptional footwork, and he’s an expert at creating angles. When he steps inside the squared circle he routinely downloads the data, and makes all the necessary adjustments required for him to be successful.
The Ukrainian boxer is a superior ring technician who is a master at systematically breaking down his opponents. Lomachenko faces a different type of challenge on May 20th because, for the first time in his professional career, Loma will face a man who is his equal in regards to technical skills and ring IQ.
Devin “The Dream” Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) is the current undisputed lightweight champion, and that status equates to him being the official top fighter in the 135-pound division. Haney is the owner of all of the hardware in the lightweight division, and Lomachenko wants what Haney’s got.
After compiling an amateur record of 396-1, Lomachenko became the WBO featherweight champion in only his third professional fight back in June 2014. Loma would go on to become a unified champion, but his ultimate career goal is undisputed.
The 35-year-old Ukrainian boxer is aware of the fact that time stands still for no one, and May 20th could be his final opportunity in regards to winning the undisputed crown. Going into the bout, Loma knows the odds are stacked against him, and he’s unbothered because he assumed he would be in that position.
“No, I’m not surprised. I understand why people are talking about the underdog from my side. I don’t care. I just want to prove who I am,” Lomachenko said while addressing the media at a recent press conference.
The 24-year-old Devin Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) holds advantages in youth, reach, and size. The reigning undisputed lightweight champion has exceptional ring intelligence, and he’s also the owner of one of the best jabs in boxing.
The Haney jab is a tool that the undisputed champ uses to control the range, dictate the pace of the fight, and set up his crisp one-two combination. Most people speak highly of the Haney jab, but Vasiliy Lomachenko has elected to take the downplay approach.
“It’s the same like Ryan Garcia has the left hook, it doesn’t work with a guy who knows boxing, but it’s the same. We understand it. We know it.” Lomachenko went on to state, “If you know about his jab, then I know about his jab too.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko was approaching his ultimate goal back in 2020, but unfortunately, he lost by unanimous decision to Teofimo Lopez. Two years later, he was offered the opportunity to fight the WBA, IBF, WBO champion George Kambosos Jr, but he withdrew from the fight due to the war in his native Ukraine.
Loma believes that the sport of boxing has too many belts and each division should only have one champion. That notion is the driving force behind him wanting to achieve his goal of winning the undisputed crown.
“You put a goal in your life; you need to take it. If you can’t do this from the first time, you can try to do this from the second time, and again, and again, but you need to take your goal, your dream. This is what I try to do, and if I take it, I’ll be very happy and thankful.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko (17-2, 11KOs) is an extremely accomplished fighter who has one major item left on his checklist. On Saturday, May 20th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, live on ESPN+ PPV, Loma will step inside the ring to participate in the ultimate chess match, and if he’s successful, it will be a dream come true.