Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko Odds, Pick & Prediction: Gotta Bet the First Hunch (Saturday, May 20)
Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images. Pictured: boxers Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko
Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko Odds
We said a lot to make out Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia as the Fight of the Year.
It was – in terms of hype, attention and numbers. But inside the ring, we all secretly knew that Davis would stop Garcia late – or, as I wrote here, between Rounds 7 and 12. It was the Event of the Year and is the Spectacle of the Year and will be without a substantive challenger for the foreseeable future.
But this weekend’s boxing attraction truly could be Fight of the Year-worthy from an in-ring standpoint, especially for the nerds. Casuals will be able to appreciate the high-level boxing here, too – but this is expected to be the most tactically superior fight to any at this point of the year.
On Saturday we get the return of Devin Haney (29-0, 15 KOs), the undisputed lightweight champion of the world, a pound-for-pound worthy combatant, and someone who is still six months away from turning 25 years old.
CHAOS! DEVIN HANEY JUST LAUNCHED LOMACHENKO ACROSS THE STAGE!#HaneyLoma | SAT | https://t.co/5NUYllW4TGpic.twitter.com/MTbprXmP0p
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 19, 2023
Vasiliy Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs), the challenger who once held three of the four major lightweight titles for more than a year, has been championship level in this weight class since 2018. He was also a titleholder at featherweight and super featherweight, and his 396-1 amateur career was so dominant that he fought for a world title in his second pro fight – a robbery of a loss.
This is the class of the lightweight division this week, and the winner will stand alongside the aforementioned Davis and up-and-coming former featherweight and super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson as the elite of the elite at 135 pounds.
Haney vs. Lomachenko will be available via ESPN+ pay-per-view (8 p.m. ET), and we have another big fight we’ll touch on at the end of this.
Haney vs. Lomachenko Fight Analysis
Some important physical advantages go to Haney. He’s 5-foot-8 with a 71-inch reach, is naturally bigger, and he likely will fill out to super lightweight within the next year or so, and welterweight later in his career.
Lomachenko is 5-foot-7 with a 66-inch reach. He turned 35 in February and has 10-plus years on his foe.
Lomachenko is known for his abruptly swift angle and level changes, though they don’t appear as frequent of a chess piece in his mis 30s. Haney is a defensive-minded savant who profiles as a young Floyd Mayweather disciple – not a risk-taker and can counter-punch you to death, working off excellent range mastery.
.@VasylLomachenko is one of a kind 😤 #HaneyLoma | SATURDAY | 10 PM ET | @ESPNPlus PPV pic.twitter.com/I6IJt3KWSw
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) May 15, 2023
Lomachenko has the more impressive KO ratio. However, at lightweight, he hasn’t displayed the same power he did in lighter weight classes. At 135, Lomachenko is 7-1 with 3 KOs. The age crept in during the pandemic, where at 32, he lost a tight decision to Teofimo Lopez in a unification bout in 2020, his first rightful L in the pros. Loma took very long to get going in that fight, more on that in a second.
After dominant showings against clearly inferior competition in Masayoshi Nakatani and Richard Commey, he decisioned a ballsy Jamaine Ortiz last October, which was an extremely close fight against the upstart and then-undefeated lightweight. Lomachenko, like in the Lopez fight, didn’t hit his gear until later in the bout and banked enough rounds before winning unanimously on the cards. One 115-113 card in Loma’s favor was truly reflective of the encounter.
The only knockdown Loma suffered was also at lightweight, against Jorge Linares – more on him in a second – in his debut at 135 pounds. He got up from the sixth-round knockdown and stopped Linares in Round 10.
Haney also struggled with Linares. In fact, while Haney’s dominated much of his pro career, he skated by Linares by decision in a lightweight title defense in May 2021, well after Lomachenko stopped him. Haney did not, winning against Linares 115-113 and 116-112 x2 on the cards.
While dominating, he was clipped with a right hand late in Round 10 and stumbled back to his corner, losing the final two rounds as Linares summoned a worrisome second wind. Linares was 44-3 when he fought Loma and 47-5 when up against Haney.
.@RealDevinHaney’s 1-2 could be the difference maker against Lomachenko 👊 #HaneyLoma | SATURDAY | 10 PM ET | @ESPNPlus PPV pic.twitter.com/NSDWHaoYJ0
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) May 15, 2023
Haney also notably didn’t stop soft-chinned Yurikois Gamboa in a title defense in November 2020, winning 120-107 on two cards and 118-109 on the other. Haney dropped Gamboa, then 30-3, but took it to the cards. Gamboa had been dropped four times and stopped by Terence Crawford in 2014, dropped twice and stopped by 23-12 journeyman Robinson Castellanos in 2017, and by the aforementioned Davis in his most recent fight before Haney, where Tank dropped Gamboa three times and TKO’d him in Round 12.
It’s to say, while naturally bigger, his punching power – or lack thereof – might not keep Lomachenko guessing as much as his defense.
Coming off two wide victories over Geroge Kambosos, Haney is riding a better wave of momentum, and even as Lomachenko is more accomplished, oddsmakers think this will be, in spirit, a passing of the torch.
Haney vs. Lomachenko Pick
As soon as this fight as announced, I had a knee-jerk prediction, and I’m sticking to it.
Lomachenko’s been taking too long to get going in fights, and it’ll be increasingly difficult to do that against Haney, an expert counter-puncher who has a large reach advantage and won’t gamble a ton, even as Lomachenko will try baiting him from the southpaw stance.
So, here’s the pick: Haney by decision, which is -155 on FanDuel and -160 on DraftKings, as of this writing.
I’d love to add value, but this is how I see this fight going down. The over/under is 10.5 in a 12-round fight for a reason. Lomachenko winning this would actually surprise me because Haney profiles as the younger, more talented (at this juncture) champion who grabs the torch from the old guy.
For extra juice, Haney by unanimous decision, specifically, also isn’t a bad shot to take.
Pick: Devin Haney by points or decision (-155)
Bonus Betting Analysis: Katie Taylor vs. Chantelle Cameron
Katie Taylor was supposed to be fighting Amanda Serrano this weekend. However, Serrano, the undisputed featherweight champion, pulled out due to injury and will now defend against Heather Hardy in August on the Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz card.
Now, undisputed lightweight champion Taylor (22-0, 6 KOs) is moving up to fight undisputed super lightweight champion Chantelle Cameron (17-0, 8 KOs) on Saturday afternoon as an appetizer to Hanes vs. Loma.
For Taylor, who is fighting in Dublin (2 p.m. ET, DAZN), it’ll be her first hometown fight as a pro.
Taylor (-180, as of this writing) vs. Cameron (+140) is an awesome 50-50 ish superfight that will be overlooked due to Haney vs. Lomachenko and the NBA Playoffs this weekend, but Taylor is expected to retain what would be another classic on her resume.
👀 THE FINAL FACE-OFF 🔥@KatieTaylor vs @chantellecam
It goes down tomorrow night in Dublin! 🇮🇪#TaylorCameron | @DAZNBoxingpic.twitter.com/XtBG0jDQV1
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) May 19, 2023
Taylor, 36, is still in the conversation as the pound-for-pound No. 1 women’s boxer in the world despite escaping close decision wins over Serrano, Natasha Jonas and Delfine Persoon over the years. She hasn’t won by KO since March 2019, and she’s fought nine times since.
Cameron has the power advantage but will likely be out-pointed by Taylor even if she keeps it close enough. Taylor on points is the pick, which is -130 as of this writing at most books.
Enjoy the fights and don’t go broke!
Pick: Katie Taylor by points or decision (-130)
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