By Jim Calfa: Shakur Stevenson believes undisputed lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney has too much size, speed & youth for Vasyl Lomachenko for him to take his four titles when the two fight next year.
This is the only chance the two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko has to become undisputed. If he loses to Haney, he can forget about getting another opportunity because he’s too old to hang around long enough to get another shot.
“I got Devin winning,” said Shakur Stevenson to DAZN Boxing Show, picking Devin Haney to defeat Vasyl Lomachenko. “I think with the reach advantage, he will out-box him. Devin is faster, taller, and longer.”
Haney can be beaten, but it will require Lomachenko to land big shots on his chin. Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr and Jorge Linares both staggered Haney.
Unless Lomachenko can load up on his shots and plant one on Haney’s chin, it’s unrealistic that he will knock him out. Haney will be knocked out once he moves up to 140 and 147. Haney’s career will quickly go downhill when he fights in those divisions against punchers like Regis Prograis, but he’ll do well as long as he stays at 135.
For all intents & purposes, Haney is a light welterweight in size, and Lomchenko will need to figure out how to offset that huge size. Just getting in punching range is going to be tough for Lomachenko because he’s going to get hit with a lot of jabs, just like Haney’s last opponent George Kambosos Jr.
Once Lomachenko is in punching range, he will need to let his hands go and not let Haney grab in repeated clinches to neutralize his offense. Lomachenko can’t count on the referee warning Haney and taking points off for his excessive holding.
Stevenson’s perception of the 34-year-old former three-division world champion Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs) was likely formed based on his recent tougher-than-expected 12-round unanimous decision over his former sparring partner Jamaine Ortiz on October 29th at MSG in New York.
Loma did not look good, edging the 26-year-old Ortiz by the scores 116-112, 117-111, and 115-113. The hand speed, mobility, and stamina that Lomachenko once had were missing against Ortiz.
The only reason Lomachenko won is that Ortiz gassed in the later rounds.
While you can give Lomachenko a break because he was coming off a one-year layoff and had been defending his country, he still should have been able to fight better.
- Size – height & reach