Devin Haney vs Vasyl Lomachenko: Dream too sharp for ageing Matrix
Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena
TV: Sky Sports
Undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney will do battle with former three-weight world title holder Vasyl Lomachenko in Las Vegas.
A much-anticipated bout billed as Checkmate is expected to be one for the purists and the odds suggest it will go the full 12 rounds.
We’re going with the American to prevail on points at 4/6 for our top Devin Haney vs Vasyl Lomachenko prediction.
Dream confident of staying unbeaten
Haney was born in San Francisco but moved to Las Vegas at the age of 14, so he is very much the home fighter here.
The 24-year-old claimed the vacant WBC lightweight title when Zaur Abdullaev retired after four rounds in September 2019.
He came through three defences of that belt before taking on Australia’s George Kambosos, who had upset Teofimo Lopez to secure the WBA, IBF and WBO crowns.
The Dream outboxed Kambosos to land a convincing points victory in front of a sold-out Melbourne crowd.
Kambosos exercised his right to a rematch, but Haney confirmed his superiority with an even more dominant display Down Under and was an overwhelming winner on the judges’ scorecards.
Looking ahead to this long-awaited showdown, the champion said: “I know he is a tough competitor and he’s going to prepare well for the fight, but I will be the better man that night.
“The better the opposition, the better I perform – and I will show that. He is the best challenger on paper, but I will show that I’m above him as well.”
Matrix hoping to defy Father Time
Lomachenko enjoyed an incredible amateur career, claiming two Olympic gold medals and a couple of world championships triumphs between 2008 and 2012.
With a record of 396 wins and only one loss, he is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats in that sphere.
The Matrix suffered a split decision defeat by Orlando Salido when fighting for the WBO featherweight title in just his second pro bout.
However, Lomachenko recovered from that setback to win his next 13 contests, securing world titles at three different weights.
Among his victims were British duo Anthony Crolla and Luke Campbell, a fellow London Olympics gold medallist.
However, losing on points to Teofimo Lopez in October 2020 in front of an empty arena due to Covid restrictions saw him surrender his WBA and WBO lightweight belts.
Since then, Lomachenko has claimed just three low-key victories, spending time away from the sport to join the Ukrainian army.
At his best, the Matrix was a master tactician with outstanding skills and speed, but he is now 35 and this represents a tough test.
“This is a huge fight,” added Haney. “Two technicians, one former pound-for-pound number one fighter, one guy on the up trying to prove himself.
“One guy trying to prove he’s still what he once was, one guy who is trying to accomplish his lifelong dream of being undisputed and prove to the world I am the best.”
All odds and market correct at date of publication