LAS VEGAS – Devin Haney heard the loud boos reverberate throughout MGM Grand Garden Arena after he was announced as the winner over Vasiliy Lomachenko on Saturday night.
The undefeated, undisputed lightweight champion was much more concerned with the judges’ take on their 12-round, 135-pound title fight. Dave Moretti had Haney winning eight rounds (116-112), whereas Tim Cheatham (115-113) and David Sutherland (115-113) scored seven rounds apiece for the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO champion.
Haney understandably believes the fact that none of the judges scored their fight for Lomachenko is all the evidence necessary to prove he won.
“I mean, at the end of the day the people can say what they wanna say,” Haney said during his post-fight press conference. “The judges had a unanimous decision and that’s all that matters, the judges. And each judge was on the same page when it came to that decision, so we got the victory.”
Though their closely contested fight included several rounds that could’ve been scored for either fighter, the 78-year-old Moretti drew a lot of criticism because he credited Lomachenko for winning only four rounds. Moretti scored seven of the final nine rounds for Haney.
Moretti even had Haney winning the 10th round, which was a strong round for Lomachenko. Cheatham and Sutherland both scored the 10th round for Lomachenko.
Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) won the 12th round on all three scorecards. If Cheatham and Sutherland would’ve scored that final round for Ukraine’s Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs), those two judges would’ve scored it even, 114-114 apiece, and the official result would’ve been a majority draw.
The 24-year-old Haney didn’t think during the fight that he needed to win the 12th round to be declared the winner of their ESPN Pay-Per-View main event.
“No, not necessarily,” said Haney, who resides in nearby Henderson, Nevada. “I knew that the fight was close, but I wanted to win every round. It wasn’t just the 12th round where I felt like, oh, I needed to win the round to win the fight. I knew that it was a close fight, so every round I was trying to win. I wanted to win every round. It wasn’t the 12th round that really made me feel like I needed to win to win the fight. It was every round.”
Not surprisingly, Lomachenko claimed he was the one who did more than enough to win. He didn’t divulge what he felt would’ve been a more appropriate score than Moretti, Cheatham and Sutherland submitted, but the three-division champion was surprised when Haney was announced as the winner.
“I don’t know,” Lomachenko said. “I can’t tell you right now because now it will be not serious from my side. Because I need to sit down, focus on the fight, to see the fight and after that I can answer. But a hundred percent, I don’t lose this fight.”
Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager, stated during his fighter’s post-fight press conference that they will file an official protest with the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the scoring. Klimas also revealed that he objected to Moretti being one of the judges, but the NSAC still assigned Moretti to score their 12-round, 135-pound title fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.