As those inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas arrived at the ballroom for the post-fight news conferences between Devin Haynie and Vasyl Lomachenko, footage was shown live on ESPN of the Ukrainian sobbing in his dressing room and putting his head inside. : his hands.
Boxing News left the fight site at the same time as Shakur Stevenson, who revealed he had scored Lomachenko eight rounds to four; At the ball, Derrick Harmon, Top Rank and Haney’s first amateur trainer, also said he believed Lomachenko won.
Lou DiBella had already made his way to the stadium’s media section to discuss the fight score, which he had drawn. No one sitting close to BN saw Haney as a worthy winner. As the arena emptied into one audience, no doubt among many, who booed loudly when scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 were announced, yelled into the media seats. “That’s not good.” Another yelled at ESPN’s broadcast team. “Tell them, Max [Kellerman]. It wasn’t even close”; Bill Haney even hit a beer bottle when he and his son returned to his dressing room.
An hour earlier, Devin Haney, looking like he was anything but a longtime Vegas resident and successful fighter, was loudly booed as he traveled in the opposite direction of the ring, and Lomachenko, making an inspiring solo trip; equally loudly cheering as he let go of his hands each time.
Despite the widespread belief in the media that Lomachenko was superior and deserved the decision, it proved just how tough many of the 12 rounds he shared with Haynie were, and thus the two scores were 115-113 for Haynie. it was hard to object. More troubling was Dave Moretti’s 116-112 scoreline, and more specifically the fact that he dropped Haynie three of the last four rounds; even the most cynical would have to admit, regardless, that Lomachenko was a fighter still under contract with Top Rank; Haney had run his course at the final bell.
In cases where a truly unfair decision is announced, fight organizers can often struggle to hide the air of shame and embarrassing edge. Some feign indignation; others genuinely feel it. At the post-fight press conference, those at Top Rank betrayed no such thing, even if members of the media, scrolling through their social media feeds and conversations they’ve had since the last call, were likely also reeling from the upsets as a result. Lomachenko’s images – had a greater conviction that Heney, impressive as he was, did not deserve to win.
“This is the biggest heist of the afternoon,” Lomachenko’s manager, Aegis Klimas, said when they arrived at the top table and before a question was even asked. “For the other team, Christmas came in the summer.
“We won’t miss it. I guarantee you we will complain. we are going to appeal that decision. Someone has to put an end to this injustice. Someone needs to put boxing where it needs to be. It has to be adjusted.”
“During the entire fight, I controlled the fight,” said Lomachenko. “I understand the whole struggle, [I’m] winning. So it was a big surprise to me when [after] 12 rounds – I was confident I won this fight. But it is what it is.
“I controlled this fight. I controlled every round. That’s a big, big question for me. “What happened as a result today?”
“My father [and trainer Anatoly] I was always taught. you should win without question. [But] you forget [Haney’s] older than me
“One hundred percent I am not losing this fight. Once upon a time [in the fight] I was in bad shape.”
The fighter explained that he thought his son had called him multiple times throughout the day to say “And the new one…” when he started crying. He was then asked what more he could have done to win and, still angry, he laughed.
“I don’t know,” he said then, and seemed to believe it. “Every round, I go back to the corner, I realize, ‘It’s my turn.’ Then the 12th round, I understand. “Maybe I need some protection. I can give him this round. I don’t need to win this round.” Maybe I don’t understand boxing.”
Between his departure and the 24-year-old Hayne’s arrival, BN relived a previous conversation with Lomachenko’s respected master and cornerman Ross Anber, who expressed fears that the judges would do Lomachenko a disservice. That Klimas, before they left, revealed that they had previously questioned Moretti’s choice as a ring official was just another reminder of how brutal the city of Vegas can be.
When the Haneys arrived, they were followed by countless friends, family and clergy who spread evenly throughout the ballroom and readily shouted “Allah” as Bill Haney shouted “Takbeer” over the loudspeaker three times. “All praise be to Allah,” he then added.
“One star set and one star rose tonight,” the lightweight’s father, trainer and manager continued with great fanfare. “The king of boxing is here. It’s Devin Haney.” Then followed the applause of the Haneys’ entourage, complemented by their competitive calls; “And still…”
Devin Haney had already traded in the ring with his opponent Stevenson. Despite all his entourage’s attempts to cheer him on, he also read the room accurately both in the arena, possibly assisted by Stevenson, and in the ballroom, even as he tried to suggest that by beating Lomachenko, he had established himself. as the world’s leading fighter, pound-for-pound.
“I will talk to my team and we will see what happens later,” he said. “Maybe we fight at 140 pounds and see how I feel and hold the belts at 135 pounds and come back at 135 pounds in a fight that makes sense. Or we can just stay at 135 pounds. Tonight I proved myself against a future hall of famer. How much more do you want me to prove? It’s like you want me to keep proving and proving and proving until I can’t prove it.”