Jones Jr wants Haney-Lomachenko II – and open scoring

Roy Jones Jr has called for a rematch to settle the controversy surrounding Devin Haney-Vasyl Lomachenko – and for the introduction of open scoring.

The unanimous decision awarded in Haney’s favour for the undisputed lightweight title fight at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand has been widely condemned. 

Where the majority watching in both the arena and from afar believed that Lomachenko had done enough to win, however, the great Jones Jr scored the highly competitive fight a draw.

He also dismissed suggestions that the three ringside judges – Dave Moretti came in for particular criticism having scored 116-112 in Haney’s favour – had scored the fight anything but honestly, and insisted that the only way everyone will be satisfied is if a rematch takes place.

“Why don’t they just do a rematch?” he said to ProBox TV. “That settles it for everybody. Instead of saying, ‘This is wrong, ‘cause he gave this [score]’. Forget about that. This is boxing. If there’s that much controversy, that means we should do it again. What are we waiting on? The second thing we need to do is have open scoring, so that if somebody is cheating, that gets exposed before the end of the fight. ‘No, no, no, no, no – that [score’s] wrong.’ 

“When a fight’s that close, it’s very difficult for a person, sometimes, to give the right rounds to the right people. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Three different judges are looking for three different things sometimes. You understand me? 

“Those are two of my favourite people. I love Loma; I love Haney. You could have gave it to either guy. But since Haney’s the champ, I’m not mad they let him keep the belts – this is how hard the judges were trying. 

“Andre Ward’s one of my favourite people of all time in boxing. But the first fight, because of what he did to [Sergey] Kovalev [in 2016], I didn’t really think he beat Kovalev to take his title, ‘cause Kovalev was the champion. In the second fight he came back and cleaned that up and did what he was supposed to do. But the first fight, you can’t give it to him like that ‘cause he’s not the champion in that weight class, Kovalev was. So I wasn’t happy with that.

“This time I understand Loma, and I understand how Loma feels, but Loma, if you called that same 12th round like you did the 11th round, you’ve got a hell of an argument. But because you didn’t, and Devin being 24 and coming back after getting dominated in round 11 and winning round 12, I can’t take his belts.”

Jones Jr was the victim of an even more controversial decision from the judges when he was denied an Olympic gold medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

“I had it a draw, but I understood why they didn’t take [Haney’s] belts,” he continued. “Round 12 was really the deciding round for me, and Devin won that round. I thought it should have been a draw but I’m not mad that they gave it to him because I’m not gonna take the belts from the champ if he wins the last round. The championship rounds, Devin won nine, Loma won 10, Loma dominated 11, but Devin won 12, and he’s the champ. I understand why the champ stays the champ. 

“Had Loma won round 12, it’s hard for me to say why they don’t give it to him then, ‘cause he dominated three of the championship rounds. Three of the last four, which are more important to me than the first half of the fight.

“In my honest opinion the judges tried to do their best – the best they could. Loma wins the last round, on two cards he’s got a draw anyway. It all depends on what you’re looking at early. In those early rounds, Devin has pretty good body shots that made Loma look very uncharacteristically slow; fatigued. 

“I saw Devin make Loma look the worst I’ve seen Loma look at times in the fight. I understand how people gave a lot of early rounds to him. At the same time Loma came back – especially in that 11th round. 

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