Devin Haney believes his performance against and victory over Vasyl Lomachenko has established him as the world’s finest fighter.
The 24 year old emerged from his toughest fight as the undisputed lightweight champion having consistently impressed, despite also widely being considered fortunate to have been awarded scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 at the conclusion of their fight at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.
If Haney impressed more than ever before the 35-year-old Lomachenko also produced one of his greatest performances and perhaps deserved victory, but Haney said: “I proved myself. I’m one of the best fighters in the world. Number one pound for pound, with the type of performance I did against the guy who was at one point number one pound for pound.
“I knew it was a close fight.I’ve nothing but respect for him; his father; his whole team.
“The body work was what won me the fight tonight. I knew I had to invest in the body. We watched a lot of tape on Loma – we knew he wasn’t the biggest fan of body shots – we was breaking him down.
“He was fighting in spurts. He would have some good moments during a round, but he wasn’t finishing a whole round strong because we invested in the body.
“I knew it was a good fight. I was definitely confident I won the fight. But I knew that it was a close fight. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy fight – I knew Loma was a crafty veteran and I couldn’t just go in there, jab, move around and use my distance. I had to take it to him and fight a fight that you guys haven’t ever seen me fight before and that’s what I did.
“I can go through the fire; I can box; I can jab; I can invest in the body. At 24 years old I have experience in that ring.
Haney was then asked about the exchange he had, post-fight, with his rival Shakur Stevenson, and whether or not he intended to remain at 135lbs or move to super lightweight, and he said: “I said, ‘Know that I’m number one’, and that’s when he said, ‘For now’. Right now I’m number one. I’ve been very vocal about me and Shakur being on collision course, whether it’s at 135lbs, whether it’s at 140lbs, whether it’s at 147lbs, we’re definitely on collision course, and we’re definitely going to get it on when the time is right.
“It’s a lot of big fights in the 135lbs division. We just got to see what’s next. No weight cut for me at 135lbs is easy. It takes a lot of discipline. I’m huge for the weight.
“I’ll talk to my team and we’ll see what’s next. Maybe we fight at 140lbs, and see how I feel and keep the belts at 135lbs and come back at 135lbs in a fight that makes sense. Or we might just stay at 135lbs. I proved myself tonight against a future hall of famer. How much more do you guys want me to prove? Eventually I’ve got to move up.
“If I can’t get those fights next, or it doesn’t make sense for them to be next, fight at 140lbs to test it out; see how I feel. Eventually I’m gonna outgrow the weight and I’m getting to that point, but if it makes sense, it makes sense.