Israel Adesanya shared his thoughts on the controversial decision between unified lightweight world champion Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
On Saturday night, the two lightweight greats went toe-to-toe in a 12-round war with Haney’s lightweight titles up for grabs. By the time it was all said and done, a majority of boxing fans had Lomachenko doing enough to walk away with Haney’s collection of gold. However, the judges didn’t see it that way. Haney walked out of the MGM Grand Garden Arena with a unanimous decision victory, much to the chagrin of the live audience and those watching around the world.
Weighing in on the result in a video clip on YouTube, Israel Adesanya recognized that Lomachenko regularly finished stronger than his opponent, suggesting he did enough to leave Las Vegas as the unified champion. But given the incredibly close nature of the contest, ‘The Last Stylebender’ stopped short of crying foul as most fans did on social media.
“I’m not a judge, also, because you have to realize recency bias,” Adesanya said. “Sometimes, it affects judges, it affects fans, it affects even fighters, that’s why, whatever you’re fighting, when you know it’s like 30 seconds, 20 seconds, and you hear the clapping, and you try and win the later part just ’cause that’s what the judges remember last.
“So Devin started strong, but Loma finished stronger. It’s a close fight, like I said, they both were right there, they both were stoic, focused and just yeah, didn’t back down, so. Glad I’m not a judge. I’m not a boxing f*cking official. Glad I’m just a fan, and guess what? Most people don’t know sh*t about boxing” (h/t MMA News)
Both fighters had their moments in all 12 rounds with Haney regularly starting fast and blitzing his opponent before inevitably slowing down in the latter half. That allowed Lomachenko the opportunity to turn up the heat in the second half of each round and finish strong. Like Adesanya, many believed ‘Hi-Tech’ did enough at the end of each round to steal the fight, but Haney’s work in the early going should not be overlooked.
As for what comes next for the unified lightweight champion, Israel Adesanya believes a showdown between Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis is the fight to make. “Make that fight happen,” Adesanya responded when asked about the potential lightweight superfight.