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Devin Haney retained his undisputed lightweight championship against Vasiliy Lomachenko at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night. But the highly-anticipated bout ended in tears and jeers as Lomachenko and the crowd disputed controversial scorecards.
Neither fighter pulled their punches in the opening stages of the fight. Haney was working off his back foot and utilising his length as Lomachenko landed a huge left to the head.
And the Ukrainian took control in the later rounds with a plethora of combinations that left Haney fatigued, outpunching the champion 124-110.
So it left Lomachenko and the 14,400 spectators in attendance in disbelief when the scorecards revealed that all three judges had Haney winning.
Tim Cheatham and David Sutherland scored the fight 115-113 in the 24-year-old’s favour, while Dave Moretti had 116-112.
The unanimous decision prompted a shower of boos from the crowd as Haney boosted his record to 30-0, and Lomachenko suffered the third defeat of his career.
And fans online were just as furious over the manner in which he defended his crown.
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@BoxingKingdom14 tweeted: “Holy smoke. 116-112 Haney is an ABSOLUTELY DISGRACEFUL CARD!”
@musa3296 wrote: “This was not a fair judgment… I wanted Haney to win, but he clearly did not win.”
@elaomoosin added that although Haney should’ve won, one of the scorecards should’ve gone Lomachenko’s way: “Close fight. Haney redeemed the lost 11th with a strong 12th. I expected a split (not unanimous) @Realdevinhaney decision.”
After the fight, the 35-year-old’s manager, Egis Klimas, confirmed that they planned to appeal the result.
He said: “The biggest robbery in the daylight. Haney’s team got Christmas in the summer.
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“We’re going to appeal this decision. Those judges, they do not understand how the boxers are working hard.
“I guarantee we’re not going to let that go. We want to show there has to be justice.”
And Lomachenko, who believed he proved he had plenty more left in the tank, was certain he should’ve had his hand raised after the final bell.
“I think I showed that I can still be in boxing. I’m in good shape now,” Lomachenko explained.
“I win this fight. Twelve rounds ended, and I was sure I had won this fight. I feel I controlled this fight.”
Lomachenko was later shown breaking down in tears backstage after the result, the debate over which isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon.
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