The American, 24, entered Las Vegas with an undefeated record of 29-0, and he improved that tally by edging out Lomachenko 116-112, 115-113, 115-113 on the judges’ scorecards, retaining his lightweight titles in the process.
For Lomachenko, who was the smaller, older fighter at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the only adjective that mattered was ‘undisputed’ – a status that has eluded the Ukrainian throughout a storied career.
Lomachenko, 35, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and has held world titles at featherweight, super-featherweight, and unified gold at lightweight. Yet he has never been undisputed, and Haney denied the veteran that accolade on Saturday (20 May), narrowly outpointing “Loma”.
A highly-competitive fight featured numerous rounds that were almost too close to call, though Haney was favouring an effective right hook to the body in the first half of the bout.
Meanwhile, Lomachenko could not muster the same power but was intermittently stinging the “Dream” with flurries of short, straight punches, with his jab also piercing Haney’s defence.
Lomachenko seemed to secure the clearest rounds – the 10th and 11th – but could not quite take the final frame, which all three judges scored in favour of Haney, preventing a majority draw.
For Haney, it was a second straight successful defence of the undisputed gold. The American outpointed George Kambosos Jr in the Australian’s home country in June to unify all the belts, before repeating the result in October – in Melbourne once again.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s main event marked a third professional defeat for Lomachenko, who last suffered a loss in 2020 when he was surprisingly outpointed by Teofimo Lopez.
Lomachenko responded to that result with three straight wins, the third coming in December after the 35-year-old spent much of 2022 in Ukraine, aiding his country’s defence against the Russian invasion.
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