Vasiliy Lomachenko in tears backstage after controversial loss

ESPN cameras captured some raw emotion from Lomachenko after his hard-fought loss.

By: Lukasz Fenrych | 9 months
Vasiliy Lomachenko in tears backstage after controversial loss
May 20, 2023, Las Vegas, Nevada, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -May 20: Vasyl Lomachenko is announced before the 12-round main-event Undisputed Lightweight Title bout at TopRank on ESPN - Haney v Loma at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas, Nevada United States - ZUMAp175 20230520_zsa_p175_255 Copyright: xAlejandroxSalazarx

Vasiliy Lomachenko had spoken in the buildup to the fight about understanding that this may be his last shot at the glory he’s been chasing his whole career, and it looks like the sting of not getting it got to him.

Emotion in the locker room

He held it together during the post-fight formalities, but backstage cameras captured Lomachenko’s raw emotion after his somewhat controversial loss to Devin Haney on Saturday. The 35-year-old great broke down in tears in the locker room as he reflected on what may have been his last shot at unifying all the belts.

Lomachenko had clearly felt he’d done enough to win the fight (as did many observers). He stopped short of criticising the result outright in the post-fight interview, but his reaction suggests he felt the blow of having what he thought was the culmination of his career in boxing snatched away.

Mistakes in the final round

It’s possible there was some self-recrimination involved too. In the post-fight press conference, Lomachenko told the attendant media that he’d believed he was 11 rounds up going in to the final round, and deliberately took the 12th easy to stay safe. All three judges scored that to Haney, and with two of them having the fight 7-5 to the American, had Loma pushed to the end and won that round, he would have ended up with a majority draw.

A draw would not have gotten him those belts on Saturday, but it would have given Haney far more incentive to rematch. Given that, his decision to coast to the end may be a lapse in judgement that stays with him for some time.

Regardless of all that, though, Lomachenko has had a great career, and even with the loss, no-one watching thought less of him after this fight.

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About the author
Lukasz Fenrych
Lukasz Fenrych

Lukasz Fenrych is an analyst and writer. He has been covering combat sports since 2019, and joined Bloody Elbow's boxing team in 2022.

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