By: Hans Themistode
When Vasiliy Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) won a gold medal in the 2008 olympics he turned a few heads. When he repeated that very same feat in the 2012 olympics, he had gained the attention of everyone.
Winning one gold medal is difficult but capturing two of them seems nearly impossible. Countless all-time great fighters have failed to win a gold medal. Roy Jones Jr, Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe have all came up short in their olympic bids. Even Floyd Mayweather, who spent 21 professional years without a single defeat, only managed to win a bronze medal during his olympic career.
In short, winning two gold medals in the olympics is an impressive feat but Lomachenko has always been spectacular.
Before turning pro, a fighter first enters the amateurs. That process gives a young fighter an opportunity to improve his fighting ability and work on several aspects of his or her game. There is a reason why even the greatest of fighters have several losses on their record in the amateurs. It’s because they aren’t nearly a finished product yet.
Take former unified Light Heavyweight champion and current WBO belt holder Sergey Kovalev for example. He finished his amateur career with a record consisting of 195 wins to just 18 defeats. Amongst those defeats one came at the hands of Matt Korobov. A man who is not considered to be on the same level as Kovalev. In fact, Korobov has failed to win a world title during his pro career up to this point.
Let’s take a look at an even better example. Former unified champion Gennady Golovkin finished his stellar career as an amateur with a record of 345-5, excellent no doubt. In comparison, Lomachenko finished his run in the unpaid ranks with an absurd record of 397-1. Yes, Lomachenko lost one single bout in his entire amateur career. He also avenged that defeat several times as well.
When Lomachenko decided to turn pro, he had the boxing world buzzing. Usually, a fighter who has just turned pro is given time to develop. Lomachenko skipped the entire developmental process and challenged for a world title in just his second fight as a professional. When the fighter nicked “The Matrix” came up short, it gave many a reason to pause and hold off on his coronation.
Losing a world title bout usually forces a fighter to take a step back and rebuild. Lomachenko balked at that sentiment. He immediately jumped right back into the thick of things as he once again fought for a world title in his very next bout against the sensational Gary Russell Jr. He didn’t just defeat Russell. He dominated him.
Since then, Lomachenko has run through his competition. As it currently stands, he is the fastest fighter in history to win world titles in three different weight classes. No one has been able to have sustained success against Lomachenko in any contest either. In other words, he is just about unbeatable.
This Saturday night on August 31, at the O2 arena in the United Kingdom, Lomachenko will take on another gold medal winner in Luke Campbell. No one, absolutely no one, expects Campbell to win this contest. That is not to say Campbell is not a very good fighter because he is, but Lomachenko is on another level.
In the sport of boxing, anything can happen, but at this point in time, it seems as though Vasyl Lomachenko is unbeatable.