By: Waqas Ali
Boxing magician Vasyl Lomachenko will be taking on Britain’s Anthony Crolla for the WBA and IBF lightweight belts on April 12 in Los Angeles.
Crolla (34-6-4) was made the mandatory challenger after defeating Daud Yordan in November last year at the Manchester Arena, marking his tenth appearance at that venue.
However, Crolla has been faced with extensive criticism from the boxing world especially from the casuals and hardcore fans.
Several boxing outlets have branded the upcoming bout as “a mismatch”, “waste of time” and a “lamb ready to be slaughtered”.
The former WBA lightweight champion defended himself by saying: “I started getting punched on the nose for nights like this 23 years ago. I’m not an idiot and I know this is a huge challenge.
“But April 12th I’m gonna be in the best shape both physically and mentally and going to LA to shock the world! I can’t wait to do it,” added the Manchester man.
The 32-year-old’s main competition of his career consisted of Gavin Rees, Darleys Perez & Ricky Burns.
Neither of the three possess the immense talent of Lomachenko, respectively.
Lomachenko in defence of Crolla says: “Los Angeles boxing fans are passionate and knowledgeable, and I look forward to putting on a spectacular show for them at Staples Center. Crolla is my mandatory challenger, and I like that he always comes to fight. He’s going to make the most of this opportunity.”
Two big names in particular that fans were hoping to be next for Lomachenko were Mikey Garcia and Gervonta Davis.
But because of politics in the business, they were unable to take place.
According to poll conducted by Boxing Kingdom, out of 1,900 plus voters, 83% of them picked Lomachenko to win and only 17% picked Crolla.
blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”>
Lomachenko vs Crolla
ESPN / Top Rank
Difficult fight to predict.
Who wins? #boxingkingdom
— Boxing Kingdom (@BoxingKingdom14) February 20, 2019
Lomachenko boasts a record of 12 wins and one loss. In his last six bouts, five were KO/TKOs and four of them were due to his opponent quitting on the stool. Hence the nickname “No Mas Chenko” was given to him.
He is considered by many boxing experts, writers, and fans to be the best and the most gifted fighter in the modern day and age.
He possesses great attributes in his arsenal of weaponry including speed, power, technique, combat, footwork and precision.
His innovative shots and movement provide a thrilling outcome like a musician playing the cello. The sounds played in accordance with the tune provide a great sound.
astonishing amateur record consists of 396 wins and only one defeat which he avenged twice.
The 31-year-old is a three-weight world champion and will be making his third defence of the belts on fight night.
By the numbers, the Ukrainian fighter is highly active by throwing 62 punches per round and connecting at 35%. This similar to the average lightweight who throws around 59 punches but the connect rate is slightly lower at 29%.
He lands a few more punches in power punching department (14 per round) with an excellent connect rate of 47%. The average lightweight lands at 12 with a rate of 35%.
His opponents landed just 24% of their power shots and just 6 per round which is half the lightweight average.
Crolla is not a knockout artist and more of a 12 round fighter. Out of Crolla’s 34 wins, 18 of those have come by a decision (61%) and a knockout ratio of just 34%.
He will need to do something exceptional if he doesn’t want to hear the whispers of the magician’s magic moment and feel the casting spell of the wizard.
The bout overall will not be an eye-catcher for most boxing fans. Based on the stats and styles and survey, the fight is heavily in favour of Lomachenko. It would be difficult for any fan to bring any form of evidence to suggest that Crolla has a chance of winning. However, no fan can deny the heart and soul of Crolla. He never gives up and has only been stopped once which was six years ago. This is a dream fight for him and he will not take it lightly. In boxing, we never say never and like the old saying goes: “One punch can make a difference.” Regardless of what happens in this bout, he will always remain the people’s champion of Manchester.