By: Matthew N. Becher
Two title fights with top fighters in the featherweight and welterweight division respectively. Top Rank, showcased another great card on HBO championship boxing, live from the Thomas & Mack center on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus.
Vasyl Lomachenko is looking for a big name fight to prove he is one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world, it is harder for him to do that the better he looks in each fight.
Timothy Bradley Jr. is a 3x world champion who just split with his lifelong trainer, Joel Diaz, and has taken on Teddy Atlas as his new leader.
Both fighters look to defend their titles and use this night to showcase themselves for big fights in 2016.
Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1 2KO) vs. Romulo Koasicha (25-4 15KO): WBO Featherweight Title
It was what we mostly expected from the two time Olympic Gold medal winner. A death by a thousand punches, Lomachenko controlled the fight from start to when he ended it in the tenth round. Lomachenko landed 334 overall punches to Koasichas 75. The power punch stat was an unbelievable 213 at 66% landed to Koasichas 55 at only 16%.
Vasyl literally controlled every single round, he was never in trouble and was always attacking. If not for lack of a power shot, Koasicha would have been gone within the first 5 round without a problem. Maybe the fight should have been stopped around the 7th round. Koasicha took a lot of punishment on a lot of flurries, brilliantly put together by the champion Lomachenko.
By the 8th round, Lomachenko’s trainer told his fighter to put an end to the fight, while Koasicha’s trainer told him to “do something” or they would stop it. A tired Koasicha put up a valiant effort for someone that was completely outclassed, and in the 10th round, 3 straight body shots landed by Lomachenko dropping Koasicha, not allowing him to get back to his feet.
Lomachenko is a great technician in the ring, but we need to see him fight another elite fighter. He is in a very stacked division and a major player needs to step up and see if they can bring the best we’ve yet to see from the champion Lomachenko.
Lomachenko KO10 2:35
Timothy Bradley Jr. (32-1-1 12KO) vs. Brandon Rios (33-2-1 23KO): WBO Welterweight Title:
Brandon Rios came into this fight with a three inch height advantage and rehydrated 23 pounds overnight to weigh 170 when entering the ring tonight. Physically he was the much, much bigger man, but between the ropes Timothy Bradley Jr. was the bigger, badder fighter.
Bradley showcased his superior footwork and hand speed pretty much for the entire fight. Except for the first few rounds, Rios was never in the fight. Bradley kept Rios at arm’s length and was able to stick, move and put together multi punch combinations before getting out of any retaliating punches. Rios once again looked like a glorified punching bag, doing little more than smiling after taking hard shots to the head. Bradley landed a total 254 punches at a 45% rate while Rios total was a dismal 81 total punches at 18%.
The power puncher Rios was even beaten badly in the power department. Bradley landed 174 power punches at an outstanding 54%, while Rios was a mere 67 at 19%.
Round after round at mixing up his punches, and listening to his new trainer Teddy Atlas, Bradley tore punches to the midsection of Rios, and dropped Rios in the 10th round with three body shots. Rios was bravely able to get up, but was attacked to the body again when ref, Tony Weeks, stepped in to stop the fight.
During the post-fight interviews with HBO analyst Max Kellerman, Brandon Rios said it was time to “Hang up the Gloves”, “My body isn’t responding anymore”, “I don’t want to hurt my family and friends anymore”.
Bradley KO9 2:49
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank