By: Hans Themistode
It’s been a great career for unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Through 398 amateur contests, the Ukrainian native picked up only one defeat, something he avenged on numerous occasions. His twin Olympic gold medals that he picked up in the 2008 and 2012 games have a permanent spot in his trophy case next to the numerous world titles that he’s won as a pro.
With so many miles on his boxing odometer though, many believe that the curtain call is coming on his hall of fame career sooner rather than later.
The whispers of “old” and “decrepit” however, have left him double checking his birth certificate.
“I’m just 32 years old,” said Lomachenko during a virtual press conference. “Who made the rules about age in boxing? It depends on the person’s lifestyle. Somebody [could be] old at 27 and at 30. Somebody [could be old at] 45, 47. I feel great and I feel young.”
Whether he feels young or not, the multiple division champion will face someone who will undoubtedly have youth on his side in IBF belt holder Teofimo Lopez.
On October 17th, both men will face off in an ESPN main event with all of the lightweight marbles on the line.
Lopez, 23, didn’t just join the chorus calling Lomachenko an aging fighter, he essentially started it.
“He’s on the way out of the sport,” said Lopez during an interview with Ak and Barak last month. “He’s old.”
Lopez has pointed out Lomachenko’s age as a contributing factor behind his seemingly slowed reaction time and reflexes in the ring. Yet, the Brooklyn native’s 88 year old promoter in Bob Arum is a bit incredulous to that statement.
With over a half century promoting some of the biggest names in the sport, Arum has seen his fair share of elderly fighters shrug off Father Time to pick up a few huge wins.
“Age is just a number,” said Arum during the presser. “That’s what George Foreman said – age is just a number, and he won the heavyweight championship at age 45.”
In no way shape or form is Lomachenko believing the narrative that he is an old fighter. But against Lopez, he will be the older fighter, and he’s just fine with that.
“You’ve got the old lion versus the young lion. winner takes all, and that’s what it comes to come October 17th. One fighter. Two go in that ring, one comes out undisputed world champion.”