By: Hans Themistode
Vasyl Lomachenko still has a hard time processing what exactly happened.
After reigning on top of the boxing world as the consensus number one fighter for years, Lomachenko was expected to take care of business relatively easily against Teofimo Lopez. The two matched up in a unification showdown in mid-October last year.
Despite the long odds, Lopez thoroughly outboxed his man early on before eking out a close unanimous decision victory. The mere thought of Lopez holding a win over the Ukrainian irritates him to no end. While Lopez has already gone on record stating that he has no intention of giving Lomachenko a rematch, the former multiple division champion is still hungry for it. Still, although he’s made his feelings clear, Lomachenko would much rather take care of business this Saturday before discussing what could possibly be next.
“I have a fight this Saturday night,” said Lomachenko during a press conference earlier today. “After we can talk about a rematch but of course, the world knows, I want this fight again.”
The fight that Lomachenko alludes to, figures to be a big challenge for the former back-to-back Olympic gold medalist as the highly rated Masayoshi Nakatani steps into the ring against him this Saturday night at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. Recently, the Japanese star picked himself up off the deck on multiple occasions to stop Felix Verdejo.
At the moment, the betting public is firmly backing Lomachenko as he’s currently pegged as a substantial favorite. Regardless of those odds, the Ukrainian will be facing an uphill battle as Nakatani has a four-inch height and six-inch reach advantage.
But while Nakatani’s imposing dimensions would worry most fighters in the division, Lomachenko appears unafraid of what he’s up against this Saturday night.
Heading into his showdown against Lopez, Lomachenko was lambasted for his refusal to throw many punches in the first half of the fight. He would eventually find his rhythm in the second half but it was a case of too little too late. With the chance to somewhat wipe away the stain from his latest performance, Lomachenko is determined to show that his loss against Lopez was nothing more than an aberration.
“I want to show my best skill and show who I am.”
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