What’s Next For Vasiliy Lomachenko?
By: Hans Themistode
Things couldn’t have gone any worse for Vasiliy Lomachenko. Not only did the former unified lightweight champion lose every single one of his belts to Teofimo Lopez last night, but with no rematch clause in their contract and team Lopez showing no desire to run it back, the 32 year old is left with an uncertain future.
Mostly everyone, including Lomachenko, believes that his real weight class and future are at 130 pounds. With that being said, the Ukrainian native is a proud fighter and will have a difficult time being forced out of the 135 pound division.
There are no clear options in terms of his next contest, but we’ve put together a list giving him the best of both worlds in the 130 and 135 pound divisions.
The end isn’t coming anytime soon for the multiple time champion, so check out who he should be eyeing for his next ring appearance.
Look, no matter how badly Lomachenko wants to get his hands back on Lopez, it simply isn’t going to happen next. His best bet is to make a statement.
Despite the undisputed tag that was associated with Lomachenko and Lopez’s contest, the fact remains that Devin Haney is still a legitimate world champion. The 21 year old still has to take care of business in the form of multiple time champion Yuriorkis Gamboa on November 7th. But with his 39th birthday coming sooner rather than later, many believe Haney will walk right through the former champion.
If things do in fact play out that way, then Lomachenko should have an eye on him. A win over Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) would do a lot for him right now. Not only would he be handed another world title, but it would also entice Lopez to run things back one more time.
Vasiliy Lomachenko is in the title business. Meaning, the 32 year old doesn’t have the time or patience to work his way back from the ground up. Staying at 135 pounds was never his long term plan, so instead, a drop in weight seems like the most sensible option.
At the moment, most of the title holders at 130 pounds are pre-occupied. But in the case of Joseph Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs), his schedule appears to be wide open. The IBF belt holder is fresh off an upset victory over former titlist Tevin Farmer earlier this year. So while he isn’t the sexiest pick, he is a current world champion and an easy fight to make.
Gary Russell Jr
Moving back down to 126 pounds may seem like hitting rock bottom for the back to back Olympic gold medalist, but it could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Lomachenko started off his career at the featherweight division, and while it was short, it was extremely successful.
In just his third pro fight, Lomachenko picked up the first world title of his career. The loser on the night in Gary Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KOs) has proved his own dominance shortly after as he’s held a world title for the past five years. His title run however, was never quite satisfying as the Maryland native simply couldn’t get the bitter taste of defeat off his tastebuds.
On several occasions he’s called for a rematch to avenge his lone defeat. His pleas were never met with enthusiasm on the side of Lomachenko, but with his waist now absent of gold, now could be the perfect time for him to revisit a possible showdown.