Tag Archives: lomachenko

What’s Next for Pacquiao?


By: Oliver McManus

The clock was ticking, the guard began to change as star after star began to fade into the background but an ever present constant in the boxing hemisphere, Manny Pacquiao, was determined to shift the sands of time back into his favour last weekend as he faced Lucas Matthysse, in Malaysia, for yet another world title.

“He’s too old”, the doubters said. “Matthysse has too much power”, cried the naysayers. “Getting rid of Roach was a mistake”, echoed those who questioned Pac Man.

He paid no attention to the script, setting about what can only be described as a demolition job in crushing the Argentine in a manner akin to taking a hammer to a peanut. Matthysse landed a fair few half-decent punches but never looked like carrying a realistic threat to the legacy of Pacquiao and was dropped time after time before the contest was waived off in the seventh round.

What next for Pacquiao, then?

RETIREMENT

Seems harsh to suggest in the immediate aftermath of such a scintillating performance – his first knockout victory since 2009 – but retirement does seem to be a genuine option for the Filipino with the huge money making fights seemingly few and far between and with increasingly more risk to the ageing eight-weight world champion.

The legacy of Pacquiao is solidified with the defining moment seeming to always be characterised by his series of fights with Juan Manuel Marquez so there’s no real need for the legendary fighter to carry on and risk becoming a Roy Jones Jr figure – albeit at a higher level and not against guys such as Bobby Gunn, Rodney Moore and that respective ilk.

It’s not as though the 39 year old is without other options, boxing is very much a secondary focus as things stand in Pacquiao’s life with his priority being politics – elected as a senator in his home country, Pacquiao has a minimum term until 2022 which, in itself, makes preparing and organising fights relatively difficult.

And let’s be clear this was probably Pacquiao’s best performance in six or seven years and there will always be the eternal question regarding his age and stamina – he proved his doubters wrong on Saturday but as we saw against Horn there is a distinct blueprint for beating Pacquiao and he’s ripe for the taking – so what better a night than to call it quits, retire as a world champion with plaudits aplenty.

AMIR KHAN

On the distinct polar opposite vein you could argue that because Pacquiao looked so good that in itself is all you need to back-up a call for him to continue – whether that’s papering up the cracks or not is something we’ll find out as and when future bouts happen – and an immediate fight that springs to mind is Amir Khan.

Big in the States and big in the United Kingdom, Amir Khan is of an ideal profile for a mega fight with mega dollars to boot – it could also see Pacquiao in the United Kingdom for the first time though such is the statue of the guy we’d likely only see him for a press conference over here as opposed to the actual bout.

Let’s not forget that the pair were scheduled to fight on April 23rd last year in the United Arab Emirates before the bout was called off but the desire to see the two meet in the ring has not dampened and if anything the flame has only burned brighter since Khan’s successful comeback.

For Khan, who has more options than Kell Brook, this is a perfect opportunity to return to the world title scene and, in all honesty, it’s possibly the easiest champion he’d have to face in the division which is saying quite something.

Amir has been there, too, he’s no stranger to these big fights and even though he lost, viciously, to Canelo, he put up a really good showing and there’s no doubt that against Pacquiao we could witness a tremendous, 50-50 fight with styles meshing.

From that knockout loss to Canelo, mind, Pacquiao will be able to take immense confidence especially off the back of such a convincing beat-down of Lucas Matthysse. Couple in the notorious “glass chin” that Khan is often accused of having, the risk for Pacquiao would be relatively big but the reward would be phenomenal – Khan is possibly one of the biggest names that the Filipino could face whilst still possessing the tag as favourite.

For me this is a fight that simply has to happen.

VASYL LOMACHENKO

Dropping down a weight division to super lightweight there is the possibility of facing Vasyl Lomachenko in yet another HUGE fight – Lomachenko needs no introduction so I won’t bother giving him one but it’s fair to say that a fight of this magnitude would invoke memories of Pacman’s contest with Mayweather and supersede the sport of boxing in becoming a sheer event for the pubic, fans or not.

Loma is out until December at least following shoulder surgery and Pacquiao has hinted at wanting to drop back to super-lightweight for some time now so the build-up for the potential clash would no doubt capture the imagination of the boxing world.

A clash with Lomachenko is the only bout that could have a positive impact on how we look back on Pacquiao’s career in 10 years – any other opponents are merely extra icing on the already lavishly decorated cake that are his 23 years as a professional boxer – but the Ukrainian provides a test that is unlike any other, a living legend, a walking Hall-of-Famer, a fighter who is, frankly, a freak of nature.

Lomachenko would be the best opponent since Floyd Mayweather and there’s a reasonable argument to be made that he’d be the best opponent INCLUDING Floyd Mayweather, at least in retrospect, and would enter the fight as a favourite but if Pacquiao is determined to prove, once and for all, that he IS back then this is the sort of challenge he really needs to be looking at.

The question that gets raised when you talk about this fight – potentially held at catchweight – is whether Manny really looked that good against Matthysse or if he was simply the least washed up of the two boxers as whilst it was a very accomplished performance you’d be hard pushed to say the Matthysse that turned up was on his A game.

It’s a risk, yes, but is it a risk worth taking?

JEFF HORN

I’ve opted for Jeff Horn to fill this last section although I was tempted to select Terence Crawford instead but Horn gets the edge because there is history in that encounter, we all know what happened in Australia and this would be a perfect opportunity to silence his critics from that night and prove it was a fluke loss.

Over here in the United Kingdom endless repeats of their first fight were being shown on the broadcaster and, make no mistake, there wasn’t anything like the outrage shown in America with regards to the scoring but this is a fight that would sell, literally, to all four corners of the globe; you’ve got the Australian market who will be fervently routing for their home hero, the America’s backing Pacquiao and the Brit’s / European’s who love nothing more than a rematch with a bit of needle so in terms of marketability, this fight has it all.

Redemption is a factor that can never be over-stated because looking back on his career, Pacquiao is not a man who will be satisfied with a perceived injustice if there was a possibility to put such a situation to bed and we’ve seen immediately after their contest in February last year that Pacquiao wanted the rematch so his self-belief is there.

Horn, himself, is looking for an avenue back to the big time after getting soundly beaten by Crawford and the fight against Pacquiao is the instant avenue to go down because, for him, if he can pull of the “miracle” a second time then who can doubt him, immediately goes away all the criticism from their first encounter.

A snagging point in this whole deal is the style of Horn, it’s not exactly conducive to a performance that will knock your socks off because even if Pacquiao is able to control every second of every round, he’s going to emerge with a bruised and bloodied face such is the aggressive nature of the Australian – the less sound about his leading head, the better – so whilst emotionally and sentimentally the fight may be seen as a win, stylistically and in terms of future stock, it’s hard to see Pacquiao emerge looking any sharper than the fight at the weekend.

Time after time we’ve sat here and idolised about what could be next for such an icon of the sport and time after time he’s delivered the complete unexpected, the only thing we can ever take for granted with Manny Pacquiao is that he will never duck an opponent and he will always bring his all to a fight.

What more could you ask for from an all-time great? Wherever he goes next, even if he doesn’t fight again, let’s just take a minute to bask in his shadows because for now, at least, this warrior is taking a one-man stand against the surge of young pretenders and, boy, is he holding his own when everyone and their dog seems to be writing him off.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Lomachenko Stops Linares in the Tenth


By: William Holmes

Madison Square Garden in New York City was the host site for tonight’s collaborative effort between Top Rank Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions to put on a highly anticipated main event between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares for the WBA Lightweight Title.

The opening bout of the night was between Carlos Adames (13-0) and Alejandro Barrera (29-4) in the welterweight division.

Adames is a high ceiling prospect for Top Rank and he made it known why early on. His straight right hand was finding it’s home often and he was in control. Barrera was able to sneek some punches in past the guard of Adames, but they didn’t appear to hurt him.

In the sixth round he switched to a southpaw stance and was still able to land shots at will. His power shots came from his right hand, but he was still fluid and smooth in his southpaw stance.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

Barrera was able to do some decent body work in the seventh round and was a little more effective. His counter uppercut found it’s home but Adames was landing the harder shots. Barrera continued to hang in the fight into the eighth round and showed a willingness to exchange, and he may have stolen the round when he landed some short shots on Adames when his back was against the ropes.

The ninth round featured fierce exchanges and started with Barrera walking Adames down, but Adames was able to turn the momentum back in his favor with sharp left hooks. A clash of heads occurred in the final moments of the ninth round that caused a cut by the right eye of Barrera.

Barrera needed a knockout in the final round to win, and he was the more active fighter and landed more shots in the final round, but that knockout never came.

Carlos Adames wins by decision with scores of 97-93, 96-94, and 98-92.

The main event of the night was between Jorge Linares (44-3) and Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1) for the WBA Lightweight Title.

Lomachenko, the favorite, entered the ring first while the champion, Linares, entered second.


Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account

Linares looked like the significantly bigger man in the ring and was able to land his straight left hand from his southpaw stance early on in the first round. Linares though was accurate with his counter punches in the first and landed a good lead left hook at the end of the round.

Lomachenko looked to be a little looser in the second round and was landing more, and by the third round his foot movement was on point as he danced around Linares and landed multiple combinations. Lomachenko continued to stay on the attack in the fourth round. Linares was warned for rabbit punches in the fourth and Lomachenko responded by landing hard right uppercuts.

Lomachenko was able to bloody the nose of Linares in the fifth round. Linares was warned for a low blow in the fifth and sixth rounds and appeared to be fading fast. However, a clean straight right hand by Linares in the sixth round sent Lomachenko to the mat.

Linares pressed the action in the seventh round and Lomachenko was no longer on the offensive. Linares was able to land good shots to the body and head of Lomachenko.

Lomachenko looked like he was recovered by the eight round and was able to get a cut over the left eye of Linares. Lomachenko was focusing on that cut throughout the remainder of the eighth round as momentum swung back in his favor.

Linares and Lomachenko had several good exchanges in the ninth round and that round could have been scored either way, but it appeared Lomachenko was landing more shots than Linares but Linares was landing the harder shots.

Linares came right at Lomachenko in the beginning of the tenth round but Lomachenko was able to slow him down with an accurate jab. Lomachenko connected with a multi punch combination to the head and ended it with a liver shot that sent Linares crumbling in pain to the mat.

The referee counted to nine before waiving off the fight as he could tell that Linares was unable to continue.

Lomachenko wins by body shot knockout at 2:08 of the tenth round.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Linares vs. Lomachenko, Adames vs. Barrera


By: William Holmes

On Saturday night two of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters, Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko will square off in a WBA Lightweight Title bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will be working together and will televise this fight on ESPN.

The co-feature of the night will be a welterweight bout between Carlos Adames and Alejandro Barrera. Other prospects on the fight card include Michael Conlan, Teofimo Lopez, and Jamel Herring. Conlan may appear on the televised portion of the card due to his popularity, but that bout should be an easier victory for him.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing

The following is a preview of the co-featured bout and the main event of the night.

Carlos Adames (13-0) vs. Alejandro Barrera (29-4); Welterweights

Carlos Adames is a prized prospect with heavy hands. He’s only twenty four years old and will be seven years younger than Barrera on fight night. He will also have a significant three inch reach advantage.

Adames has been very active. He fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Barrera fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016.

Adames has considerable power. He has stopped eleven of his opponents and only one of his past ten opponents was able to make it the full fight. Barrera has eighteen stoppage victories, but he has lost two of his past four fights.

Adames is a former Pan American Gold Medalist and competed in the world amateur championships. Barrera has no notable amateur career to speak of.

Adames has fought mainly in the Dominican Republic, his past nine fighters were there. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Molina, Jean Carlos Prada, and Ivan Alvarez. Barrera has defeated the likes of Eddie Gomez and Juan Macias Montiel. He has losses to Armando Robles, Rmases Agaton, Errol Spence Jr., and Keandre Gibson.

Barrera is talented enough to score an occasional upset, as evident in his win over Eddie Gomez. But Adames looks like he will be too talented for Barrera to handle.

Jorge Linares (44-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1); WBA Lightweight Title

Jorge Linares used to be a top boxer in Top Rank’s stable of fighters, but back to back losses to Sergio Thompson and Antonio DeMarco in late 2011 early 2012 forced Top Rank to let Linares loose and allowed for Golden Boy Promotions to pick him up.

He has since won thirteen fights in a row and his name has often come up in conversation as one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters.
However, he’ll be facing a true legend in the sport with only eleven professional fights, Vasyl Lomachenko.

Lomachenko has eight stoppage victories and will be giving up about an inch in height and three and a half inches in reach to Linares. Lomachenko will be two years younger than Linares, but both boxers are still considered by most to be in their athletic primes.

Linares has twenty seven stoppage wins, but his past four fights were won by decision. Lomacheno fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 while Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.

Lomachenko’s lone loss was a controversial one to Orlando Salido, who came in overweight. He has defeated the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, and Gary Russell Jr.

Linares has losses to Sergio Thompson, Antonio DeMarco, and Juan Carlos Salgado. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Larios, Mercito Gesta, Luke Campbell, Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihto Arakawa.

It is extremely rare to find someone with the amateur resume of Vasyl Lomachenko. He was a two time Olympic Gold Medalist. Linares was a national champion as an amateur in Venezuela.

Linares has excellent footwork and incredible accuracy, but Lomachenko also has excellent footwork and accuracy and in fact, probably has better footwork than Linares. Linares can hang with anyone in the first half of a fight, but he tends to fade late. Lomachenko has never shown signs of fading in a ring.

Lomachenko does have problems with fighters who are known for being rough on the inside and willing to fight a little dirty, like Orlando Salido. Linares is not that type of fighter. He’s known for his technique and finesse.

Linares will have a size advantage on Saturday night, and he’d be wise to use it. But Lomachenko’s movement and accuracy will should win him the fight, especially in the later rounds.

This writer thinks Linares will be able to keep it close early on, but will fade late and eventually succumb to a Lomachenko barrage.

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Media Workout Notes & Quotes: Lomachenko and Linares Hit the Streets of NYC


Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jorge Linares took their talents to the streets of Manhattan on Wednesday, as they participated in an open workout on the corner of 33rd Street and 8th Avenue, just outside Madison Square Garden.

Lomachenko, a two-weight world champion, is looking to conquer a third weight class when he challenges WBA/Ring Magazine lightweight champion Jorge Linares on Saturday at “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

Linares vs. Lomachenko headlines an evening of world-class action, as welterweight contender Carlos Adames will take on savvy veteran Alejandro Barrera in the 10-round co-feature.

Appearing on the undercard will be Irish sensation Michael Conlan in an eight-round featherweight bout against once-beaten Ibon Larrinaga, 2016 U.S. Olympian Mikaela Mayer in a six-round lightweight contest against Baby Nansen, and Brooklyn native Teofimo Lopez against Vitor Freitas in an eight-round lightweight bout.

This is what the fighters had to say.


Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Jorge Linares

“I am hungry to win and to continue with my reign as world champion. This is a high-level fight and a very important one for my career because I am going to prove that Lomachenko is not an invincible fighter. We will see what he is really made of when he faces me this Saturday. I believe in myself and I know that I will come out with the victory. I am here to win. I did not come here to quit.”


(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Vasiliy Lomachenko

“I want to put my name in the history of boxing, and this is one of the steps I have to take, to fight in different weight classes, different titles. That’s what will put my name in the history of boxing.”

“I don’t know what Linares will bring. After the fight, I can compare him with Rigondeaux.”

“I already proved where I am, and I plan on being at the top of the sport for a very long time. I do not plan on slowing down.”

“Linares is one of the best fighters in his weight class. I don’t think it’s going to be easy work.”

Carlos Adames

“This Saturday, the fans will all talk about ‘Caballo Bronco’. This will be the first step towards a world championship opportunity and also the first step on my way to becoming the new face of boxing in the Dominican Republic. I have the talent, the mentality and the dedication to represent my country with dignity. That’s why I’m going to give my best and leave everything in the ring to give the fans a good show”

Mikaela Mayer

“I love that Top Rank is putting me on big cards and exposing women’s boxing a bigger audience. There’s definitely an increased interest in women’s boxing, and I am proud to be part of that.”

“Do I want a knockout? Of course. I want the fans to see that women can be in exciting fights and score knockouts.”

“If Nansen wants to come at me, I’m going to be ready for it. I’m ready for anything.”

Michael Conlan

“Madison Square Garden is my home away from home, and I can’t wait to put on a great show for the New York fans. This is going to be a great night of boxing.”

Teofimo Lopez

“This is my third time fighting at Madison Square Garden, and we know what happened last time I fought here. I knocked out the guy {Ronald Rivas} with one shot. One left hook, and he was out.”

“I believe in my God-given talent. Shout out to New York City. I’m from Brooklyn, and I look forward to showing up and feeling the love from my hometown fans.”

“Big things are coming. I love big cards like this. The more people I see out there, the more pumped up I get. Look out for the knockout because it’s coming.

###

Linares vs. Lomachenko and Adames vs. Barrera will be televised live and exclusively at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and undercard bouts will stream live on ESPN+, available through the ESPN App, beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Golden Boy Promotions, Teiken Promotions, and Madison Square Garden, tickets for the Linares vs. Lomachenko world championship card are ON SALE NOW. Priced at $506, $406, $306, $206, $106, and $56, including facility fees, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at MSG.com.

Use the hashtag #LinaresLoma to join the conversation on social media.

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Lomachenko Eager to Prove That Skills Will be the Difference Against Linares


By: Bryant Romero

Vasiliy ‘Hi Tech’ Lomachenko will be heading into unfamiliar territory as a professional prize fighter as he will head 5 pounds north to the lightweight division and challenge the most established champion at 135 pounds in Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) on May 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) will be challenging Linares for his WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight titles in just his first fight in the division. Linares is on an unbeaten 12 fight winning streak and is eager to prove that not only is he the bigger stronger man, but has the skills to match the talented Ukrainian. Lomachenko doesn’t seem fazed whatsoever at the size his opponent will bring come fight night and is confident that size won’t be a factor at all in this intriguing lightweight bout.

“For me, it’s a big challenge because before this fight, I fought against guys who were the same size or a little bit smaller than me,” Lomachenko said.

“Now, I want to feel the way Rigondeaux felt when he fought me. He was smaller than I at that point. I am going to be smaller than my opponents now. I want to show people it’s not a big problem, that five pounds is not too big of a difference.

“I wanted to go up to the next weight category, 135 pounds, and fight only champions. Jorge Linares was available for this moment. That’s why I wanted a fight with him.

“I was asked if I wanted to fight Linares. It took me less than two seconds to accept the challenge,” Lomachenko told the boxing media.

It’s the most important and biggest fight of both fighters careers and Lomachenko recognizes the history in not only fighting in New York but to get the chance to headline the big room at Madison Square Garden where boxing legends have been made.

“It’s important for me because I made my name in the history of boxing. Moving forward, I only want to fight in big arenas. I love New York. I love Madison Square Garden. I feel very comfortable there. The boxing fans are very knowledgeable. It’s a very famous arena. Fighting there is a big honor for me,” he said.

Bob Arum of Top Rank who promotes Lomachenko expects a capacity crowd of over 16,000 in attendance for this fight, which shows that the drawing power of the talented Ukrainian is significantly rising.

As for the two combatants themselves, there has been no shortage of verbal jabs being thrown at each in the lead up to this bout. But Lomachenko hopes that after the fight that Linares will show up at the post fight press conference.

“I like it. Before the fight, all boxers talk trash, but after the fight, nobody comes to the press conference. After this fight, I want to see Jorge Linares at the press conference, and I want to hear what he has to say,” Lomachenko said.

Bryant Romero can be reached on Twitter @BoxingTruth88

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Jermall Charlo and Gervonta Davis Ask For Golovkin and Lomachenko


By: Ken Hissner

After Saturday’s quick knockouts on Showtime two of the winners shot their mouths off after destroying lesser opponents and asking for something they may regret in the future. In other words “Watch what you ask for!”

Houston’s Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (21) won the interim WBC World Middleweight title knocking out Hugo Centeno, Jr., 26-2 (14), of Oxnard, CA, in the second round. Charlo only had one fight in 2017 against a much overrated Jorge Sebastian Heiland, 29-5-2 (16), from Argentina in the 4th round.

The former IBF World Super Welterweight Champion called out Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 37-0-1 (33), of KAZ and L.A., CA. who on May 5th will be defending his title or title’s against the WBC No. 1 Super Middleweight against Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan, 36-3-1 (21), of Armenia and Glendale, CA., who has lost to twin brother Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 30-0 (15), back in March of 2015 via a 10 round decision. Martirosyan has never been stopped in his 40 bout career. He was the USA 2004 Olympian at welterweight.

The other winner Saturday night was Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 20-0 (19), of Baltimore, MD, but having moved out to Las Vegas, NV. He stopped Jesus Marcelo Andres “El Jinete Cuellar, 28-3 (21), former WBA World Featherweight Champion in the 3rd round to win the WBA Super World Super Featherweight title.

Interviewer Jim Gray brought up the name WBO Super World Super Featherweight Champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 10-1 (8), of the Ukraine now living in Oxnard, CA. He will be fighting WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge “El Nino de Oro Golden Boy” Linares, 44-3 (27), of VZ now living in Tokyo, Japan May 12 at Madison Square Garden.

This writer considers Lomachenko P4P No. 1 and Golovkin P4P No. 2. Both are former Olympians with Lomachenko winning Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012. Golovkin won a Silver Medal in 2004 after defeating Andre Dirrell losing in the final to Russian Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov who never turned professional.
My thoughts are Charlo meeting the Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 33-2 (29), of Brooklyn, NY, and Maciej “Striczu” Sulecki, 26-0 (10), of Warsaw, Poland, winner on April 28th at the Barclay Center. Sulecki stopped Centeno in June of 2016 in the 10th round.

I’m sure that though under suspension for six months Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-2 (34), of Guadalajara, MEX, and Golovkin will meet in sometime on or around September pending on the length of the suspension. That controversial draw that Golovkin got ripped off on should be changed to a NC or ND.

This writer felt that Golovkin could meet WBO World Champion Billy Joe Saunders, 26-0 (12), of Hatfield Hertfordshire, UK, with all the titles on the line. He will meet Martin Murray, 36-4-1 (17), on June 23rd in the UK, whose only stoppage loss was to Golovkin in June of 2015 in Monte Carlo in the 11th round.

If Charlo and Davis get “WHAT THEY ASKED FOR” I’m sure it will not before 2019.

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Boxing Insider Interview with Bob Arum on Pacquiao, Lomachenko, ESPN, Haymon, and more…


By: Bryant Romero

Boxing Insider was able to catch up and talk boxing with the “Bobfather” Bob Arum CEO of Top Rank to discuss numerous topics surrounding the boxing world. In this sit down interview, Arum gives his thoughts on the disappointing Heavyweight unification bout between Joshua vs Parker, Pacquiao’s contract status with Top Rank, how he plans to do business with Al Haymon fighters, he also gives more details about the new ESPN plus app and so much more.


Photo Credit: Bob Arum Twitter Account

BR: I wanted to get your thoughts on the heavyweight unification matchup between Joshua and Parker were you surprised it wasn’t as explosive?

Bob Arum: “Well yea, I thought it would be a lot more explosive the fight. They both fought an extremely cautious fight and when that happens, the bigger guy has an advantage. Particularly a guy who is getting his jabs in like Joshua was more frequently than Parker. The downside it wasn’t a very exciting fight.”

BR: When it comes to Joshua’s performance, did that change your opinion of what will happen between a potential Joshua/Wilder fight?

BA: “No it has nothing to do with it. That’s sorta silly, I think Joshua is the better schooled fighter than Wilder. Wilder has a lot of flaws as a boxer, on other hand in the heavyweight division Wilder has more one punch power than any of the other heavyweights. So that makes it an intriguing match, but Joshua is a much better boxer than Wilder.”

BR: I wanted to talk about Manny Pacquiao’s next fight Bob, it’s been finalized for July 14th in Malaysia. What was the difference between this fight getting finalized? In the past Pacquiao tried to make fights outside of the United States.

BA: “Well, I guess the people that Pacquiao was dealing with and he dealt with them directly, put up the money and previously the people talked the money but never put it up. It’s as simple as that.”

BR: So they were able to show the money?

BA: “Yea apparently, they put up some initial deposits, which convinced everybody and because of the size of the deposits, that they were sincere and that the fight would go through.”

BR: Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s advisor he made some statements to the press recently that he didn’t want to comment on Pacquiao’s status with Top Rank. Would you be able to provide some comments on Pacquiao’s status with Top Rank?

BA: “Well we have a very very good relationship with Manny. We can talk contracts from today till tomorrow but that seems like its controversial. There isn’t (controversy) for example in this fight. We’re not putting up the money, Manny got the money himself from Malaysia. Our role is to distribute the television, particularly in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and we’re happy with that.

“If Manny was looking to break his contract with us, he would’ve broken it by not having us being involved I assume. And now he’s talking if he wins this fight, fighting Lomachenko who is our fighter and we will be happy to promote a Pacquiao/Lomachenko fight if that occured because that would be huge.”

BR: If Pacquiao defeats Matthysse Bob,would a Pacquiao/Lomachenko fight take place in the United States?

BA: “That’s up to Manny. Obviously for me having it in the United States is preferable because that’s where the PPV market is and that’s where were most comfortable. But there is a substantial tax that a foreigner has to pay in the U.S. withholding and Manny may not be amenable to doing that in which case he’ll look to hold the fight outside the country. If we or he find people who put up the money for the site.”

BR: Bob you’re going to be traveling to Japan tomorrow to watch your fighter Murata. If he wins is there any real possibility of him fighting GGG at the Tokyo Dome this year?

BA: “I don’t know. The plan is if he wins to bring him this summer to Las Vegas to defend his title in Las Vegas and then we can certainly have that discussion with Loeffler and Golovkin. Right now is very difficult to discuss anything with them because the question is will there be a September fight between Golovkin and Canelo? And that’s something they can’t answer and we can’t answer until Nevada holds the hearing.”

BR: In your opinion does that fight (Canelo/GGG 2) get rescheduled?

BA: “I have no idea, I have no idea what the commision is going to do. They have a provision that the penalty is a minimum of 1 year, but they could cut it in half on various circumstances. If it’s a year, obviously the fight can’t happen, if they agree to cut it in half so it’s 6 months the fight can happen. Again I don’t know what the commision is going to do and even if the commission finds that the suspension is over in 6 months, maybe Golovkin doesn’t want anything to do with Alvarez.”

BR: Bob I wanted to get your comments about this. You recently revealed to the press not too long ago that Al Haymon fighters are practically free agents and promoters can approach them. Where are you in that situation? Are you close to signing any high-profile Haymon Fighters?

BA: “Your talking signing, we’re talking about using them on a fight by fight basis. Maybe we will sign them. We have an obligation to ESPN to put the best fights on the network and now on the ESPN Plus and to make the best fights. We have to go to other promoters to get their talent and place them with guys under contract with us. Certainly we will use Al’s fighters just the way we use Oscar’s fighters.

“We made Lomachenko/Linares and it was a provision of service agreement with Golden Boy for Linares. But we don’t have any contractual rights to Linares going forward and that’s fine. In other words, because if a fighter is fighting for Haymon, doesn’t mean if he makes a deal with us to fight one of our fighters or somebody else on our ESPN broadcast that they have to sign with us for the rest of their lives or even an additional fight.”

BR: Let’s talk a little bit about Horn/Crawford it has been rescheduled. I’m really looking forward to this fight Bob what do your matchmakers tell you about this fight? Do they tell you that Horn can beat Crawford?

BA: “No, they think that Crawford is probably either the best or one of the two best fighters in the world, even though he’s going up in weight. They’re anxious to see how he’s going to do against a much bigger guy because Horn is really a super-welterweight. He’s a big big welterweight and that’ll be interesting and he’s gutty rough guy. But as far as my Top Rank matchmakers are concerned, everybody at Top Rank, our position, our belief is that Crawford is unbeatable.”

BR: Could you give me some of your thoughts about Horn’s team comments? They don’t believe Crawford suffered an injury and they’re frustrated that the date couldn’t be changed.

BA: “Fighters who are training or are getting ready to train, when a fight is postponed because of an injury to the other guy, always feel that they’re being taken advantage of and say ‘I’m feeling great, I’m in good shape why is not this fight not happening?’ And they then take that and accuse the opponent of shaming an injury. Well I’ll tell you that it’s absolutely ridiculous, at least in Crawford’s case. We know exactly when it happened, that he was sparring and how it happened.

“At first I sent him to our orthopedic guy in Los Angeles and then he went out to Omaha to be treated by his orthopedic doctor and we know that in fact there was an injury. I give Crawford credit saying look ‘I’m not going to fight anybody with an injury to my hand. Not fair to me, and not fair to the public and I need some more time and then the hand will come around which it did. And that’s why the fight was postponed it’s as simple as that. I mean they (Horn’s team) can speculate all they want. I know what the facts are.”

BR: Lets talk a little bit about Lomachenko/Linares, how are tickets going for that event?

BA: “They’re sensational we’re opening up this weekend the balcony in Madison Square Garden and we’re looking to fill the place with at least over 15,000 people there. Tickets are going unbelievable and our gate will be well in excess of $2 million and it might exceed $2.5 million.”

BR: Can Lomachenko NoMasChenko Linares?

BA: “That remains to be seen. Linares I’ve always watched him because Mr. Honda my friend from Japan of Teiken Promotions has been the guy to develop Linares and co-promoted him with Golden Boy. So I’ve known Linares for years and I’ve always admired his ability, he’s a terrific fighter, he’s very experienced, and he’s much bigger than Loma, so it will be a real test.

“That being said, I also don’t believe there is anybody on the face of the earth 135 pounds or less that can beat Lomachenko. So we will see.”

BR: What’s next for Jose Ramirez?

BA: “Jose Ramirez is going to fight in July. The guy Prograis has the right to fight him in July. Both fighters may opt to take interim fights before they move on. That’s being discussed now and we’ll see how that comes out. If Prograis’s people say no they want to go right to the title fight, we’re happy to do that, so that’ll become clear sometime next week.”

BR: I wanted to talk a little bit about your light heavyweight Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk he’s in line to fight Stevenson Vs Jack winner what’s the better matchup for the nail?

BA: “Well I think Stevenson is the better matchup, Badou Jack is a slick guy, he’s come up to light heavyweight. He doesn’t hit nearly as hard as Stevenson, but he’s much more maneuverable and I think he creates bigger problems for Gvozdyk than Stevenson. I think Stevenson now particularly at his age is more stationary and Gvozdyk takes a terrific punch and I look for him to win that fight quite handily. Badou Jack is a tougher fight but I also like my guy.”

BR: Who wins Stevenson vs Jack?

BA: “The one thing I don’t know, you don’t know, and none of us know is what happens when Stevenson hits Badou Jack on the chin? Can he take what is a powerful punch, much more powerful than any punch he’s (Jack) probably taken with anybody else, so we’ll have to see. It’s a good fight, it’s an interesting fight, it’s very competitive.”

BR: Can you talk a little bit about the ESPN Plus app it’s about to drop on April 12th how did this come about?

BA: “Well ESPN and Disney believe that the future of delivering product whether it’s entertainment on Disney’s part or sports from ESPN that the future is direct to consumer. And they’ve been working on this package for a number of years, they’ve invested billions of dollars in the technical aspects of it. So we are very fortunate to have been selected to supply the boxing for this package which I think really represents the future.”

BR: With this new app in place will fights still be aired, televised on the regular ESPN channel?

BA: “The way it’s setup is approximately half will go on linear (ESPN) as we call it and the other half will go on ESPN Plus.”

BR: Is there anything else you like to add Bob?

BA: “It’s very exciting times and I would say as that press release said if a fight airs on regular ESPN, it will be shown on the delay basis every fight on ESPN Plus. If you don’t catch it live on ESPN and you have your subscription to ESPN plus, you will be able to watch the fight on a delay basis.”

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Lomachenko-Linares Set For May 12th In New York


In what Top Rank Promotions is calling “a battle of two of the world’s pound-for-pound best,” Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1) will move up to attempt to gain a title in his third weight division by facing WBA lightweight champ Jorge Linares (44-3). The bout, which will go down at New York’s Madison Square Garden, will be aired live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes on May12th. The card will also be aired live via the ESPN app.

The official announcement of Lomachenko-Linares represents a cross promotional success story. “This demonstrates that promoters and networks, when they work together for the good of everyone, can accomplish so very much,” says promoter Bob Arum. Linares is part of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy stable. Lomachenko, on the other hand, is represented by Arum’s Top Rank Promotions.

“Jorge has established himself as the world’s best lightweight by taking on any and all comers over his storied career,” De La Hoya claims, “but a win on May 12 would put him on an entirely different level.” Lomachenko was an iconic Olympian who some feel is already the pound for pound best professional boxer in the world.

“We fully understand that Lomachenko is universally seen as the best fighter on the planet,” De La Hoya concedes, “but he’s never faced anyone with the size and skill of Jorge, and I am confident that he will retain his WBA and Ring Magazine world championships. As this fight makes clear, I’m 100 percent committed to giving fans the fights they want to see and will work with anyone to accomplish that goal.”

Linares himself appears quite confident heading into the matchup. “Not only will I demonstrate why I’m the best lightweight in the world,” he claims, “but also that I’m one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I have the speed, skill and power to win this battle. This May 12, Vasiliy Lomachenko will bow down to ‘King’ Jorge.”

Such a feat may be a tall order. Lomachenko now has a history for himself of making top level opponents quit on their stools, an unlikely feat which has earned him the nickname “No Mas-Chenko,” a nod to the famous 1980 Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran rematch, a bout which saw Duran inexplicably quit in the 8th round.

“We are very excited about the fight,” says Lomachenko. “It should be a great one. Fans from around the world have been waiting for Jorge and me to fight.” The 30 year old also claims he’s happy about the fight’s location. “I am looking forward to May 12 in New York to make my debut in the big arena at Madison Square Garden,” he claims.

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Lomachenko To Face Linares On May 12th In New York


By: Sean Crose

It wasn’t an easy fight to make, but Vasyl Lomachenko will be facing Jorge Linares for Linares’ WBA world lightweight title this coming spring. The 10-1 Lomachenko, considered by some to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world, is currently the WBO world super featherweight titlist. He’ll be moving up a division to battle the 44-3 Linares, who has held his own title since he bested Anthony Crolla in 2016. Should he win Linares’ belt, Lomachenko will have earned titles in three divisions in a career that spans only a dozen fights. The match will go down May 12th at Madison Square Garden in New York.

What makes this pairing unique, aside from the fact that it involves two strong talents, is that it brings together two powerhouse promotional entities in an era where political warfare rages throughout the sport of boxing. The fact that Linares is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions while Lomachenko is promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions means that both men are in (sometimes) opposing camps. To further complicate matters, De La Hoya and Arum have a relationship that has its own history of ups and downs.

In short, this bout was never a guaranteed thing. And, in fact, it looked for a while as if the match might not be happening at all, as negotiations appeared to have hit rough seas. Things seem to have been finally worked out, though, when ESPN, which showcases Top Rank fights, agreed to push back it’s slated broadcast for the evening of May 12th so that Lomachenko-Linares wouldn’t compete with HBOs replay of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin II broadcast later that same evening (Canelo-Golovkin II will be aired live on pay per view on May 5th and is – at least in part – a Golden Boy Promotion). Another possible factor in the deal being made was that Linares was reportedly offered a huge some of money (the exact amount was not available at the time this article was being penned) to face the feared Ukrainian Lomachenko.

With the pieces now being in place and the names now officially being signed on the contracts, the fight world can focus on what will surely be a fascinating bout. To say Lomachenko has been dominant in recent performances would be an understatement, as his past several opponents have literally quit on their stools. However, Linares is a skillful vet who hasn’t lost a bout since 2012. What’s more, he’s won his last 13 fights. To make things even more intriguing, there’s no guarantee the impressive Lomachenko will remain as forceful in the ring as he has been, since he’s now going to be moving up in weight yet again. The lightweight division is particularly hot right now, with names like Mikey Garcia (who fought and won last Saturday) and Robert Easter dotting the landscape. And news of Lomachenko-Linares stands to make matters all the more intriguing in the near future.

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Lomachenko Camp Quick to Dismiss Talk of Pacquiao Bout


By Eric Lunger

​After a quick media dust-up yesterday, caused by Manny Pacquiao’s comments to a local Filipino news outlet, in which the current Senator and future hall-of-famer speculated on a possible fight with Ukrainian powerhouse Vasyl Lomachenko, the 130-pound champion’s camp made it clear that they are not interested in such a bout.

​Egis Klemis, who manages the career of the Ukrainian two-time Olympic gold medalist, made clear his position via Twitter:

​“Manny is Legendary and very respectful fighter, but he is non-active and he is done and Loma won’t take advantage of it just beating a legend to get him [sic] name. We have better route fighting active champions in our weight class.”

​The final comment is the most perspicacious – as we noted on this website yesterday, finding a weight class that made sense for the bout appeared to be the biggest obstacle. Klimas told ESPN’s Dan Rafael that the three weight-class difference made any talk of a fight “insane,” and that there was no upside to beating an older man at a weight that he shouldn’t try to make.

​I think many fans, upon sober reflection, would agree that Manny Pacquiao, a legend in the sport and one of the all-time greats, should not end his career with some pathetic beat-down or money grab. The loss to Horn was an honorable finish: a warrior giving his best but coming up short. For the Pacman, it’s time to stay retired.

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Pacquiao Angling for a Chance to Fight Lomachenko in April


By: Eric Lunger

Manny Pacquiao, the former eight-division world champion and current Filipino Senator, is looking for a comeback bout against current 130-pound kingpin Vasyl Lomachenko, according to reports by ABS-CBN news, a media outlet in Quezon City, Philippines.

Pacquiao, 39, dropped a 12-round decision to Jeff Horn in July of last year, and many observers thought that loss would mark the end of his incredible, hall-of-fame career. “I’m not retired yet,” the indefatigable Pacman said on a Filipino talk show.


Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account

Lomachenko, the former two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, has ten professional wins and one loss (a split decision to Orlando Salido early in Loma’s pro career). More relevant than his record is the fact that he made his last four opponents quit on their stools: Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, and Nicholas Walters. Many folks in the boxing world have the Ukrainian phenom at or near the top of their pound-for-pound rankings.

Bob Arum, long-time Pacman promoter who has also added Lomachenko to the TopRank stable, wants to feature Pac vs Loma on April 21, on the same card as the welterweight clash between Jeff Horn and Terence “Bud” Crawford, again according to ABS-CBN reports.

Pacquiao told ABS-CBN that an April date would allow sufficient time for a full training camp, and would mesh with his duties as a Senator, as the Filipino Congress will be in recess during the month of April. Arum is working on hosting the bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but may face scheduling conflicts with the NHL’s Golden Knights, who are on track to qualify for the playoffs, according to reports in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Another option, according to Arum, would be April 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The fight certainly makes sense financially, but, at age 39, does the Pacman want to test himself against Lomachenko’s formidable speed and ethereal skill? And what weight class makes sense for this bout? Is Lomachenko going to want to go anywhere north of 135? There are other unanswered questions, but boxing fans around the world will want to see the old lion Pacquiao roar once more.

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Five Fighters to Watch in 2018


By: Eric Lunger

As the final wrapping paper gets cleaned up from under the tree, and as we collectively vow – in varying degrees of enthusiasm and conviction — to get back to sensible eating and exercise, it’s time to take a glance ahead at the upcoming year in boxing, and count down the top five fighters to keep an eye on. This is a pretty eclectic list, and no doubt you have your own picks; I’d love to read which boxers you are watching for 2018 in the comments below.


Photo Credit: WBSS

Joseph Parker (Heavyweight). The Kiwi WBO champion had a great 2017, defending his newly-won belt twice. In May, he took care of business against Razvan Cojanu, a late-minute replacement in a not-so spectacular bout, but in September, Parker traveled to Manchester, UK, to take on the talented contender Hughie Fury. Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) answered a lot of questions that night, and won over some critics. Still, there are some commentators who feel that Parker is the odd man out in the top tier of the division, that he doesn’t really belong in the same rarified air as Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury. But with his power, his hand speed, and most importantly, his meteoric learning curve each and every outing, Parker can be a real spoiler in the division. Will he get a shot at AJ in 2018? That is tough to envision, given Team Joshua’s current aversion to risk, but as the WBO Champion, unification of the belts has to go through Parker at some point.

Oleksandr Usyk (Cruiserweight). Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) fought on the same Olympic team as Vasyl Lomachenko, training with Lomachenko’s father, and it shows in Usyk’s footwork and use of angles. Already WBO world champion, the Ukrainian southpaw is in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight tournament, slated to take on undefeated WBC champion Mairis Breidis in Riga, Latvia, on January 27. Supremely confident, Usyk is one of those few European amateurs who understands that the professional game is about more than just scoring points; a fighter needs to be exciting to watch if he wants to build his fan base. With knockout artist Murat Gassiev and Yunier Dorticos in the other semi-final in February, the WBSS tournament is exciting and dynamic, and Usyk has to be the favorite to unify all the belts and lift the Muhammad Ali Trophy.

Javier Fortuna (Lightweight) A southpaw from the Dominican Republic and former WBA World champion at junior lightweight, Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KOs) has an important title shot this coming January against undefeated IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter, Jr. Fortuna is an underdog in this fight, to be sure, but the matchup will be competitive and entertaining. The Dominican standout is a risk-taker, and he can get caught. But he is also brilliant to watch, especially when he makes intuitive adjustments in the ring or decides to ramp up the performance aspect of his game. This will be no easy tune-up for Easter, and Fortuna should not be overlooked as a potential upset of the year.

Danny Garcia (Welterweight). Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) has always been one of my favorite fighters. A guy with deep Philly roots, he’s had tough battles with the likes of Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi, and Keith Thurman. Danny is an accurate counterpuncher whose risky style is based on one of the most dominant left hooks in the game. The split decision loss to Thurman last March had to be a bitter pill for the proud Garcia to swallow. How does a fighter who has accomplished so much in the sport find the motivation to rebound from a loss like that? We will find out where Garcia is mentally and physically this February 17 as he takes on Brandon Rios (34-3, 25 KOs) in a twelve-round welterweight clash.

Vasyl Lomachenko (Junior Lightweight). Obviously, the slick Ukrainian southpaw is on top of the boxing world right now, and is a factor in everyone’s pound-for-pound discussion, but the real unknown for Lomachenko in 2018 is: whom should he fight next? Who will give him a challenge? Who will draw a big audience? Miguel Berchelt (32-1 28 KOs), who holds the WBC belt, seems like the logical next opponent for “HiTech,” but a case can certainly be made for Francisco Vargas (24-1-2, 17 KOs) or even Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs). There has also been significant social media chatter about Lomachenko moving up to 135 to fight Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), and what a fight that would be. Unfortunately, for now, Garcia has moved to junior welterweight to face Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) for the IBF title. Regardless, Lomachenko remains a fighter to watch in 2018.

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Is Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko 2017 Fighter of the Year?


By: Ken Hissner

The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ukranian Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 10-1, living in Oxnard, CA, moved up from holding the WBO Featherweight title to defeating WBO World Super featherweight Roman Martinez in June of 2016, and defeating in his first defense the former WBA Super World featherweight champion Jamaican Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters, 26-0-1 by stoppage in 7 rounds.

In Lomchenko’s second defense in 2017 in April defeated WBA World Super featherweight champion (his title not at stake) Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 20-1-4, of Camden, NJ, stopping him in the 9th round at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, MD, stopping Sosa’s 17 fight winning streak.

In Lomachenko’s third defense in August he stopped Colombian Miguel Marriaga, 25-2, in the 7th round, at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, CA.

In December Lomachenko in his fourth defense stopped the former two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, WBO World Super bantamweight and WBA Super World bantamweight champion Cuban Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux, 17-0, in the 6th round.

Lomachenko was 396-1 in the amateurs while Rigondeaux was 463-12. This was a major event having a pair of two-time Olympic Gold Medalists meeting one another.

Lomachenko is now considering seeking moving up the lightweight to gain his third division world title. Egis Klimas is his manager who also has WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, of Russia, living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, among many other boxers and promoted by Top Rank.

Another considered for “Fighter of the Year” was Anthony “A.J.” Joshua, 20-0, in April, defending his WBA Super world heavyweight title stopping former Super World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, 64-4, and stopping Carlos Takam, 35-3-1, in a not too impressive defense.

Also considered was IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 37-0-1, of KAZ, living in L.A. who in March defeated former WBA World Middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 32-1, at Madison Square Garden, in NY and in September getting robbed being held to a split decision draw by former WBO World Super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-1, at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, NV.

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What is next for Vasyl Lomachenko?


By: Waquas Ali

One of boxing’s greatest talents in the modern era, Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1) has been acclaimed for his boxing skills and achievements ever since he turned pro.

From being a two-time Olympic gold medallist to winning his first world title in only in his third professional bout and to beating one of also boxing’s best and also a two-time Olympic champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.

Rigondeaux (17-1) is Lomachenko’s fourth consecutive opponent to quit on his stool and was his first loss since his amateur days.

After outboxing the Cuban in six rounds, the question now arises for Lomachenko is what next for him and what compatibility do the next fighter hold against him?

According to a survey poll conducted by Lomachenko on Twitter, he asked his followers with the options given on who he should fight next.

Out of 32,000 plus voters, 44% of them picked Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) and 39% picked Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs).

Those two in particular are without a doubt one of the best fighters in their respected weight classes. However, Davis himself fights at the super-featherweight division which is the exact same division that Lomachenko fights.

Back in February of this year, Davis was asked the question about fighting the Ukrainian by IFL TV and he stated that at the time it wasn’t the right move but “in the future, yes.”

Ten months later, the former IBF super-featherweight champion is now being talked about with Lomachenko and over 12,000 voters of Lomachenko’s followers want to see them fight.

In terms of styles and techniques, Davis also known as Tank has huge extensive and loads up wild combinations that dazzle his opponents. His most notable punch is the left to the head whilst countering on the inside.

Davis is also more of an accurate puncher and then starts to increase his activity level when he has his opponent in trouble, Lomachenko on the other hand tends to unload with great and consistent jabbing to the head and body.

Davis’ footwork isn’t quite unique as a Lomachenko’s is and doesn’t utilise any threat along with the stance of being southpaw – considering the fact that Lomachenko is also a southpaw.

Davis (5 feet 5 inches tall with a 67 inch reach) has a two inch reach advantage whilst Lomachenko (five feet 7 inches tall with a 65inch reach) has a two inch height advantage.

The second person as mentioned in the poll is three-weight world champion Mikey Garcia.

The 30-year-old has a variety of factors that back his resume up. He has a good leading jab that even leads to countering effectively and has caused a couple of opponents to be dropped with the jab. Garcia’s power also comes in great strength and he’s able to use his power punches really well.

According to CompuBox statistics review, Garcia was shown to have landed an average connect percentage of 43% of his power punches.

Both fighters however are in the top three as being hit with the least amount of punches in terms of connect percentage.

Garcia’s average opponent connect percentage stands at just 17% and Lomachenko’s opponent average is 16%, who is number one the list.

All these factors and stats could come in to place, should these fighters meet but they are just some of things to point out of these fighters.

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The Rigondeaux Blues: Reflections on a Lonely Sport


by B.A. Cass

I woke up on Sunday feeling the weight of Rigondeaux’s loss in a way I hadn’t anticipated, a feeling that stuck with me all day.

Although I was rooting for him, I had prepared myself for the possibility that Rigondeaux would lose. After all, I told myself, he’s moving up two weight classes, he’s a good deal older than Lomachenko, and he has been fairly inactive over the past few years. It was quite plausible that he would be overwhelmed by his opponent. I was prepared for a stoppage by the referee or even a KO.

Of course, I also envisioned Rigondeaux winning. He is perhaps the most patient boxer of his generation, perhaps of all time, and patience combined with elite skill can be a very unsettling thing for any opponent, even someone as remarkably talented as Lomachenko. It wasn’t hard to imagine Rigondeaux making Lomachenko’s ring theatrics look like the diversionary tactics of a glorified amateur without much punching power.

I had prepared myself for all scenarios, except for the one that occurred.

What occurred to me, though, as I struggled through the morass that became my Sunday is that there are important differences between team sports and sports like boxing. Basketball, football, and soccer—fans of these sports may place their hopes on one player, but ultimately, they’re rooting for a whole team. But with boxing, or for that matter with sports like tennis and golf, fans are not rooting for a group of people to win. It is stating the obvious to say that in boxing, fans are rooting for one person, but the point can’t be emphasized enough.

Fans of most sports come together in large stadiums or in crowded bars to watch their respective competitive events. Boxing fans are no exception: 90,000 fans were at Wembley Stadium to see Anthony Joshua defeat Wladimir Klitschko; 12,000 fans attended Madison Square Garden to see Sadam Ali score an unexpected victory over Miguel Cotto; and 5,000 people attended the Theater at MSG this weekend to see the dull, uneventful fight between Lomachenko and Rigondeaux.

Yet even though boxing fans pack stadiums and event halls, boxing remains an intensely individual sport. As spectators, we become so attached to a fighter that even if others are rooting for the same individual, we do not see ourselves as part of a group of fans. We are individuals rooting individually for a single man or woman to win. And if that person loses, we must face that defeat in a very lonely way.

There’s also a distinction that needs to be drawn between sports like golf and tennis and the sport of boxing. Golf and tennis are invented games. The former involves people swinging metal clubs at a little ball that they’re trying to put into a hole in the earth. The latter involves using a weaved apparatus to hit a fuzzy medium-sized ball over a net and at such an angle and with so much speed that the opponent cannot slam it back over the net.

Boxing is not so much an invented game as it is brutality harnessed. Boxing makes sport of humanity’s inclination for violence, an inclination which has been around since our species has walked this planet. That is why many people understandably find the sport too horrific to watch.

At Wimbledon this past year, the Croatian tennis player Marin Cilic was brought to tears by a blister. I’m sure he was in pain. But the fact that he had to call a timeout so that he could cry into his shirt underscored for me how little pain most athletes are used to putting up with. More than any other sport, boxing tests one’s ability to endure insurmountable pain. Football players sustain long-term injuries, but even football cannot compete with the intensity and brutality that is required of fighters who battle each other at close range. It is one thing to get tackled; it’s another thing to exchange blows and get rocked with punches for twelve rounds, or for any number of rounds for that matter. It is for this reason that we do not use the word “game” when referring to a boxing match. We call them “fights.” There’s too much at stake to consider boxing a form of play.

Boxing touches on something far more basic and integral to human experience than any other sport—we watch boxing to see fighters, particularly in loss, survive. Orlando Salido, who incidentally is the only man to have beat Lomachenko in a professional bout, retired this weekend after being dominated by Miguel Roman for the better part of nine rounds. Salido lost, but we saw in him the will to continue. If the referee hadn’t stopped the fight, he would have no doubt kept going, kept fighting. Yes, he lost, but he also survived—and with our respect for him intact. Cotto lost too, but he fought to the end with an injured bicep.

With Rigondeaux it was different. He just gave up, apparently because of a hand injury. It might seem the smart move for a man to give up when injured, but in the sport of boxing giving up in such a manner approaches nihilism. After all, boxing is a sport not simply replete with injury, but a sport that practically requires injury. Certainly, Rigondeaux had fought while injured before—and if he hadn’t, as remarkable as that may seem to us, he must have known he would one day get injured during a fight.

Why did Rigondeaux choose not to get off his stool after the sixth round in the biggest fight of his life? He’s been through so much in his life—surely this was not his toughest moment.

After a failed attempt to defect from communist Cuba, Rigondeaux finally made it to the US where he had a promising, potentially lucrative professional boxing career to look forward to. That didn’t quite materialize. His first promoter, Bob Arum, seemed to work against him at times and they eventually parted ways. Since then, Rigondeaux has failed to elicit much public support, and he had resort to selling his two Olympic medals to feed his family. Perhaps Rigondeaux has had his hopes stalled and halted so many times that he has ceased to care much about anything anymore, even his own career.

And so, it wasn’t Rigondeaux’s loss that especially affected me—it was seeing him give up for no good reason, it was realizing that the man sitting on the stool had lost interest in the very thing that he had worked so hard to achieve.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch

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