Vasiliy Lomachenko Believes Oleksandr Usyk Will School Deontay Wilder
By: Hans Themistode
Former undisputed Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) made a successful debut at the Heavyweight division just a few short days ago.
A jam packed crowd at the Wintrust Arena, in Chicago witnessed Usyk dismantle his late replacement foe, Chazz Witherspoon. It wasn’t surprising to see Usyk win the bout, but it was alarming to see how long it took him to get the job done.
Many weren’t expecting Witherspoon to spend nearly as much time in the ring with the Gold Medal winning Usyk. Questions surrounding his power have surfaced, and for good reason. Usyk has never been known as a power puncher. Instead, many have been in awe of his boxing ability.
With the victory, Usyk holds firm to his mandatory position in the WBO sanctioning body. He now will await the winner between current unified champion Andy Ruiz Jr and former belt holder Anthony Joshua, as their rematch will take place in Saudi Arabia in early December.
While Usyk has already made it clear that he intends on fighting for a world championship in 2020, he does have his eyes on facing another belt holder in the division, WBC champion Deontay Wilder. In an interview previously taken, Usyk mentioned that of all the current Heavyweight belt holders that Lineal champion Tyson Fury would prove to be the most difficult challenge. Wilder on the other hand, would be the easiest.
The undefeated knockout artist heard the remarks made by Usyk but was unfazed by them.
“Oleksandr Usyk isn’t a threat to me. He’s too small for me,” said Wilder. “I mean, he does a lot of movement, and stuff like that, but that don’t faze me.”
A showdown between the two Heavyweight stars is sure to be one that would interest plenty of fans. The opinions surrounding who exactly would win that aforementioned contest is up in the air.
No matter who would win such a contest, it would surely be a back and forth close contest wouldn’t it? Maybe to fans on the outside looking in, but not to the unified Lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. He fully expects his countrymen and good friend Usyk to fully dominate that future matchup.
“He will school Deontay Wilder,” said Lomachenko.
Lomachenko did not mince words. Schooling Wilder seems a bit farfetched. He has yet to taste defeat in his 42 career contest and he hasn’t met a man that he wasn’t able to put down on the canvas. Usyk possesses a high pedigree in terms of his boxing ability, but his lack of power in his new division could be an issue. Wilder has proven, especially in his contest against both Fury and Luis Ortiz, that it doesn’t matter if his opponent is outboxing him for the majority of the contest. He can turn things around with a single punch.
With Usyk and Wilder now campaigning in the same division, the possibility of them sharing the ring to end the debate seems likely.
Devin Haney Becomes Lightweight Champion, Challenges Lomachenko, Serrano Defeats Hardy
By: Robert Aaron Contreras
Devin Haney’s leaping hooks slammed into Zaul Abdullaev with such regularity—landing in such a gruesome thudding manner—it was only a matter of time before the victim’s body gave way. And it did, in the form of Abdullaev’s mangled nose and broken cheekbone, ahead of the fifth round when the doctor pulled him from the fight.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The stoppage gave the 20-year-old Haney the victory and the interim WBC championship in the main event of DAZN’s broadcast from the Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City.
“I wasn’t nearly done beating him—I was just warming up,” Haney said after the fight, victoriously. Before being asked by DAZN correspondent Chris Mannix about the prospects of matching up with one Vasyl Lomachenko.
“I think you said his name wrong,” Haney responded. “It’s ‘No-Machenko’, cause he doesn’t want to fight me… If I’m so easy, he should fight me and get out of the way.”
Haney (23-0, 15 KO) pulled out all the stops in the first round. Showing off an explosive repertoire, closing immense amounts of distance with stepping and leaping jabs. Despite moving forward, Abdullaev (11-1, 7 KO) was quickly on the receiving end of punishment when Haney zipped in and out with bolting jabs and complimented them with murderous lead hooks.
In Round 3, the center of the ring was still Abdullaev’s. If only because Haney in split seconds could go from circling his man to reappearing in Abdullaev’s vicinity with popping jabs, before quickly rolling out of the way of returning fire.
When the Russian did stray to close—crowding Haney—the American had short, piercing right hands for him.
The third and fourth rounds were made up of more eye-catching left hooks from Haney: consecutively ricocheting off of Abdullaev’s ribcage and face. Somehow Abdullaev continued moving forward but his combinations were far too basic to keep Haney honest.
Between rounds, the ringside physician, having paid special attention to the Russian’s nose, didn’t need long to conclude that the fight couldn’t continue. Abdullaev quickly followed the doctor out of the ring, long gone by the time the result became official.
A champion now, of sorts, Haney’s interim belt really represents a ticket to a showdown with Lomachenko, the star child of boxing intelligentsia and currently the lightweight ruler.
Still not old enough to drink, upending a talent like Lomachenko at Haney’s age would be unprecedented in today’s day and age. But it should be mentioned so too is his eagerness to take that very risk.
Amanda Serrano (37-1-1, 27 KO) def. Heather Hardy (22-0, 4 KO)
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Having won more world titles in more weight classes than any female boxer in history, Serrano is used to lifting championship gold and looked every bit as comfortable outclassing her Brooklyn rival, Hardy en route to a unanimous decision, to claim the WBC featherweight crown.
Judge Julie Lederman had it 98-92, and judges Waleska Roldan and Robin Taylor both had it 98-91 for Serrano.
Serrano was never in danger of snapping her win steak, now sitting nicely at 22 consecutive victories. In that seven-year stretch, she padded her oeuvre with an incredible seven divisional championships. Specifically, the featherweight belt she picked up from Hardy now makes her a two-time champ in the class.
“Heather is as tough as they come,” Serrano said in the ring following her dominant performance. “She came to fight—but I was just the better girl tonight. There’s levels to boxing and she’s just not at my level tonight.”
Friday night, Serrano’s southpaw stance took the center of the ring from the onset. The multi-divisional champion sliced apart Hardy’s guard in the first frame. Hardy was pinned the ropes for the entire two minutes.
Serrano’s hands never stopped moving: two or three shots upstairs, changing levels downstairs, and returning to target Hardy’s chin with interchanging crosses.
Hardy, biting on her gumshield, offered back winging hooks. But they were too wild to keep Serrano off her for even a second.
If not for a low blow and referee Mike Ortega jumping in with seconds on the clock, a TKO seemed imminent. Nonetheless the period ended with Hardy on the ropes—her face pink, the commentary team sure the night would be over soon.
That seemed spot on with Hardy back along the ropes for Round 2. Her punches had little steam on them. But she began to rely on her feet to survive the remaining stages, dancing along the canvas in the third period.
A steady flow of offense continued from Serrano. Fencing with each other in the fourth round, Hardy offered up a lead hook but was either met with a left cross or a returning hook from Serrano after the legendary champion avoided Hardy’s initial blow.
Hardy’s exhaustion settled in, her elbows were visibly loose, as were her flailing punches. In sharp contrast with Serrano, her elbows tight, weaving, dodging punches with ease.
Serrano paced herself in Round 5—really taking the inning off. As so, Hardy took the round with her activity and even outlanded Serrano in the sixth period too.
Hardy had some life again to open the seventh stanza. But Serrano got back to pressuring her opponent along the ropes: mixing up levels, throwing overhand lefts consecutively to the belly and then the chin.
Hardy withstood further abuse in the final three rounds with Serrano still sawing rights and left across her chin, drawing blood from Hardy’s face.
Unsurprisingly, Serrano landed at a higher rate and with more precision, connecting on 222 of 578 total punches (38 percent) while Hardy landed 131 of 498 total punches (26 percent).
Seemingly out of challenges at the weight, attention in the post-fight interview turned to standout titlist Katie Taylor.
“I say let’s go,” Serrano said with a bright smile. “No matter where it’s at or what weight, I’m going to win.”
What’s Next for Vasily Lomachenko?
By: Hans Themistode
Things may have started off competitive but as is often the case for Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), he only got better as the contest went on against Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) at the O2 arena in the United Kingdom. It’s no secret that Lomachenko wants to add the IBF title to his WBA, WBO and now WBC collection. Lomachenko does have options. He can wait for a unification bout or he can take a busy but dangerous stay busy bout in between.
Richard Commey vs Teofimo Lopez Winner
The one belt that Lomachenko has not picked up just yet is currently being held by Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs). A matchup between the two will have to wait as Commey must defend his belt against the supremely talented Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs) in December at Madison Square Garden. Lomachenko is sure to keep a close eye on that matchup. Whoever wins is anyones guess but according to Bob Arum, the winner will be next in line to take on Lomachenko.
Robert Easter Jr
The best and most compelling matchup for Lomachenko is the winner between Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez. The one issue with that notion however is that it is roughly four months away.
Lomachenko could opt to bide his time on the sidelines while awaiting the winner, or with roughly one third of the year still remaining, he could theoretically speaking, sneak in one more contest before the year ends.
In steps Robert Easter Jr (21-1-1, 14 KOs), a former belt holder in the Lightweight division. He, just like many others have called out Lomachenko on several occasions. On paper, this contest would not appear to be competitive but with Easter possessing so many physical advantages over his man, it could prove too at the very least be an intriguing contest.
Luck hasn’t exactly been on the side of former Super Featherweight champion Javier Fortuna (34-2-1, 23 KOs). He was comfortably winning his 2016 matchup against Jason Sosa before getting brutally stopped in the 11th and relinquishing his title. Soon after, he earned another title shot, this time at Lightweight against then champion Robert Easter jr. Fortuna was seemingly regnant throughout but due to inferior judging, Fortuna was given an unjust wide decision loss.
His next bout against Adrian Granados saw Fortuna settle for a no contest as he was accidentally knocked out of the ring and could not continue the match. As previously mentioned, luck has just not recently been on his side.
With that being said, he is just 30 years of age and extremely skilled. He is also coming off a unanimous decision victory over Sharif Bogere earlier this year. Defeating the man who currently reigns atop most pound for pound list is a tall order but Fortuna deserves his chance.
Lomachenko Cruises Against Campbell While Povetkin Scores a Victory Over Hughie Fury
By: Hans Themistode
The United Kingdom was once the home for big time fights for former unified Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. It’s been quite sometime since he has given them a show.
Pound for pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko gave the UK crowd exactly what they wanted to see as he and Luke Campbell put on a great performance in the main event.
It wasn’t just the main event that garnered the appreciation of the fans but so did the co-main event as Hughie Fury and Alexander Povetkin through heavy leather at one another. It was a night filled with great fights that was punctuated with these two fights at the top of the billing that was provided on ESPN+.
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell
Vasiliy Lomachenko added yet another belt to his overflowing mantle. The O2 Arena played host to both Luke Campbell and Lomachenko’s contest on August 31.
With Campbell winning gold in the 2012 olympics, he had the pedigree to challenge the three weight world champion and two time gold medalist in Lomachenko.
Feeling out the opponent is usually the name of the game when a fight begins. Lomachenko on the other hand decided to skip that process as he started off fast. He landed several shots which snapped back the head of Campbell. Not to be outdone, Campbell found his own success using his much longer reach and combinations.
The middle portion of the fight was all Lomachenko as he started to impose his will. Round six saw Campbell hurt but he showed no quit in him as he landed his own shots which visibly buzzed Lomachenko. Already having the fight in the bag, that didn’t stop Lomachenko from turning up the pressure. Round 11 was his best yet as he sent Campbell down to the mat. It’s anyone’s guess as to how he managed to make it out of that round but it was clear that Lomachenko was going in for the kill.
The twelfth and final round saw Lomachenko hit Campbell with everything. The heart of Campbell can’t be praised enough as he made it to the final bell. It was a great effort by Campbell but the scorecards told just how dominant Lomachenko was. Two scores of 119-108 and 118-109 were the official scores.
With the win, Lomachenko now has three of the four belts remaining in the Lightweight division. He’ll have his eyes set on the winner between Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez which is set to take place in December.
Hughie Fury vs Alexander Povetkin
It isn’t easy living in the shadows of the Heavyweight division. It becomes ever more difficult when those shadows are cast by your own flesh and blood.
Hughie has always been known as the other Fury. His cousin, Lineal champion Tyson Fury is known for his win over Wladimir Klitschko. His great performance against WBC champion Deontay Wilder, a contest that should have been ruled in Tyson’s favor and his loud personality outside of the ring.
Hughie Fury isn’t known for any of that. He isn’t known at all. Tonight was his night to change all of that as he took on former title challenger Alexander Povetkin.
Fury couldn’t have asked for a better start to the contest as Povetkin ate jabs to the face for the first three rounds. Seemingly finding his groove in the fourth, Povetkin began to turn things around as the long looping left hands that failed to connect time and time again finally found its mark.
Realizing that Fury wanted to make this a boxing match by using his height and reach advantages to box to a granular paced decision, Povetkin turned it into a dog fight. Burying his head right into the chest of Fury in order to make it a much uglier fight.
Over the last few rounds it seemed as though Fury forgot what made him so successful in the beginning. No longer was he trying to keep things on the outside. He seemed more then willing to fight the sort of fight Povetkin wanted. In the end, it cost him.
All three judges scoring the contest had it 117-111 in favor of Povetkin. The right man won the bout, but the wide scorecards were hard to understand. Regardless of the unrealistic scorecards, Fury picked up the third loss of his career.
Tonight was his chance to step out from the shadows of his cousin, Lineal Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. With this defeat, Hughie is sure to be known as just the other Fury.
Vasiliy Lomachenko is Unbeatable
By: Hans Themistode
When Vasiliy Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) won a gold medal in the 2008 olympics he turned a few heads. When he repeated that very same feat in the 2012 olympics, he had gained the attention of everyone.
Winning one gold medal is difficult but capturing two of them seems nearly impossible. Countless all-time great fighters have failed to win a gold medal. Roy Jones Jr, Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe have all came up short in their olympic bids. Even Floyd Mayweather, who spent 21 professional years without a single defeat, only managed to win a bronze medal during his olympic career.
In short, winning two gold medals in the olympics is an impressive feat but Lomachenko has always been spectacular.
Before turning pro, a fighter first enters the amateurs. That process gives a young fighter an opportunity to improve his fighting ability and work on several aspects of his or her game. There is a reason why even the greatest of fighters have several losses on their record in the amateurs. It’s because they aren’t nearly a finished product yet.
Take former unified Light Heavyweight champion and current WBO belt holder Sergey Kovalev for example. He finished his amateur career with a record consisting of 195 wins to just 18 defeats. Amongst those defeats one came at the hands of Matt Korobov. A man who is not considered to be on the same level as Kovalev. In fact, Korobov has failed to win a world title during his pro career up to this point.
Let’s take a look at an even better example. Former unified champion Gennady Golovkin finished his stellar career as an amateur with a record of 345-5, excellent no doubt. In comparison, Lomachenko finished his run in the unpaid ranks with an absurd record of 397-1. Yes, Lomachenko lost one single bout in his entire amateur career. He also avenged that defeat several times as well.
When Lomachenko decided to turn pro, he had the boxing world buzzing. Usually, a fighter who has just turned pro is given time to develop. Lomachenko skipped the entire developmental process and challenged for a world title in just his second fight as a professional. When the fighter nicked “The Matrix” came up short, it gave many a reason to pause and hold off on his coronation.
Losing a world title bout usually forces a fighter to take a step back and rebuild. Lomachenko balked at that sentiment. He immediately jumped right back into the thick of things as he once again fought for a world title in his very next bout against the sensational Gary Russell Jr. He didn’t just defeat Russell. He dominated him.
Since then, Lomachenko has run through his competition. As it currently stands, he is the fastest fighter in history to win world titles in three different weight classes. No one has been able to have sustained success against Lomachenko in any contest either. In other words, he is just about unbeatable.
This Saturday night on August 31, at the O2 arena in the United Kingdom, Lomachenko will take on another gold medal winner in Luke Campbell. No one, absolutely no one, expects Campbell to win this contest. That is not to say Campbell is not a very good fighter because he is, but Lomachenko is on another level.
In the sport of boxing, anything can happen, but at this point in time, it seems as though Vasyl Lomachenko is unbeatable.
Lomachenko And Campbell Discuss Upcoming Battle For Lightweight Supremacy
By: Sean Crose
“Luke Campbell is a tall southpaw with a strong boxing IQ,” said WBA and WBO lightweight champ Vasyl Lomachenko. “I know I can’t look past a fighter with his skills. He won an Olympic gold medal and has had a lot of success as a pro.” The 13-1 Lomachenko, who is regarded by many as the best active boxer in the world, will be facing the 20-2 Campbell at the O2 arena in London this Saturday. The Ukrainian star hopes to walk away with the vacant WBC lightweight strap. On Thursday, Lomachenko engaged in a media workout at a crowded York Hall, as did his rival, Campbell.
“I have wanted to fight in London ever since I turned pro,” Lomachenko said. “The fans appreciate my boxing style, and every time I’ve come here, they make me feel appreciated. Campbell is from the UK, but I feel very comfortable.” Should Lomachenko prove victorious on Saturday, he will hold three of the four major lightweight title belts. “This brings me one step closer to my main goal of having all the belts,” he said. “I want to ‘unificate’ all of the titles. That is my next goal in boxing. I have won titles in three weight categories, but I never won all four belts in a division. So, for me, Campbell is a very important name as I write my boxing history.”
He may be regarded as one of today’s top athletes, but Lomachenko made it clear on Thursday he wants to be in possession of career that will be talked about throughout the years. “I want to make history,” he said matter of factly. “That’s the most important thing for me. When I turned pro, I wanted to win a world title right away, and I tied a record by winning a world title in my third fight. Now, I want to make a different history. Very few fighters have won all four titles. It would mean a lot for me to accomplish this.”
As for Campbell, the hard hitting fighter let the world know he’s looking to shock the sport of boxing by walking away with three title belts this weekend. “I’m feeling great at the minute,” he said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me. I’ve got the best team around me and we’re all confident.” Although he’s essentially fighting at home – always a big advantage for a fighter, the former world titlist made it clear he’s focused on the task before him. “It doesn’t matter how I do it,” Campbell stated, “( so long as) I get the win.”
Both fighters indicated they are well prepared heading into the weekend. “I trained at the Olympic Sports Centre in Kiev,” said Lomachenko, “and it was nice to train at home. We did not change much with my preparation, but I feel very good physically. The weather was good, and I am 100 percent ready for whatever Luke Campbell brings.”
The Lomachenko-Campbell fight is scheduled for 12 rounds and will be aired live this Saturday on ESPN+.
Luke Campbell’s Chance To Live Up To The Hype
By: Hans Themistode
For as talented as Luke Campbell is, and his talent level is off the charts. It isn’t a stretch to say that he has underachieved so far in his pro career. A professional record consisting of 20 wins with just 2 defeats is more than respectable, but more was expected from Campbell.
His first loss, which was a split decision, at the hands of Yvan Mendy, was unexpected. Campbell made amends for that slip up three years later with a one sided victory over Mendy in their rematch.
In 2017, Campbell loss again. This time to WBA Lightweight champion Jorge Linares. It was a close contest but one that Campbell clearly lost. Since then he has bounced back to win three straight fights. Two by knockout, to place himself in the position he is today.
This Saturday night on August 31st, Campbell will take on Vasyl Lomachenko. A man many believe is the best fighter in the world.
You won’t find anyone outside of the circle of Campbell who are picking him to win that fight. It’s understandable but it is also a bit odd.
Coming up through the amateur ranks, Campbell made major noise. He won the European Championship back in 2008. He also won the 2010 Four Nations Challenge. Campbell capped his career in the unpaid ranks by winning the 2012 gold medal.
From there he turned pro. He’s had his ups and downs but has mostly proven to be an excellent fighter. Sure Campbell had massive success as an amateur, but it pales in comparison to his opponent Lomachenko who suffered only one defeat in 397 contest. He also managed to grab not one but two gold medals along the way. In the pro ranks he has climbed the ranks incredibly fast and now reigns atop the Lightweight division.
The argument can be made that no one in the history of boxing has ever had a better resume through their first 14 professional fights. Lomachenko has defeated the likes of Gary Russell Jr, Nicholas Walters, Jorge Linares and fellow two time gold medal winner Guillermo Rigondeaux. In short, he has been phenomenal.
With so much experience at his disposal, is there anything that Campbell can do that can surprise Lomachenko? Most likely no. With that being said however, it doesn’t mean that he should be completely counted out. Campbell will take with him into the ring a two inch height advantage and an incredible six inch reach advantage as well. It also seems as though Campbell will be the physically stronger man in the ring as he has campaigned at the Lightweight division for a significantly longer time.
The career of Campbell has been a good one but not what many were expecting. He has failed during the biggest moments of his career thus far and now, he will enter the ring on Saturday night against his toughest opponent by far.
A win over Lomachenko won’t only allow him to call himself a champion but he will also erase the poor stigma that is currently surrounding his career.
Can Campbell Do the Impossible and Defeat Lomachenko?
By: Waqas Ali
Britain’s Luke Campbell is in for a second chance at gaining a world title as he faces boxing technician and genius Vasiliy Lomachenko (13-1) at the O2 arena in London, England.
Campbell (22-2) last fought for a world title when he faced Jorge Linares for the WBA lightweight title in September and lost via split decision.
Since then the Englishman made a comeback with three victories in the bag and now will be marking his fourth appearance at the famous arena.
The fight will be taking place on 31st August and has sold 15,000 tickets, according to promoter Eddie Hearns on Twitter.
Both Campbell and Lomachenko have two things in common. One is that they are both Olympic champions and two is that they have fought in the same event of year which was the 2012 Olympic tournament in separate weight classes.
Speaking about the opportunity of fighting the Ukranian champion, Campbell doesn’t deny the test in front of him.
Campbell, said: “I’ve never shied away from a challenge. This is a big challenge but these are the type of challenges that I train for every day and prepare for. I believe it’s the two best lightweights in the division facing off and I think this fight brings everything to the table: boxing IQ, power, speed, agility.”
“It has the making to be one of the great fights on these shores. I’m the challenger, he’s the champion, I respect everything he has achieved but I also believe that every champion was a challenger once, and I know I have what it takes to become a champion. It took me a while to get settled in the professional game, but this now feels like perfect timing.”
Lomachenko, already a three weight world champion in just 14 fights is considered by boxing experts, writers and fans, both causal and hardcore as one of the greatest fighters of this century.
The 31-year-old brings a variety of skills, styles and techniques that really cluster the meat of his talent.
His only loss occurred back in 2014 when he faced Orlando Salido for the WBO featherweight title and lost a close split decision result.
Since then no one has been able to come close to dethroning the two-time Olympic champion.
Lomachenko, however does not see this fight as a walk in the park for him and does recognise attributes of Campbell that could make this a competitive fight.
He said: “I’m happy to be in London again. I have great memories of winning the Olympic gold medal in London. The venue was full every day and the atmosphere was electric. I think this will be a very technical fight, and you have to love the British boxing fans because they are so passionate, emotional and noisy. I only have great memories of boxing here.”
“I don’t want to talk too much,” he added.
“It might be the toughest fight of my career so far, maybe, because he has a height and reach advantage. Maybe it will be for me a big challenge, but I never think about it. I just do my job, train hard and then I come in the ring. I’m going to leave a winner, that’s all I know.”
By the numbers, the Lomachenko is highly active by throwing 62 punches per round and connecting at 35%. This similar to the average lightweight who throws around 59 punches but the connect rate is slightly lower at 29%.
He lands a few more punches in power punching department (14 per round) with an excellent connect rate of 47%. The average lightweight lands at 12 with a rate of 35%.
His opponents landed just 24% of their power shots and just 6 per round which is half the lightweight average.
Campbell, who stands at 5 foot 9 with a reach of 71 inches has the lead advantage against Lomachenko who stands at 5 foot 7 with a reach of 65 ½ inches.
There is no doubt that the skillset of Lomachenko might overpower Campbell as we saw in the Anthony Crolla fight and all the previous fights. But as a strong Englishman, Campbell much like his fellow countryman Crolla will give his heart and soul in this fight.
After all, the fight against Linares became more close and competitive than people thought. His footwork, timing and counter punching could get some pundits and spectators raising their eyebrows. All is yet to be spectated.
August 31: Lomachenko-Campbell Set for London Showdown at The O2 LIVE and Exclusive on ESPN+
London called. Loma answered.
WBA/WBO lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound Picasso and two-time Olympic gold medalist, will defend his belts Saturday, Aug. 31, against fellow Olympic gold medalist “Cool Hand” Luke Campbell, the pride of Hull, England, at The O2 in London.
The vacant WBC world lightweight title will also be up for grabs in this battle of 2012 London Olympic gold medalists.
Lomachenko-Campbell will headline a special afternoon edition of Top Rank on ESPN on ESPN+ — the industry-leading sports streaming service — beginning at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT. The entire undercard will stream on ESPN+ starting at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
This will mark Lomachenko’s first ring appearance in London since the 2013 World Series of Boxing when he shut out Sam Maxwell over five rounds.
“Vasiliy Lomachenko is a unique talent who is going to take the United Kingdom by storm,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Luke Campbell is an excellent fighter, but Lomachenko is in a class of his own. The fans on that side of the pond have wanted Lomachenko to return ever since he turned pro. It’s going to be a crazy, sold-out crowd at the O2 Arena, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lomachenko has the crowd’s support.”
“This is a fight for history because my goal is to unify all of the belts in the lightweight division,” Lomachenko said. “Luke Campbell is the next challenge for me on that journey. He is an excellent fighter who I remember well from the 2012 Olympics. He has a difficult style, and I cannot afford to overlook him.
“It is very special for me to fight in London. I visited last year, and the response from the people was overwhelming. They respect my fighting style and are passionate about boxing. I can’t wait to put on a great show for everyone.”
“I am thrilled to see Vasiliy Lomachenko head to the UK to meet British star Luke Campbell,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “Loma is simply one of the finest boxers to ever lace them up, the best fighter on the planet today and I’m honored to be promoting his first ever pro fight in the UK. But Luke is an elite world fighter, too, and with his range, ability and heart, the Hull ace can shock the world and rip Loma’s titles from him on another epic night of boxing in the capital.”
“The best fighting the best, this is going to make one hell of a fight,” Campbell said. “I am in this sport to be the best and I am this sport to become a world champion. This is what I train and work so hard for, to become a world champion and fulfill my potential.
“He is ranked number one pound-for-pound on the planet so for me to fight a guy like that only encourages me more to be the best that I can be and it is exactly the level that I want to be at. I’m well aware of how good he is and what he is capable of doing but I’m also well aware of what I can do and what I’m going to do.
“I think that I can knock out anyone that I hit right, I believe that I am one of the biggest punchers in the lightweight division. This is going to be the toughest fight of my life and I’m preparing for it, physically and mentally. This is Luke Campbell’s year, it’s my time.”
Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs), who went 396-1 as an amateur, has won world titles at featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight in the paid ranks. He fought for a world title in his second pro bout and won the WBO featherweight world title in his third outing, dominating Gary Russell Jr. over 12 rounds. He made his lightweight debut last May, tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in the second round and rising from a sixth-round knockdown to knock out WBA champion Jorge Linares in the 10th.
Lomachenko added the WBO lightweight title to his collection in December, scoring a pair of knockdowns in the 11th round and ultimately winning a unanimous decision over two-weight world champion Jose Pedraza. He last fought in April at Staples Center in Los Angeles, disposing of mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla in four rounds.
Campbell (20-2, 16 KOs), the WBC No. 1 lightweight contender, captured Olympic gold as a bantamweight at the 2012 London Olympics, one of only two male boxers (along with Anthony Joshua) to win gold in front of the home fans. Lomachenko won gold as a lightweight in London, and a little more than seven years later, their paths will cross once again.
Campbell lost to Yvan Mendy via split decision in his 13th pro bout in December 2015, a defeat that was avenged nearly three years later in convincing fashion. Campbell challenged Jorge Linares for the WBA lightweight title in September 2017 in Los Angeles, dropping a highly contested split decision. He has won three in a row since that disappointment — including the Mendy rematch — most recently knocking out Adrian Yung in five rounds in Philadelphia.
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Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing, tickets for Lomachenko vs. Campbell are priced at £40, £60, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 (Inner Ring VIP).
Tickets are available to purchase NOW for O2 Priority customers via www.theo2.co.uk and go on sale to Fight Pass members on Sunday July 21 at midday via StubHub www.stubhub.co.uk.
General Sale tickets are available to purchase from midday on Monday, July 22 from StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk), The O2 (www.theo2.co.uk) and Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com)
Use the hashtag #LomaCampbell to join the conversation on social media.
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WBC Orders Lomachenko-Campbell Bout
By: Sean Crose
Mandatory lightweight contender Luke Campbell, 20-2, was in line to face WBC champion Mikey Garcia before Garcia decided to move up in weight to face Errol Spence in an ill fated attempt at welterweight glory earlier this year. After being soundly bested by Spence, Garcia subsequently gave up his lightweight crown (although he remains Champion Emeritus), presumably leaving Campbell to face off against another contender. This being boxing, things didn’t end up as expected, for the WBC announced Tuesday that it was ordering Campbell to face none other than Vasyl Lomachenko himself for the green belt.
Bob Arum, Lomachenko’s promoter, and Eddie Hearn, Campbell’s promoter, are reportedly discussing the matter. Lomachenko is currently in possession of the WBO and IBF lightweight titles, meaning the winner of his fight will be unified champion of the division – though not undisputed champion – as the WBA belt won’t be up for grabs. “Excited,” the 31 year old Campbell told Boxing Social after the WBC made its announcement. “That’s the first word that comes to mind.” Campbell is clearly pumped about the prospect of facing the man who is perhaps the most highly regarded fighter in the sport. “I’m fighting the pound for pound number one,” he says. “This is where I make my mark.”
Lomachenko is now one of the fight game’s biggest stars. Not only does the man win, he tends to make his opponents quit – frequently. High level opposition such as Nicholas Walters and Guillermo Rigondeaux have refused to answer the bell after facing the Ukrainian’s use of angles and intense pressure. It’s been suggested that Lomachenko’s dominance has faded a bit as he’s moved up in weight, but the fact the multi division titlist has stopped the likes of Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla in the past year suggests otherwise.
As for Campbell – the fighter has won his last three fights since dropping a 2017split decision to the same Linares Lomachenko faced. He’s never battled anyone of Lomachenko’s caliber, but the 5’9 southpaw may well square off against the intimidating 13-1 Lomachenko at home. According to the LA Times, Arum is willing to have the bout take place in England. “I’ve already talked to Eddie Hearn,” Arum is quoted as saying, “and he’s looking for an appropriate venue in the U.K..” With boxing now being a major draw in Britain, the image of a large, hyped crowd suddenly comes to mind.
“This is going to be one hell of a fight,” says Campbell.
ESPN+ Boxing Results: Lomachenko and Ramirez Dominate In Victory
By: Hans Themistode
As expected, Vasyl lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) absolutely destroyed Anthony Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs). The contest took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
No one expected Crolla to stand a chance and that is exactly how it played out tonight. Lomachenko started off fast. In the opening round he came out aggressive, landing big shots while not giving Crolla a chance to land something in response. In the following round it was much of the same. Crolla just couldn’t get his offense going. Round three was an utter beating. Lomachenko forced his opponent to the ropes and unleashed a barrage of punches. What followed shortly after was a bizarre sequence.
Lomachenko landed a ton of shots which had Crolla in serious trouble. The referee looked on closely as though he wanted to stop the fight. Crolla did not throw a punch in return but he did manage to block the majority of shots coming his way. Shortly after Lomachenko continued dishing out his beating the referee stepped in and seemed to wave off the contest. Lomachenko jumped on the ropes and celebrated. To the surprise of many the match was not over. Instead the ref was simply giving Crolla a standing ten count. It confused many fans in the crowd as it seemed as though Crolla’s gloves never actually touched the floor. It was a confusing sequence but Crolla was given another chance to continue the fight.
The following round Lomachenko wasted no time finishing off his man. Another strong attack by Lomachenko resulted in Crolla hitting the canvas face down. The referee immediately called off the match.
There is no sugar coating what took place tonight, it was a mismatch, non-competitive, just a terrible fight. Lomachenko didn’t prove anything tonight. What happened tonight was expected.
Anthony Crolla was not the only one who was overwhelmed tonight. Tommy Carpency (29-7-1, 18 KOs) was dominated tonight in the co main event by Gilberto Ramirez (40-0, 26 KOs). It was the first fight for Ramirez at Light Heavyweight and he proved that he can become a force in the division. From the start Ramirez dictated the pace of the fight.
It took Ramirez only four rounds to stop Carpency. After the contest it seemed as though Carpency was in a car wreck. That isn’t just hyperbole either. Ramirez dominated the action. He could be knocking on the door of a title shot in his new division in the not to distant future.
It was a night filled with mismatches. Both Gilberto Ramirez and Vasyl Lomachenko looked impressive tonight. Let’s all hope that we will see both of these fighters back in the ring soon but this time against much better opposition.
ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Lomachenko vs. Crolla, Ramirez vs. Carpency
By: Hans Themistode
Vasiliy Lomachenko, (12-1, 9 KOs) will once again have his skills on full display come Friday night. The unified Lightweight champion will have both his WBA and WBO titles on the line when he takes on former title holder Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs). This isn’t the high profile match fans were expecting to see Lomachenko in but nonetheless it’s what we’re getting.
Since losing back to back bouts against Jorge Linares, Crolla has rebounded nicely with three straight victories. Those wins weren’t just against unknown opponents either. Ricky Burns, Edson Ramirez and Daud Yordan aren’t exactly murderers row but they are more than respectable opposition.
The former WBA belt holder has faced his fair share of great fighters. However, in the case of Lomachenko, he will be facing someone who is unanimously recognized as the best fighter on the planet.
Most have already ruled Crolla out, and with good reason. In just 13 professional fights Lomachenko has plowed through the competition. With two Olympic gold medals, over 390 wins in his amateur days and multiple titles in several divisions, Lomachenko is a talent we have seldom ever seen.
Crolla has heard it all before. He has always been doubted. He was never supposed to box again following his traumatic accident in 2014 where he attempted to stop burglars at a neighbors home. Crolla beat the odds. How about his title challenge against Darleys Perez? He was given no chance, yet he not only won but he stopped the champion in the fifth round. Crolla than went on to defeat Ismael Barroso in his first title defense when yet again many thought he could not get it done.
His matchup against Lomachenko follows the same theme that has followed him his entire career. Doubt him if you want, but he may just beat the odds yet again come Friday night.
In the co main event we have an interesting matchup. Current WBO Super Middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez, (39-0, 25 KOs) is moving up to Light Heavyweight to take on Tommy Carpency, (29-6-1, 18 KOs).
On paper it is a matchup that Ramirez should dominate. However, with the current champion moving up in weight the added pounds could play a factor in the contest.
Since winning the WBO Super Middleweight title in 2016, Ramirez has had a forgettable reign. Through no fault of his own he has not been able to secure big fights. Although his matchup with Carpency is not considered a significant matchup by any stretch of the imagination, it is a contest where if all goes well, could see Ramirez challenge for a title later this year.
Ramirez has the height, power and skill to make an impressive run in his new division. Carpency on the other hand isn’t looking to simply collect a paycheck come Fight night. He has rattled off three consecutive wins and will be looking to once again challenge for a world title.
Carpency, to his credit, picked up the biggest win of career in 2014 as a massive underdog when he took on former pound for pound fighter Chad Dawson. It will take that sort of spirited effort from Carpency if he intends to defeat Ramirez.
A win for either man could place them in title contention.
Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla: Can Crolla Shock the World?
By: Waqas Ali
Boxing magician Vasyl Lomachenko will be taking on Britain’s Anthony Crolla for the WBA and IBF lightweight belts on April 12 in Los Angeles.
Crolla (34-6-4) was made the mandatory challenger after defeating Daud Yordan in November last year at the Manchester Arena, marking his tenth appearance at that venue.
However, Crolla has been faced with extensive criticism from the boxing world especially from the casuals and hardcore fans.
Several boxing outlets have branded the upcoming bout as “a mismatch”, “waste of time” and a “lamb ready to be slaughtered”.
The former WBA lightweight champion defended himself by saying: “I started getting punched on the nose for nights like this 23 years ago. I’m not an idiot and I know this is a huge challenge.
“But April 12th I’m gonna be in the best shape both physically and mentally and going to LA to shock the world! I can’t wait to do it,” added the Manchester man.
The 32-year-old’s main competition of his career consisted of Gavin Rees, Darleys Perez & Ricky Burns.
Neither of the three possess the immense talent of Lomachenko, respectively.
Lomachenko in defence of Crolla says: “Los Angeles boxing fans are passionate and knowledgeable, and I look forward to putting on a spectacular show for them at Staples Center. Crolla is my mandatory challenger, and I like that he always comes to fight. He’s going to make the most of this opportunity.”
Two big names in particular that fans were hoping to be next for Lomachenko were Mikey Garcia and Gervonta Davis.
But because of politics in the business, they were unable to take place.
According to poll conducted by Boxing Kingdom, out of 1,900 plus voters, 83% of them picked Lomachenko to win and only 17% picked Crolla.
blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”>
Lomachenko vs Crolla
ESPN / Top Rank
Difficult fight to predict.
Who wins? #boxingkingdom
— Boxing Kingdom (@BoxingKingdom14) February 20, 2019
Lomachenko boasts a record of 12 wins and one loss. In his last six bouts, five were KO/TKOs and four of them were due to his opponent quitting on the stool. Hence the nickname “No Mas Chenko” was given to him.
He is considered by many boxing experts, writers, and fans to be the best and the most gifted fighter in the modern day and age.
He possesses great attributes in his arsenal of weaponry including speed, power, technique, combat, footwork and precision.
His innovative shots and movement provide a thrilling outcome like a musician playing the cello. The sounds played in accordance with the tune provide a great sound.
astonishing amateur record consists of 396 wins and only one defeat which he avenged twice.
The 31-year-old is a three-weight world champion and will be making his third defence of the belts on fight night.
By the numbers, the Ukrainian fighter is highly active by throwing 62 punches per round and connecting at 35%. This similar to the average lightweight who throws around 59 punches but the connect rate is slightly lower at 29%.
He lands a few more punches in power punching department (14 per round) with an excellent connect rate of 47%. The average lightweight lands at 12 with a rate of 35%.
His opponents landed just 24% of their power shots and just 6 per round which is half the lightweight average.
Crolla is not a knockout artist and more of a 12 round fighter. Out of Crolla’s 34 wins, 18 of those have come by a decision (61%) and a knockout ratio of just 34%.
He will need to do something exceptional if he doesn’t want to hear the whispers of the magician’s magic moment and feel the casting spell of the wizard.
The bout overall will not be an eye-catcher for most boxing fans. Based on the stats and styles and survey, the fight is heavily in favour of Lomachenko. It would be difficult for any fan to bring any form of evidence to suggest that Crolla has a chance of winning. However, no fan can deny the heart and soul of Crolla. He never gives up and has only been stopped once which was six years ago. This is a dream fight for him and he will not take it lightly. In boxing, we never say never and like the old saying goes: “One punch can make a difference.” Regardless of what happens in this bout, he will always remain the people’s champion of Manchester.
What’s the Exit Plan for Vasyl Lomachenko?
By: Kirk Jackson
There are rumblings of impending retirement talk for one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters today, Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko 12-1 (9 KO’s).
The current unified WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine lightweight champion is scheduled to defend his titles against former Anthony Crolla 34-6 (13 KO’s) April 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“It’s better to fight with (Richard) Commey than Crolla. Richard has belt at least and I have goal — to win all the belts,” said Lomachenko regarding his upcoming title defense.
“My goal is to collect all four belts in one weight class and retire. What should I do next? Boxing is sport for me. It’s interesting to challenge champions. Who should I fight with, when I become undisputed champion? I am ready to retire even at the age of 33 years. For the first time I wore gloves when I was 5 and after that my entire life has been boxing. But everything has an end.”
Unfortunately, Lomachenko and Richard Commey 28-2 (25 KO’s) will have to wait for unification of the lightweight belts to transpire, with the latter suffering injury his last fight, which resulted in a 2nd round TKO victory for the Ghanaian fighter.
If the unification bout is to occur between Lomachenko and Commey, it probably won’t ensue until the back-end of summer due to the timing of Lomachenko’s upcoming title defense and the recovery period for Commey.
The other missing jewel-piece to the lightweight treasure Lomachenko desires is the WBC portion of the lightweight crown, preserved by Mikey Garcia 39-0 (30 KO’s).
Although Garcia has business north of 135 lbs. with the undefeated IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence 24-0 (21 KO’s) March 16, Garcia vs. Lomachenko is a match-up constantly discussed and dissected over the past few years. This match-up features a clash of styles and two distinctively excellent fighters holding top position across the pound-for-pound list.
Former super featherweight world champion, world renowned trainer and Mikey’s older brother Robert Garcia, believes his brother has what it takes to defeat the likes of Lomachenko.
He’s not alone with that sentiment, as other boxing figures such as world renowned trainer and analyst Teddy Atlas, favors Garcia in the hypothetical pairing, along with former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik.
“Mikey Garcia is a very talented fighter,” Pavlik said to FightHype. “Garcia is very smart in the ring and the longer the fight goes the better Mikey Garcia is. Garcia can adapt to anything in the ring. He’s very solid, so he doesn’t leave himself open.”
“I don’t think Lomachenko has got the power,” Pavlik continued. “I think it would be a very interesting fight and a close fight. I almost have to go with his size advantage and boxing knowledge that he has. Mikey very rarely makes mistakes and Mikey has good footwork. Footwork doesn’t have to be flashy.”
Whether Lomachenko vs. Garcia manifests depends on the results of Garcia vs. Spence March 16; either way Lomachenko has business to handle regardless April 12 against Crolla.
It’s interesting analyzing the options for Lomachenko as the 31-year-old aims to retire at 33. This only leaves a few options and speaking as a fan, we want to see this generational talent test his abilities against other highly talented individuals.
Speaking of talent, there is an upcoming generation of young fighters ranging from featherweight through lightweight oozing of ability. Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Michael Conlan and Teofimo Lopez just to name a few.
Lopez in particular stands out not only for his boxing ability, but for his brashness, boldness and willingness to knock Lomachenko off the throne.
Lopez’s assessment of Lomachenko can be summarized in two quotes.
“I feel like Lomachenko does the same thing when it comes to footwork and moving side-to-side. There are three or four different ways of beating Lomachenko,” said Lopez.
“I don’t take nothing away from Lomachenko,” Lopez said. “But I just don’t see anything special in him – that’s all.”
For Vasyl’s part, he wouldn’t mind knocking out the brash challenger or even at the very least adding Teofimo to the list of opponents quitting against the Ukrainian’s unrelenting assault.
🔫 Vasyl Lomachenko responds to Teofimo Lopez's trash talk: "I think what they're doing is just to PR themselves off my name… I am more than willing to share the ring with him… I will not be surprised at all if he quits in the middle of the fight." [@BoxingTalkG]
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) February 15, 2019
Over a three year stretch, the list includes in succession: Gamalier Rodriguez, Romulo Koasicha, Roman Martinez, Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga and Guillermo Rigondeaux and Jorge Linares all stopped by Lomachenko.
This impressive streak earned Lomachenko the moniker, “No Mas Chenko.”
Whether Lopez can successfully challenge Lomachenko remains to be seen. Another fighter to throw in the mix of this matrix, is Gervonta “Tank” Davis 21-0 (20 KO’s).
The young champion from Baltimore has been on boxing’s forefront ever since he captured a world title in 2017. Often compared as southpaw mixture of Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather, Davis lives up to the moniker “Tank,” as he has the tendency to steamroll over his opponents with bone shattering punches.
Bouts with and potential victories over fighters such as Lopez, Davis or Garcia would only add to Lomachenko’s legend if he were to pull off the feats.
Lomachenko wants to be remembered for his exploits in the ring and has an impressive resume thus far as an amateur and professional boxer. He’s arguably one of the best of his era and to further cement his status, he may aim to crush some of the young lions hunting for his perch on top before he exits the sport for good. Interesting to see if any of the aforementioned names are part of the exit plan for Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lomachenko Headlines Staples Center Card April 12 Against Anthony Crolla on ESPN+
After thrilling Big Apple audiences in his last three bouts, Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko is ready to bring his lightweight world titles to the City of Angels.
Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound Picasso and the WBA and WBO lightweight world champion, will defend his titles against former lightweight world champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla on Friday, April 12 at Staples Center. In the co-feature, longtime WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will make his light heavyweight debut against an opponent to be announced in a 10-rounder.
Lomachenko-Crolla and Ramirez’s fight will stream live and exclusively in the United States beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on ESPN+ — the direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, which will mark its one-year anniversary since launching on the day of the fight. The entire undercard will also stream live on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing USA, tickets priced at $310.50, $207, $103.50, $77.65, and $51.75 (including facility fees) go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 12 p.m. PT. Lomachenko’s last headlining appearance in Los Angeles came in August 2017 at the Microsoft Theater when he defended his 130-pound world title against Miguel Marriaga via seventh-round TKO.
“Staples Center is the perfect venue to showcase one of boxing’s great fighters, Vasiliy Lomachenko, who will test himself against a top contender in Anthony Crolla of Great Britain,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
“Los Angeles boxing fans are passionate and knowledgeable, and I look forward to putting on a spectacular show for them at Staples Center,” Lomachenko said. “Crolla is my mandatory challenger, and I like that he always comes to fight. He’s going to make the most of this opportunity.”
“I cannot wait for this. These are the fights you are in the sport for,” Crolla said. “People will say that I have got nothing to lose, but I am genuinely going over to LA to shock the world. I will concentrate on me. Firstly, I have to make sure the best Anthony Crolla turns up that night. I’m not worried about that. Preparing for Lomachenko is hard because he’s so unorthodox. He’s that good that when he does something wrong he gets away with it. You wouldn’t teach some of the things that he does. He’s so unique in that respect.”
“I’m delighted that Anthony gets another chance at a world title, this time against pound-for-pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “After losing his world title to Jorge Linares, Anthony has fought his way back into the mandatory position, and he is more than ready for the challenge. It’s been a fairytale story for him and now he gets another big chance on the big stage in a fight that means everything to him.”
Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) entered the professional ranks following an amateur career that included a pair of Olympic gold medals for his native Ukraine and an unprecedented 396-1 record. He set a boxing record by winning world titles in three weight classes in 12 fights, shattering the previous mark of 20 set by Jeff Fenech 30 years prior. He was named 2017 Fighter of the Year by most boxing outlets after forcing all three of his opponents — Jason Sosa, Marriaga and fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux — to quit on their stools.
In May 2018, he moved up in weight and captured the WBA lightweight title when he rebounded from a torn labrum and a sixth-round knockdown to stop Jorge Linares at Madison Square Garden with a body shot in the 10th round. That December, in front of a sold-out Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden crowd, he scored a pair of knockdowns and won a wide unanimous decision over WBO lightweight champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza to unify titles.
Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs), from Manchester, England, turned pro in October 2006 and won the British lightweight title in 2011. He won the WBA lightweight title with a fifth-round knockout over Darleys Perez in November 2015, knocking Perez out for the count with a vicious left hook to the liver. Crolla defended the belt with an upset seventh-round knockout win against Ismael Barroso, scoring the finishing blow on a right hand to the body. He lost the title via competitive unanimous decision to Linares in September 2016, then lost the immediate rematch by unanimous decision the following March. Crolla earned another world title shot by authoring three consecutive decision wins, including a unanimous decision over former three-weight world champion Ricky Burns in October 2017.
Ramirez (39-0, 25 KOs) is ready to make his mark at light heavyweight after making five successful defenses of his WBO world title. The native of Mazatlán, Mexico, is a 10-year pro who won the world title in April 2016 with a shutout unanimous decision over two-weight world champion Arthur Abraham. In his last bout, Dec. 14 in Corpus Christi, Texas, he closed the show strong and defeated Jesse “Hollywood” Hart via majority decision. Ramirez, who has not ruled out returning to super middleweight to defend his title, also has his sights set on the light heavyweight division’s leading names.
“I am very motivated because of all the new things I have been doing to advance my career,” Ramirez said. “I am very excited to fight at Staples Center for the first time, as I consider Los Angeles my second home. I knew there will be many Latino fans supporting me. I want to become an idol of Mexican boxing, and nothing will stop me as I work to fulfill my dreams. I am also working with a new trainer, Julian Chua, who is pushing me to become the best fighter possible.”