Shakur Stevenson: “I’m Down For A Vasiliy Lomachenko Fight, I Don’t Duck No Action”
By: Hans Themistode
Although Shakur Stevenson is still in the infancy stages of his career, the former Olympic silver medalist believed that the world would soon realize his greatness.
Following his most recent performance, Stevenson is now convinced that his name should now be mentioned amongst the best fighters in the world. This past Saturday night, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Stevenson easily outboxed Oscar Valdez. In the process, Stevenson successfully unified the super featherweight division, adding Valdez’s WBC crown to his WBO title.
With Stevenson now emerging as one of boxing’s premier talents, the now unified champion is enjoying his time in the spotlight. Presently, Stevenson believes he has a bevy of options for his next ring appearance. However, seemingly at the top of his list, is current pound-for-pound star and former two-time Olympic gold medalist, Vasiliy Lomachenko.
“I’m down for a Vasiliy Lomachenko fight,” said Stevenson on the DAZN Boxing Show. “I don’t duck no action. I don’t care who it is, I’m gonna keep the same energy. I’m down for that type of fight.”
Lomachenko, 34, has bounced back nicely since suffering defeat at the hands of Teofimo Lopez in 2020. The multiple division star made it look incredibly easy against Masayoshi Nakatani, stopping the rough and rugged Japanese native in the ninth round. Shortly after, Lomachenko closed out his 2021 campaign with a one-sided victory over Richard Commey.
With Lomachenko returning to his winning ways, the 34-year-old was chosen by current unified 135-pound titlist, George Kambosos Jr., as his next opponent. While Lomachenko was honored, he elected against taking Kambosos Jr. up on his offer. Instead, Lomachenko opted to stay in his native land of Ukraine to help fend off attacks from the ongoing Russian invasion.
Presently, it’s unknown when Lomachenko will return to the ring. However, he has given his thoughts on a possible showdown against Stevenson in the past, stating on numerous occasions that he would only be willing to drop down in weight to take on his fellow Olympian if and only if, Stevenson became an undisputed champion.
If, for whatever reason, Lomachenko changes his mind and decides to return to 130-pounds to face Stevenson, the former Olympic silver medalist wouldn’t be so quick to face Lomachenko though. While Stevenson loves the thought of facing the former Olympic gold medalist, becoming an undisputed champion has always been a longtime dream for him.
“Truth be told, I’m torn between all the belts and a big fight.”
George Kambosos Jr. Reportedly Set To Return June 5th In Australia, Vasiliy Lomachenko Emerges As Frontrunner
By: Hans Themistode
After sifting through various names, George Kambosos Jr. is reportedly down to just two.
As first reported by ESPN, the current unified lightweight champion is still mulling over offers to face current WBC titlist Devin Haney and, in a more likely scenario, Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Although nothing has been formally finalized as of yet, both Kambosos Jr.’s return date and fight location has supposedly been finalized. The 28-year-old will make his return to the ring on June 5th, at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
Originally, it appeared as though Haney was the frontrunner to land an undisputed showdown against the Australian born product. But, following months of back and forth negotiations, Lou DiBella, the current promoter of Kambosos Jr., revealed that he had “moved on” from a possible showdown against Haney, claiming Eddie Hearn, the 23-year-old’s current promoter, made an offer that was unacceptable.
Regardless of whom Kambosos Jr. ultimately selects, he’s staying true to his initial word. In November of 2021, Kambosos Jr. brazenly stomped into the backyard of Teofimo Lopez and proceeded to yank away his IBF, WBO, WBA, WBC “Franchise” and Ring Magazine lightweight titles as a prohibited underdog.
Immediately following the win, Kambosos Jr. claimed that no matter who he faced next, his opposition would have no choice but to travel to Australia, his native land.
Lomachenko, 33, has bounced back nicely since losing those very titles that currently occupy the waist of Kambosos Jr. The Ukrainian product scored a ninth-round stoppage victory over Masayoshi Nakatani in June of 2021. Six months later, Lomachenko registered a decisive 12 round unanimous decision over Richard Commey.
Calvin Ford, Head Trainer For Gervonta Davis, Eager For Showdown Against Vasiliy Lomachenko: “We Waiting On That Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
Like most of the boxing world, head trainer Calvin Ford finds a showdown between Gervonta Davis, the multiple division titlist he’s trained for well over a decade, and Vasiliy Lomachenko, a very intriguing bout.
Although Davis has moved up and down in weight over the past few years, the Baltimore native appears to be placing his flag at 135 pounds permanently. Following an 11th round stoppage win over Mario Barrios in June of 2021 at 140 pounds, Davis returned to the lightweight division to defend his secondary WBA title against Isaac Cruz.
In what turned out to be a difficult, back and forth battle, Davis ultimately prevailed, winning a close unanimous decision. With the boxing calendars of Davis and Lomachenko currently wide open, Ford is anxiously waiting for a showdown between the pair to materialize.
“We waiting on that fight,” said Ford during an interview with ESNEWS. “We waiting on that fight.”
Lomachenko, 33, has successfully worked his way back up the 135 pound ladder after suffering a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Teofimo Lopez in 2020. The former two-time Olympic gold medalist systemically broke down highly ranked contender Masayoshi Nakatani, stopping him in the ninth round of their June 2021, showdown.
Six months later, Lomachenko continued his relentless comeback story. In front of a fairly packed crowd in Madison Square Garden, the Ukrainian star toyed with former titleholder Richard Commey. Lomachenko scored a knockdown in the seventh round and spent the rest of their contest carefully dissecting his man to win a wide unanimous decision.
Presently, Lomachenko is hopeful that he’ll land a showdown against unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. next. If the newly crowned Australian champion opts to face someone else, Ford urges the pound-for-pound star to look in the direction of Davis. If both teams are ultimately able to hammer out a deal, Ford believes that their contest would make everyone in the boxing community smile from ear to ear.
“It’s going to be a chess match. That’s like a mega-fight, a fight that people been waiting on.”
Shakur Stevenson More Interested In Oscar Valdez Showdown Over Vasiliy Lomachenko: “We Seen Lomachenko Lose Twice”
By: Hans Themistode
Shakur Stevenson has enjoyed his time fighting under the promotional banner of Top Rank. But, despite his ongoing success, both Stevenson and longtime promoter Bob Arum, are diametrically opposed when it comes to his immediate pugilistic future.
Following a one-sided win over Jeremia Nakathila at the midway point of 2021, Stevenson marched confidently into his showdown against former WBO super featherweight titlist Jamel Herring. Although the crowd at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, vehemently cheered on the former marine, Stevenson effortlessly dissected his man throughout the night.
As the punishment continued, referee Mark Nelson saw enough, putting an end to their showdown in the 10th round. With the victory, Stevenson wrapped his second world title in as many weight classes around his waist.
For his next ring appearance, Arum has floated around the idea of matching up Stevenson with former three-division world champion and current pound-for-pound star, Vasiliy Lomachenko. In the opinion of Stevenson, however, a showdown against the Ukrainian, while intriguing, isn’t at the forefront of his mind.
Considering both men’s track records, if the decision was solely up to the former Olympic silver medalist, he would much rather face off against undefeated WBC 130 pound titlist, Oscar Valdez.
“We seen Lomachenko lose twice,” said Stevenson during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “He beat a lot of great fighters but did we see him lose twice? We did right? How many times did we see Valdez lose? We never seen him lose before.”
Although Lomachenko currently occupies a high standing on most pound-for-pound lists, the former two-time Olympic gold medalist has suffered defeats during his time as a pro.
In only his second professional contest, Lomachenko attempted to become the fastest boxer in history to win a world title. However, though he would rally back in the second half, Lomachenko was handed a split decision loss to Orlando Salido.
For the next six years, Lomachenko outboxed and out-muscled his competition. As a result, he was crowned a world champion in three separate weight classes. Nevertheless, at the tail end of 2020, Lomachenko was surprisingly dethroned by Teofimo Lopez. Since then, the slick hitting southpaw has picked up back-to-back victories over Masayoshi Nakatani and Richard Commey.
Still, regardless of Lomachenko regaining his form, Stevenson believes Valdez has been more impressive as of late.
“Valdez had a great performance with [Miguel] Berchelt, knocked him out and Valdez has never been beat. We saw him [Vasiliy Lomachenko] get in the ring with Teofimo and he looked kind of scared.”
Valdez, 31, sauntered his way to the ring against Berchelt in the first quarter of 2021, attempting to establish himself as a true player at 130 pounds. In his lone appearance as a super featherweight before his showdown against Berchelt, Valdez won a fairly close unanimous decision against journeymen Jayson Velez.
Even with most in the betting market and boxing world counting him out, Valdez had arguably the best performance of his career. The 31-year-old would go on to drop Berchelt a total of three times before registering a knockout of the year contender in the tenth to strip Berchelt of his WBC crown. Recently, Valdez defended his newly won strap against Robson Conceicao.
If Arum were successfully able to lure Lomachenko down to the 130 pound weight limit or convince Stevenson to move five pounds north, the Hall of Fame promoter believes a showdown between them would be box office gold.
While Stevenson isn’t opposed to facing Lomachenko, or anyone else for that matter, if he was given complete autonomy over his career, he would much rather take on Valdez.
“Valdez never lost, I never lost. I’m reaching the prime of my career, he’s in the prime of his career. The best vs. the best.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko: “Right Now, Nobody Wants To Sign A Contract For A Fight With Me”
By: Hans Themistode
Vasiliy Lomachenko has spent most of his life working and honing his boxing craft. As a result, the Ukrainian is the proud owner of twin Olympic gold medals, numerous titles as a professional, and worldwide recognition as one of the best fighters on the planet.
While the pound-for-pound star has ultimately received fame and fortune as a result, he isn’t interested in the former. Although the former lightweight unified titlist has sat back and watched as fellow 135 pounders such as Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and WBC belt holder Devin Haney continue to amass an enormous following, Lomachenko isn’t intrigued in pursuing their blueprint.
“I don’t want to play this game with their rules,” said Lomachenko recently. “I don’t want to be famous, I just want to be the best in boxing. I don’t want to change myself.”
Even with Lomachenko ducking for cover as the spotlight heads in his direction, he often finds himself the center of attention. Following title reigns at both 126 and 130 pounds, Lomachenko ran through the lightweight competition. Following his victory over Luke Campbell in 2019, Lomachenko was only one belt away from becoming an undisputed world champion.
His dreams, ultimately, failed to come to fruition as Teofimo Lopez both outboxed and outmuscled him during their October 17th, 2020 showdown. Since then, Lomachenko has attempted to push his name near the front of the line to earn another world title opportunity.
In June of 2021, the skilled Ukrainian became the first man to stop highly ranked contender Masayoshi Nakatani. Six months later, Lomachenko closed the year strong, winning a lopsided decision against former belt holder Richard Commey.
Despite his shoulders being devoid of any world title gold, Lomachenko has heard his name on the lips of current champions Devin Haney and George Kambosos Jr. But, regardless of the so-called interest, Lomachenko is bemused by the lack of actual fight negotiations taking place.
“Right now, nobody wants to sign a contract for a fight with me.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko Believes Mayweather Promotions Will Only Place Gervonta Davis In Fights He Can Win
By: Hans Themistode
Vasiliy Lomachenko has never been interested in taking the easy route. But the former multiple division titlist can’t say the same for Gervonta Davis.
Following back-to-back runs in the Olympics that resulted in twin gold medals, Lomachenko immediately made the move to turn pro. While he would come up just short in his first bid to win a world title in only his second pro fight, Lomachenko would begin his championship reign after his third professional contest in the ring.
Although the Ukrainian star has continued to take on all comers, he’s taken notice as Gervonta Davis, his long-time rival, has done what he believes is the exact opposite. Even with the hard-hitting Baltimore native scoring knockout victories over both Leo Santa Cruz and Mario Barrios before eking out a close decision win over Isaac Cruz, Lomachenko is unwilling to give Davis much credit. In the pound-for-pound star’s opinion, Mayweather Promotions have placed the pugnacious Davis in the sort of bouts that will allow him to shine as opposed to truly test him.
“They only fight with guys who they believe they can win this fight,” said Lomachenko to a group of reporters. “They pair their boxers with opponents that they believe their boxers can win.”
With Lomachenko fully convinced that team Davis will only place him in favorable matchups, the Ukrainian isn’t holding his breath in terms of a showdown between them materializing.
After defeating the likes of Nicholas Walters, Jorge Linares, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Luke Campbell – Lomachenko garnered reputation as the sport’s number one pound for pound fighter. While Teofimo Lopez would ultimately knock some of the luster off his name, thanks to a unanimous decision victory which subsequently stripped Lomachenko of his lightweight titles, thanks to back-to-back lopsided victories, he’s regained most of his standing.
Presently, the goal for Lomachenko is to win all four world titles at 135 pounds. And while Davis isn’t currently a titleholder in the lightweight division, Lomachenko continues to express a desire to face whom many consider to be boxing’s biggest puncher. However, as the slick-hitting southpaw relentlessly works on his craft, he’s fairly confident that team Davis is uninterested in sliding a contract across his desk.
“I always said I’m open for the fight but you know boxing politics. They know that I have real skills.”
Tim Bradley: “We Wanna See Tank Vs. Loma”
By: Hans Themistode
Vasiliy Lomachenko’s fall from grace was both short-lived and highly exaggerated.
After suffering defeat at the hands of Teofimo Lopez late last year which resulted in the Ukrainian losing his WBA, WBO, and WBC “Franchise” lightweight titles, Lomachenko fell from his normally high placement on virtually every pound-for-pound list. But while the multiple division titlist has seen his reputation take a hit, he’s seemingly regained some of his luster.
Following back-to-back wins this year over highly ranked contenders Masayoshi Nakatani and Richard Commey, Lomachenko now finds himself near the top of the lightweight mountain. As the 33-year-old has made his feelings known that he would love a showdown against George Kambosos Jr., the man who recently defeated Lopez, Tim Bradley has other ideas.
“We wanna see Tank [Gervonta Davis] vs. Loma,” said Bradley during an interview with BoxingInsider.com.
Bradley’s infatuation with watching Lomachenko and Davis square off was only enhanced after witnessing the hard-hitting Baltimore native just a few weeks ago. Although his opponent, Isaac Cruz, was able to withstand his power and push Davis to a 12 round decision for the first time in his career, Bradley is still confident that the 27-year-old would be arguably Lomachenko’s most difficult fight yet.
“Hell yea that’s a competitive fight,” continued Bradley. “You got Tank who got that punching power and speed and he can box too. Then you got Lomachenko who got the footwork and everything that goes along with him. I wanna see the fight. Tank is dangerous.”
Bradley, a retired former two-division titlist in his own right, has consistently sat back and marveled at the skills of Lomachenko. But, regardless of the reverence he has for the Ukrainian native, Bradley appears to be even more in awe at the total skillset of Davis.
“When do you see a guy with speed and power? You see a guy either have speed, no power. No power, but a little bit of speed. You got a guy with speed and power and skills to go along with it.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko, Devin Haney, And Gervonta Davis – Who Earned A Shot At George Kambosos Jr.?
By: Hans Themistode
George Kambosos Jr. toured around the United States following his monumental victory over Teofimo Lopez. The Australian native graciously posed for pictures with his new adoring fans, signed autographs, and patiently completed what felt like a perpetual amount of interviews. More importantly, he scouted the competition.
Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, and Vasiliy Lomachenko have always been judged by fans and media pundits throughout their careers but with all three lightweights fighting in close proximity to one another, there was an added pressure placed on their shoulders.
The need to impress Kambosos Jr. came as a direct result of the Australian pulling off what appeared to be an improbable and unlikely upset.
Kambosos Jr. confidently stomped into the backyard of Lopez as a gargantuan underdog, looked into the booing crowd at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, and broke into a full-blown grin. Pre-fight predictions informing him of an embarrassing stoppage defeat weren’t unnerving. Then, as the opening bell tipped off, the 28-year-old ruthlessly stripped Lopez of his championship status and sullied his previously undefeated record.
With the Australian now in possession of the IBF, WBA, and WBC franchise lightweight titles, he made it clear that his next opponent would be chosen from a small pool of names, all of which were given their moment in the spotlight to present their case.
First up on the tryout board was Devin Haney. The WBC lightweight titlist, who finds himself routinely chastised for the manner in which he was given his title, raised Kambosos Jr.’s eyebrows slightly. While Joseph Diaz, his recent opponent, proved to be a durable and game, Haney thoroughly outboxed his man before cruising to a unanimous decision victory.
As the Aussie removed his blood-stained war helmet and threw on his analytical cap, he was mostly impressed by what he saw.
“It was a good performance,” said Kambosos Jr. during an interview with Sporting News. “It was exactly what I expected. He moved, boxed, and was sharp from the outside.”
Still, even with Haney ostensibly making a good impression on the man who currently holds a seat at the top of the 135-pound food chain, Gervonta Davis was expected to one-up him.
Kambosos Jr. made the short trek from Las Vegas, Nevada, to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, and sat comfortably in his ringside seat as he took in the main event. While Haney vs. Diaz allowed Kambosos Jr. to fully dissect 12 rounds of action, in the case of Davis vs. Isaac Cruz, it felt as though the Australian wouldn’t be afforded that same courtesy.
Yet, even with most of the boxing world predicting a short and explosive win for Davis, Cruz proved to be far more durable, lasting the full 12 rounds and giving Davis the most difficult contest of his career. He was, however, aided by a severely injured left hand of Davis.
As the Baltimore native turned in his report and awaited his grade from Kambosos Jr., the newly crowned unified titlist appeared a bit indifferent. In fact, when asked to juxtapose both performances, Kambosos Jr. gave the clear edge to Haney
“Nothing too exciting,” continued Kambosos Jr. in reference to Davis during an interview with FightHype.com. “It is what it is. He got the win. I had it very, very close, it could’ve been a draw but he edged it. I think Haney had the better performance.”
With Haney turning in the better showing, the 23-year-old appeared to have the clear path to a showdown against Kambosos Jr. But just as Haney began confidently making his way to the front of the line, Vasiliy Lomachenko has grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back.
Despite losing those same world titles that occupy the waist of Kambosos Jr. at the hands of Teofimo Lopez late last year, Lomachenko is now back on the radar of every top 135 pounder. After undergoing shoulder surgery subsequently after his defeat, the Ukrainian star looks better than ever. He effortlessly dealt with Masayoshi Nakatani earlier this year, stopping him in the ninth round. He would then follow that up with a one-sided beating over former titlist Richard Commey this past weekend at Madison Square Garden.
Now, after reestablishing himself, even Kambosos Jr. had no choice but to acknowledge the Ukrainian’s performance.
“Great boxing display by Loma which puts him in the equation with Haney, Tank & Ryan (Garcia), even after his loss against Teofimo,” said Kambosos Jr. after watching Lomachenko dismantle Commey. “Looking forward to fighting one of these fellow warriors in 2022 downunder.”
Even with the unified titlist admitting that Ryan Garcia is still firmly entrenched in the Kambosos Jr. sweepstakes, he appears to be in the back of the class. Having fought just once for the entirety of 2021, Garcia will likely have to sit and wait as Kambosos Jr. chooses who he deems as the best fighter amongst that group.
With Davis eking out a close decision over Cruz, Kambosos Jr. has seemingly placed him above Garcia but behind both Haney and Lomachenko. As for who exactly impressed/earned their shot at Kambosos Jr., the most, Lomachenko appears to have the edge. While a matchup against Davis could provide the Australian with the most financial incentive, team Davis has always appeared more interested in facing fighters that could bring more to the table in terms of selling out arenas as opposed to chasing world titles.
Could Haney ultimately usurp Lomachenko and make his way to a jam-packed Australian-filled arena to fight for undisputed glory? Of course, he could. But, considering that Lomachenko has regained his lofty pound-for-pound status and the manner in which he dealt with a normally pernicious puncher in Commey, the former two-time gold medalist and multiple division star could have a leg up on the competition.
Vasiliy Lomachenko Toys With Richard Commey, Wins Unanimous Decision
By: Hans Themistode
Despite suffering defeat at the hands of Teofimo Lopez in October of 2020 and forfeiting his IBF, WBA, and WBC franchise lightweight titles, Vasiliy Lomachenko recently revealed that his desire to become an undisputed world champion hasn’t wavered.
Following a one-sided victory over Richard Commey tonight in New York’s Madison Square Garden, the Ukrainian star moved one step closer.
In front of a mostly jam-packed crowd, Lomachenko opted to play things safe in the opening bell. The pound-for-pound star and former titlist cautiously approached Commey in the middle of the ring. While there appeared to be openings for him to attack, he was content with getting the range and feel of his man.
With most of the first round now behind them, Lomachenko began opening up. He landed a stinging jab that momentarily knocked Commey off balance. Although the action was slow to kick things off, both men began engaging in a heated back and forth contest.
A much more confident Lomachenko appeared in the second half of the second round. He effortlessly evaded the missile-like right hand of his foe and began unloading with several shots of his own. In the waning seconds of the period, Lomachenko connected on a hard right hook which sent Commey into the ropes. As the bell rang to signal the end of the period, Lomachenko walked to his chair while pointing and shouting at Commey.
Over the next two rounds, Lomachenko found his rhythm. He seamlessly stepped around his much larger opponent in an effort to make him miss while making him pay. Things got lopsided in the fifth. Lomachenko routinely landed numerous punches while Commey appeared unable to see where they were coming from.
As things continued, Commey seemed to be on the brink of defeat in the seventh. Lomachenko ruthlessly attacked him with a barrage of punches. Shortly after, the durable former IBF world titlist hit the deck. Although he managed to crawl back to his feet, Lomachenko glanced over at the corner of Commey as if he was surprised that they allowed their contest to continue. Lomachenko would then go on to punish the brave Ghana native.
On several occasions, Commey stumbled into the ropes. An irate Lomachenko pointed and shouted at the corner of Commey again, urging them to wave the white flag. Despite his concerning words, Commey continued to battle and fight. However, things only got progressively worse.
Following three disastrous rounds for the hard-hitting Commey, Lomachenko began dissecting him once again in the tenth. A completely exhausted Commey stood his ground in the middle of the ring and attempted to mount a bit of his own offense. Nevertheless, Lomachenko peppered him with a seven-punch combination that was punctuated by a ruthless shot to the body.
While Commey proved to be durable enough to withstand Lomachenko’s relentless attack for the entirety of their contest, his efforts were not rewarded as he handed a wide unanimous decision defeat.
Vasiliy Lomachenko Still Interested In Rematch Against Teofimo lopez
By: Hans Themistode
Vasiliy Lomachenko is still pained by how incredibly close he was to achieving his ultimate goal. Roughly one year ago, the Ukrainian native was in possession of three of the four lightweight titles with an opportunity to add the final piece of the undisputed puzzle to his resume. Yet, despite being heavily favored against former IBF 135 pound titlist Teofimo Lopez, Lomachenko found his much younger opponent a handful to deal with.
Throughout the first six rounds of their contest, Lomachenko appeared both lethargic and unwilling to let his hands go. However, during the second half of their matchup, Lomachenko found his rhythm and began having his way. Still, despite rallying back, Lomachenko would fall short, losing a close but clear unanimous decision.
Since then, the pound-for-pound star has gotten back on the winning track, stopping Masayoshi Nakatani earlier this year in the ninth round. For his next act, the now 33-year-old will take on former titlist Richard Commey. The two are officially set to square off this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Although Lomachenko is focused on regaining his championship status and putting Lopez behind him, if the opportunity presented itself, he would love to run things back.
“I continue my career for four belts,” said Lomachenko during an interview with BoxingInsider.com “But if we have a chance to organize this fight again, I will be happy.”
In what came across as a complete shock to Lomachenko, Lopez was handed the first defeat of his career. Australian native George Kambosos Jr. dealt with the normally concussive power of Lopez, while snagging one of the more improbable upsets of the year. Regardless of Lopez’s recent shortcomings, Lomachenko is still more than willing to face him in the ring once more.
But while the Ukrainian star would love the chance to redeem himself, Lopez could be heading to another weight class. Following his shock defeat at the hands of Kambosos Jr., both Lopez and his father/trainer Teofimo Lopez Sr., expressed the need to move up to the super lightweight division. If Lopez has in fact fought his last contest at 135, Lomachenko is under the belief that he’ll never face his long-time rival ever again.
“Only 135 pounds, I can’t go 140 for this fight with Lopez. I can’t. It’s not fair. I’m a fighter of smaller size. I can’t go to 140 because he can’t make 135.”
Jorge Linares Leaning Towards Vasiliy Lomachenko In Possible Teofimo Lopez Rematch: “I Think This Time, Lopez Can Lose The Fight, Lomachenko Is Back”
By: Hans Themistode
Like most, Jorge Linares was completely taken aback with what took place when Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez squared off late last year. Having shared the ring with the Ukrainian, Linares expected the pound-for-pound star to take care of business against his explosive, yet inexperienced opponent.
Those thoughts, however, simply didn’t come to fruition as Lopez went on to dominate the first half of their contest before holding on down the stretch for a unanimous decision victory.
From the moment Lopez was handed the win, Lomachenko claimed that he should have, in fact, been announced the winner or, at the very least, been given a draw. He immediately asked for a rematch but was denied by the 23-year-old. Instead of continuing to pursue a rematch with Lopez by using his words, Lomachenko figured that the best way to get his rival back into the ring was by sending him a violent message.
Just a few weeks ago, Lomachenko made his return by taking on the highly-rated Masayoshi Nakatani. While the Japanese fighter gave Lopez all he could handle in a losing effort in 2019, Lomachenko ran right through him, stopping him in the ninth round. That performance has Linares not only believing that Lomachenko vs. Lopez 2 is likely next but also, that this time around, the outcome could be completely different.
“I think he can have the rematch with Lopez,” said Linares during an interview with SnowQueenLA. “I think this time, Lopez can lose the fight.”
Although Linares came up short in his bid to dethrone Lomachenko in 2018, the Venezuelan product floored his man in the sixth round and fought him tooth and nail. Unfortunately for Linares, however, his efforts weren’t enough as he ultimately succumbed to a 10th round body shot.
The loss for Linares may have been difficult to swallow but he watched from afar as Lomachenko continued to win fight after fight. What Linares believes he noticed though, was that while Lomachenko was continuing to rack up the wins, he didn’t look quite as dominant.
To the Ukrainian though, his lackluster performances against Lopez and others had nothing to do with whom he was fighting. Instead, it had everything to do with an injured right shoulder. He’s since gone under the knife and by all accounts, appears to be back to his old dominant self.
The performance of Lomachenko not only impressed Linares but also promoter Bob Arum and father of Lopez in Teofimo Lopez Sr.
“I wasn’t thinking about Lomachenko in the past,” said Lopez Sr. after watching Lomachenko stop Nakatani. “But after this performance, I think that the public wants to see this fight. I think I can convince my son to fight him again.”
Before any rematch can be made, Lopez first has to deal with mandatory challenger, George Kambosos Jr. The two had their original bout re-scheduled due to Lopez contracting COVID-19 and will now face off on August 14th.
In the mind of most, Lopez is expected to take care of business against the undefeated Australian native. Should that happen, all roads to Lomachenko vs. Lopez 2 are now clear. If the two do in fact, step into the ring again, Linares warns Lopez of a completely different Lomachenko for their sequel.
“Now, Lomachenko is back.”
Calvin Ford On Possible Vasiliy Lomachenko Vs. Gervonta Davis Matchup: “Why Should We Fight Loma? When We Wanted To Fight Him, He Didn’t Want To Fight Us”
By: Hans Themistode
It was somewhat ironic to have both Gervonta Davis and Vasiliy Lomachenko compete on the same night. The pair have had a long feud with one another but have yet to settle their differences in the ring.
This past weekend at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta Georgia, Davis moved up two weight divisions to take on Mario Barrios for the WBA “Regular” super lightweight world title. Davis would go on to drop Barrios three times before ultimately stopping him in the 11th.
As for Lomachenko, he to would end his night early, dropping Masayoshi Nakatani several times and stopping him in the ninth round at the Virgin Hotels, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With both men stepping into the ring on the exact same night, many have wondered whether or not they’ll ever face each other. Well, according to Calvin Ford, trainer of Davis, he claims that team Davis attempted to make that fight happen quite some time ago.
“We thought that fight was going to happen before the pandemic,” said Ford during an interview with ESNews.com. “Lomachenko’s team messed up. They studied long, they studied wrong, guess who got the belts now?”
At the moment, Davis does hold a multitude of belts in multiple weight classes simultaneously. The Baltimore native is in possession of the WBA title at 130, 135 and 140 pounds, however, they are all “Regular” titles. For Lomachenko, on the other hand, he’s never shown an interest in fighting for a secondary title. He has though, called for a showdown against Davis on numerous occasions.
Nevertheless, Davis has also stated several times over that if a matchup against Lomachenko can take place on pay-per-view, he would be more than willing to take him on. With that said, it appears as though the expiration date on their showdown has now expired. In the mind of Ford, he has no interest in matching up his young star with Lomachenko at this point. In Ford’s opinion, the Ukrainian has been highly disrespectful to Davis in the past. Now, with the amount of money his fighter is making, Ford believes they call the shots and what that ultimately means, is don’t expect to see the two in the ring anytime soon.
“Ask yourself, why should we fight Loma? When we wanted to fight him, he didn’t want to fight us. He wouldn’t even mention our name and that’s just real talk. Go back and check the records. We wanted to fight him but they wouldn’t give it to us. He kept saying who is tank? Tank is that cash cow now.”
Teofimo Lopez Sr.: “I Wasn’t Thinking About Lomachenko But After This Performance, The Public Wants To See This Fight, I Think I Can Convince My Son To Fight Him Again”
By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez Sr. always believed that despite the naysayers, his son, Teofimo Lopez, would get the job done against Vasiliy Lomachenko. The two clashed in mid-October last year in a lightweight unification bout.
To the surprise of many, Lopez walked away with the decisive win. Since then, Lopez Sr. has shown little to no interest in placing his son in a rematch with Lomachenko regardless of the Ukrainian claiming that he wasn’t 100% due to an injured shoulder. In the mind of Lopez Sr., he was simply convinced that Lomachenko was on the downslide in his career and part two would be even less competitive. However, after watching Lomachenko dismantle, toy and ultimately stop highly rated contender Masayoshi Nakatani, Lopez Sr. is now willing to run things back.
“I wasn’t thinking about Lomachenko in the past,” said Lopez Sr. as he spoke to promoter Bob Arum after the fight. “But after this performance, I think that the public wants to see this fight. I think I can convince my son to fight him again.”
Lomachenko, 33, aimed to make a statement last night at the Virgins Hotel, in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the pound-for-pound star could have opted for a light touch for his comeback opponent as he was coming off shoulder surgery, he instead set his sights on Nakatani. Not only did he choose the Japanese product because he respects his skill set but also because he had a plan in place.
In July of 2019, Nakatani gave Lopez all he could handle at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Although Lopez would eventually win via wide unanimous decision, it was by far the most difficult night of Lopez’s young career. To prove that he could win if given another chance, Lomachenko believed that if he defeated Nakatani decisively, it would place him in the driver’s seat for a rematch with Lopez.
By all accounts, the plan of Lomachenko appears to be going exactly the way he envisioned it. But before he steps into the ring with Lopez again, the unified lightweight titlist has some business to attend to as mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr. is next on his list. The two were originally scheduled to face off in mid-June. But, due to a positive COVID-19 test result produced by Lopez, their showdown has been moved to mid-August.
For Lopez Sr., once his son has fully recovered from the deadly disease, he’ll easily take care of Kambosos Jr. Then from there, both he and Arum can begin negotiations for Lopez vs. Lomachenko II.
“After Kambosos it can be made,” said Lopez Sr. “It’s going to be the biggest fight in the world. We can make it happen in December in the Madison Square Garden. I gotta talk to him.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko is in Familiar Territory Against Masayoshi Nakatani
By: Hector Franco
This weekend, fans and pundits will witness the return of former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs). The two-time Olympic gold medalist will face off against Japan’s Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) in a 12-round lightweight bout.
The match will take place at the Theater at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas and will be televised on ESPN.
The last time Lomachenko was seen inside the squared circle was in October 2020 where he lost a unanimous decision to Teofimo Lopez. Following the loss to Lopez, Lomachenko underwent surgery on his right shoulder.
The injury was undoubtedly a factor in the bout with Lopez as Lomachenko fought in a shockingly reserved fashion in the first half of the match. However, with almost 400 amateur fights and a majority of his professional fights being world title bouts, injuries may be a recurring theme for the Ukrainian for the remainder of his career.
“I have never shown my 100 percent skill because there was always some little problem,” Lomachenko stated on Top Rank’s documentary Relentless, promoting the fight with Nakatani. “The fight with Linares, I had the problem with my shoulder. If we remember Pedraza, it was my first fight after surgery, and with Crolla, I broke my hand, but I finished the fight.
“Now I am healthy, I am ready mentally for this fight, and I want to win.”
Lomachenko’s opponent, Nakatani, may be best known for providing Teofimo Lopez with arguably one of the toughest fights of his career. The Japanese fighter is one of the most unique fighters in the lightweight division, standing at almost six feet with a 71-inch reach.
More notably, Nakatani is a fighter that has no quit, as exhibited in his previous bout with the now-infamous Felix Verdejo. Through the first half of the match, Nakatani was primarily dominated by the jab and knocked down in the first and fourth rounds. The Japanese fighter continued to apply pressure and eventually wore down the Puerto Rican, scoring two knockdowns leading to a ninth-round stoppage.
For Nakatani, the opportunity to fight someone like Lomachenko is something he is not taking lightly.
“This is a fight that I have to win and that I want to win,” said Nakatani. “When this fight came up, I felt that it is the biggest fight of my career. But getting the fight doesn’t mean anything. I must win for this fight to mean something.
“I’m going to win!”
At 33-years of age, the former unified lightweight champion is a fighter that has responded well to losses. When Lomachenko suffered his first and only loss as an amateur to Russia’s Albert Selimov, he responded with two victories in rematches.
After suffering his first loss to Orlando Salido in his second professional bout, Lomachenko, in his next fight, defeated the then-undefeated Gary Russell Jr. to capture the vacant WBO featherweight title.
If history is any indication, Lomachenko may have a standout performance against Nakatani. However, history won’t have anything to do with what happens inside the ring. Nakatani represents a difficult challenge for the Ukrainian, and a victory won’t come easy.
While Nakatani may prove to be arduous opposition for the former pound-for-pound star, fans will look forward to what Lomachenko does next, specifically if a rematch with Lopez will take place.
A rematch clause wasn’t in place for the first bout with Lopez, and the younger fighter has vehemently stated that a rematch isn’t in the cards. However, with Lopez recently resigning with promoter Top Rank if a more significant fight can’t take place, a rematch between the two pugilists could happen.
For now, Lomachenko remains focused on the task at hand.
“I have a fight this Saturday,” said Lomachenko. “After, we can talk about the Teofimo Lopez rematch. But, of course, everyone knows I want that fight again.”
Vasyl Lomachenko Still Wants Teofimo Lopez: “The World Knows I Want This Fight Again”
By: Hans Themistode
Vasyl Lomachenko still has a hard time processing what exactly happened.
After reigning on top of the boxing world as the consensus number one fighter for years, Lomachenko was expected to take care of business relatively easily against Teofimo Lopez. The two matched up in a unification showdown in mid-October last year.
Despite the long odds, Lopez thoroughly outboxed his man early on before eking out a close unanimous decision victory. The mere thought of Lopez holding a win over the Ukrainian irritates him to no end. While Lopez has already gone on record stating that he has no intention of giving Lomachenko a rematch, the former multiple division champion is still hungry for it. Still, although he’s made his feelings clear, Lomachenko would much rather take care of business this Saturday before discussing what could possibly be next.
“I have a fight this Saturday night,” said Lomachenko during a press conference earlier today. “After we can talk about a rematch but of course, the world knows, I want this fight again.”
The fight that Lomachenko alludes to, figures to be a big challenge for the former back-to-back Olympic gold medalist as the highly rated Masayoshi Nakatani steps into the ring against him this Saturday night at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. Recently, the Japanese star picked himself up off the deck on multiple occasions to stop Felix Verdejo.
At the moment, the betting public is firmly backing Lomachenko as he’s currently pegged as a substantial favorite. Regardless of those odds, the Ukrainian will be facing an uphill battle as Nakatani has a four-inch height and six-inch reach advantage.
But while Nakatani’s imposing dimensions would worry most fighters in the division, Lomachenko appears unafraid of what he’s up against this Saturday night.
Heading into his showdown against Lopez, Lomachenko was lambasted for his refusal to throw many punches in the first half of the fight. He would eventually find his rhythm in the second half but it was a case of too little too late. With the chance to somewhat wipe away the stain from his latest performance, Lomachenko is determined to show that his loss against Lopez was nothing more than an aberration.
“I want to show my best skill and show who I am.”