Vasiliy Lomachenko Open To Moving Down In Weight To Face Oscar Valdez
By: Hans Themistode
Despite facing a size disadvantage almost every time he steps foot inside the ring, Vasiliy Lomachenko wants to continue his boxing journey at 135 pounds. The former three-division titlist saw his dream of becoming an undisputed lightweight champion turn into a nightmare as he was outboxed and out-hustled by Teofimo Lopez in October of last year.
Since then, Lomachenko has regurgitated on numerous occasions that he doesn’t plan on moving down in weight. With that said, the Ukrainian does find a matchup with newly crowned super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez an interesting fight.
In fact, if the business of boxing can be taken of, he would be more than willing to drop down in weight to make the fight happen.
“I didn’t watch the full fight but I saw highlights, of course. I saw the KO,” said Lomachenko as he answered questions regarding Valdez knockout win over Miguel Berchelt during an interview with SnowQueenLA. “I can make 130. But I choose a different route, which for me is to keep boxing at 135 but it all depends on Bob Arum if he can make the Valdez fight happen.”
Valdez, 30, was a sizable underdog heading into his contest against Berchelt on February 20th. Regardless of the doubters, Valdez punished his man, dropping him in the fourth, ninth and for the final time, the tenth round.
The moment Valdez landed his overhand left in the period, referee Russell Mora immediately waved off their contest as Berchelt was out cold long before his body hit the canvas.
While Lomachenko has expressed interest in taking him on at 130 pounds, at this point, the former two-time Olympic Gold medalist would settle for a fight with anyone at this point.
Before facing Lopez late last year, Lomachenko had been sidelined for well over a year. Now, with no fight date in sight, the 33-year-old is getting a bit antsy. Although a few names have been lofted in his direction in terms of possible future opponents, including lightweight contender Masayoshi Nakatani, nothing is concrete just yet.
For now, Lomachenko simply continues to wait until his name is called. Something he hopes happens very soon.
“I want to fight. I’m ready. But I don’t have an opponent or date yet. First, I thought it would be Masayoshi Nakatani but we haven’t agreed on anything yet. I don’t have any news on when I’ll be back. I hope they’ll give me a date in June.”
Devin Haney On Vasiliy Lomachenko: “There’s Different Ways That He Can Be Beat
By: Hans Themistode
Devin Haney hasn’t signed his name to any contracts just yet, but he knows a showdown against former multiple division champion Jorge Linares is most likely next for him.
Currently, both sides are locked in negotiations with May being floated around as the target date. With Haney’s resume shallow in terms of elite-level opponents, the WBC lightweight titlist has welcomed a showdown against Linares with open arms. But while he’s locked in on the former champion, he is still holding out hope that a certain Ukrainian sneaks in through the backdoor.
“Jorge Linares is the frontrunner,” said Haney during an interview with FightHype. “But I’m still looking forward to hopefully making a fight with Loma (Lomachenko).”
Over the past few weeks, both Haney and Lomachenko have thrown jabs at one another over social media. Although it is unlikely, both sides have agreed to take each other on in May. Yet, they appear to be heading in opposite directions.
Haney (25-0, 15 KOs), as previously mentioned, is deep in negotiations with Linares. As for Lomachenko, promoter Bob Arum recently claimed that he is interested in matching him up against Masayoshi Nakatani.
Haney though, is hoping that they will simply fight each other instead. While his interest in facing Lomachenko has somewhat waned since the Ukrainians defeat at the hands of Teofimo Lopez just a few months ago, Haney still believes that a showdown between them would be nothing short of box-office.
“I’m happy that he finally acknowledged me and interested in fighting me. It sucks that now it comes after he takes a loss. I would rather it happen when he was on top but at the end of the day, a fight with Loma would still be huge and a fight that I would welcome.”
Lomachenko, 33, was thoroughly outboxed when he was last seen in the ring against Lopez. At the time, most pegged him as the best fighter in the world. Fast forward to today however, and Lomachenko is attempting to repair his once unbeatable image.
For what it’s worth, Haney still has a tremendous amount of respect for the former two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. But with now two losses straddled to his docket, Haney views him as vulnerable. At one point, there was seemingly only one game plan to defeat him. In 2014 in only his second pro fight, former world champion Orlando Salido handed Lomachenko the first loss of his career.
The crafty veteran pulled out every trick in the book, including what many felt was a few dirty ones as he roughed up Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) on his way to the victory. Now, with Lopez providing a different game plan to beating him, Haney believes the book on beating Lomachenko is out for the entire public to see.
“Teofimo did lay another blueprint on how to beat Loma. It just shows that there’s different ways that he can be beat.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko To Devin Haney: “You Still Haven’t Fought With Anyone, I’m Waiting For You Cowards”
By: Hans Themistode
The moment Vasiliy Lomachenko fell from his pound-for-pound throne, the criticism has come in waves.
In what many believed would be another routine win, Lomachenko found Teofimo Lopez a much more complex puzzle to solve when the two battled it out with all of the lightweight marbles on the line in mid-October 2020.
Watching Lomachenko fall was a surprise to just about everyone. But even more of a shock is, outside of a handful of interviews, how he has virtually disappeared since the defeat. Amongst those wondering where Lomachenko has gone, is WBC lightweight champion, Devin Haney.
“Where the f*ck is Loma at?” Said Haney on his Twitter account.
Despite having close to 200,000 thousand followers on Twitter, Lomachenko seldom uses social media. This time around though, he took the time to address Haney on his own personal account.
“I’m here!” Said Lomachenko. “I’m waiting for you cowards to decide on a real fight and not on Twitter.”
For Haney, he’s heard the same thing over and over throughout the course of his short career. The talent is obvious but the names he’s fought up until this point have been underwhelming. The Las Vegas resident has called for matchups against Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Teofimo Lopez and of course, Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Yet, no matter how loud he screams for any of the big-name fighters to face him, they have all seemingly ignored him. With no marquee wins under his belt, Lomachenko is convinced that Haney is simply all bark but no bite.
“Waiting is your favorite action,” continued Lomachenko. “You still haven’t fought with anyone.”
Ironically enough, Haney was once the mandatory challenger to face Lomachenko when he held the WBC title. Although the 22-year-old planned on facing him, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman had other ideas in mind as he stripped Lomachenko of his title and instead, gifted him with the Franchise tag, a new and still confusing term fans are trying to wrap their heads around.
With the WBC title now vacant, Haney, who was the interim belt holder, was then elevated to full champion. Since then, he’s gone on to defeat journeymen Alfredo Santiago and the long-faded former multiple division champion Yuriokis Gamboa.
He may won have every single round against both fighters but Lomachenko doesn’t appear to be impressed. In fact, fighters such as Lopez have said that Haney is nothing more than an email champion since his title reign began with an email notifying him that he had become a full belt holder.
Helping him in his efforts to shut up the doubters could be former multiple division champion Jorge Linares. Both camps are currently locked in negotiations for an April clash.
As for Lomachenko, he appears to have his eyes on Haney. Those plans however, could be forced to wait as promoter Bob Arum has already said that he plans on matching up Lomachenko with top contender Masayoshi Nakatani who is coming off an upset win over once highly touted prospect Felix Verdejo.
Bob Arum: “Nakatani Is A Really Hard Punching lightweight And We’re Looking To Him As The Opponent For Lomachenko”
By: Hans Themistode
Following Vasiliy Lomachenko’s surprising loss at the hands of Teofimo Lopez in mid-October last year, promoter Bob Arum did not want to bother him just yet. Lomachenko had always dreamed of becoming an undisputed world champion and needed only one more win to achieve his ultimate goal.
Lopez though, would hear none of it as he outboxed Lomachenko to a clear unanimous decision victory. Not only did the loss strip Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) of the world lightweight titles that were in his possession, but it also dropped him from the consensus number one pound for pound spot as well. With Arum giving him nearly four months to sulk and dust himself off, the long time promoter has begun discussions with his star about his return.
Although Lomachenko was adamant in his desire to run things back with Lopez, that ship has seemingly sailed. With that being said, Arum believes he’s found a more than suitable replacement for his return fight.
“The Japanese boy, (Masayoshi) Nakatani,” said Arum during a recent interview with IFL TV. “He knocked out (Felix) Verdejo and gave (Teofimo) Lopez all he could handle. Nakatani is a really hard-punching lightweight and we’re looking to him as the opponent for Lomachenko.”
As previously mentioned by Arum, Nakatani is currently riding the high associated with the best stretch of performances in his career. In July of 2019, Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) took it to Lopez during their showdown. Coming in, the Japanese native was viewed as an easy victory. However, he proved that he could compete at the highest level.
The results on the night weren’t exactly what he was looking for, but after taking a year and a half to recover from his back and forth battle with Lopez, Nakatani would return to the ring. As was the case in his previous contest, Nakatani was once again the underdog, this time against Felix Verdejo. A short and unsuccessful night at the office appeared to be on the cards for Nakatani as he was dropped twice during the first and fourth rounds.
Nevertheless, he not only climbed back to his feet each and every time but he also went on to hand Verdejo a savage beating. One that culminated in two knockdowns in the ninth round before the referee waved things off entirely as Verdejo fell flat on his face in an attempt to beat the count.
The win for Nakatani has now placed him in the driver’s seat for Lomachenko’s return to the ring. Unlike the Ukrainian’s last contest which was held in the empty arena of the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada, Arum has revealed that he isn’t planning on subjecting his fighter to that lonely atmosphere once again.
According to Arum, he’s confident that by the time Lomachenko’s fight date comes rolling around, a limited amount of fans will be able to attend events.
“We’ve talked with him and we’re looking at early summer. He’s tired of fighting in bubbles, he’s a big-ticket seller so we think we can do a big fight in early summer in the United States. We’ve been talking with MSG, so we believe by June, they’ll be able to accommodate hopefully 50-60 percent.”