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 vs. Campbell Fight Preview
By: Sean Crose
WBA and WBO world lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko will try to add the WBC world lightweight title to his collection when he faces former titlist Luke Campbell at the O2 arena in a scheduled twelve round bout that will be aired live Saturday on ESPN+. The 13-1 Lomachenko will be coming off a commanding knockout win over Anthony Crolla last April in Los Angeles. The 20-2 Campbell, on the other hand, will be coming off a stoppage over Adrian Yung last March in Philadelphia. Campbell, of Yorkshshire, England, will essentially be fighting in front of a hometown crowd Saturday, as the O2 arena is in London.
Lomachenko has had a stunning career to date. With less than fifteen professional fights under his belt, the former Olympic legend has won himself world titles in three weight divisions and is now hoping to unify the major lightweight belts. “This brings me one step closer to my main goal of having all the belts,” Lomachenko said on Thursday. “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.”
Campbell, who will walk into the ring on Saturday with a two inch height advantage of the 5’7 Lomachenko, has expressed confidence in the leadup to the bout. “I’m feeling great at the minute,” he said on Thursday. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me.” It’s also an opportunity that some feel the hard hitting Englishman has a chance to capitalize on. Most of Lomachenko’s opponents have been completely overwhelmed by the awkward fighter’s speed and brilliant use of angles, but Campbell, with his impressive knockout ratio, has only a single loss on his resume (to Jorge Linares) that he hasn’t avenged. In other words, he’s a man used to winning.
Aside from the lightweight title throwdown, Saturday’s card will showcase an interesting heavyweight matchup when Tyson Fury’s cousin, Hughie Fury faces Alexander Povetkin in a scheduled 12 round affair. Fury has fought twice since losing to Kubrat Pulev last October, besting Chris Norrad and Samuel Peter respectively. The veteran Povetkin, on the other hand, hasn’t fought since being knocked out by Anthony Joshua in a title bout back in 2018. Fury, who teamed up with Matchroom Boxing recently, is clearly looking to impress, while Povetkin is looking to reenter the conversation of top heavyweights.
Saturday will also see the 14-1 Julio Cesar Martinez try to wrest away the WBC world flyweight title from the defending champion, 15-2 Charlie Edwards. Edwards is coming off a March decision win over Angel Moreno, while Martinez is coming off a knockout victory over the well known Lee Selby, in a bout that also went down last March. Martinez has stopped or retired all eight of his previous opponents. Edwards will be defending his WBC belt for the third time, since winning the title off of Cristofer Rosales last December, via decision.
The Vasyl Lomachenko versus Luke Campbell card will begin at 5PM EST on ESPN+ this Saturday.
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.
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.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Dogboe vs. Navarrete, Lomachenko vs. Pedraza
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Top Rank Boxing will take two of their top stars, Vasiliy Lomachenko and Isaac Dogboe, to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City for another Top Rank Boxing on ESPN telecast.
Pound for pound star, Vasiliy Lomachenko, will put his WBA Lightweight Title on the line against WBO Champion Jose Pedraza in the main event of the night. The co-main event of the evening will be between Isaac Dogboe and Emanuel Navarrete for the WBO Junior Featherweight Title.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
The undercard will feature boxers such as Teofimo Lopez Jr., Mason Menard, Alexander Besputin, Juan Carlos Abreu, Josue Vargas, and Michael Perez.
The following is a preview of the main two fights of the night.
Isaac Dogboe (20-0) vs. Emmanuel Navarrete (25-1); WBO Junior Featherweight Title
Isaac Dogboe burst onto the scene and minds of boxing fans worldwide with his shocking upset of Jessie Magdaleno for the Junior Featherweight Title.
He’s a champion to keep an eye one, and the twenty four year old boxer from Ghana brings into the ring a wealth of amateur experience, including a trip to the 2012 Olympic Games.
His opponent, Emmanuel Navarrete, does not have the amateur experience of Dogboe and has never fought outside of his native country of Mexico.
Navarrete will have a large height advantage over Dogboe, approximately five inches. They both are relatively young, Dogboe is twenty four years old while Navarrete is twenty three.
Dogboe has been fairly active, especially in 2018. He has already fought three times in 2018 and fought once in 2017. Navarrete fought three times in 2018 and five times in 2017.
At this point in their careers, Dogboe has defeated the better boxers. He has defeated the likes of Hidenori Otake, Jessie Magdaleno, Cesar Juarez, and Javier Chacon.
Navarrete has fought exclusively in Mexico and his biggest win to date was over Jose Sanmartin. He has no other notable victories, but it should be noted he has only faced one opponent with a losing record and his lone loss was way back in 2012 to Daniel Argueta.
Both boxers have considerable power. Navarrete has twenty two knockouts on his resume, and he has stopped his past eight opponents. Dogboe has stopped fourteen of his opponents, including five of his past six.
Navarrete isn’t quite yet a well known opponent in the United States and this is first fight in soil outside of Mexico. This is a bout that Dogboe should emerge victorious.
Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1)vs. Jose Pedraza (25-1); WBA/WBO Lightweight Title
Lomachenko, despite a loss early in his professional career to former world champion Orlando Salido, is considered by many to be the best pound for pound boxer on the planet.
He’s thirty years old and only one year older than his opponent Pedraza. Pedraza will have a slight one inch height advantage and a more pronounces five and a half inch reach advantage.
Lomachenko fought three times in 2017 and only once in 2018. Pedraza has fought three times in 2018 but only once in 2017. Both fighters have been fairly active recently.
Both boxers competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics as an amateur, but only Lomachenko can claim to have won a medal. In fact, Lomachenko has won two gold medals as an amateur boxer.
Lomachenko has defeated the likes of Jorge Linares, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, Gary Russell Jr., and Jose Ramirez. He has won his last eight fights by stoppage.
Pedraza’s lone loss was to Gervonta Davis by TKO. He has defeated the likes of Raymundo Beltran, Antonio Moran, Stephen Smith, Edner Cherry, Andrey Klimov, and Micahel Farenas. Pedraza, in contrast to Lomachenko, hasn’t had a stoppage victory in eight fights.
Pedraza’s length and height might give Lomachenko some problems early on, but Lomachenko is too good of a technical boxer to not figure out the reach and timing of Pedraza. Pedraza is a boxer with heart and will likely make it an entertaining fight, but he has little to no chance of beating Lomachenko.
Boxing Insider Interview with Jose Pedraza: Ready to Put on A Great Show
By: Henry Deleon
Brooklyn’s most famous Boxing gym, Gleason’s Gym hosted Top Ranks meet and greet event on Wednesday December 5th. Here the fighters from the Lomachenko vs. Pedraza card met with the kids from Gleason’s “Give a Kid a Dream”, a nonprofit corporation in where they provide mentorship to disadvantaged youths through the sport of boxing.
Jose “Sniper” Pedraza who will be fighting in the main event Saturday, was among those fighters at the meet and greet. In the midst of it all, Boxing Insider had the opportunity to catch up with Jose on his upcoming bout.
Boxing Insider – Jose how do you feel for your fight against Lomachenko this Saturday?
Jose Pedraza – I feel great. I’m excited for it to be the 8th of December already so I can put on a great show for you all.
Boxing Insider – How do you feel to be fighting here in Madison Square Garden? Where fighters like Miguel Cotto have created a grand legacy.
Jose Pedraza – I feel very excited to be fighting here where not only Cotto has fought, but many other Puerto Ricans have fought. Like Tito Trinidad who is one of the biggest names in Puerto Rican Boxing. I feel very excited to be part of that history.
Boxing Insider – Without giving too much of your game plan away, I’m curious on knowing on how you are going to approach and counter Loma’s movement come Saturday?
Jose Pedraza – well I’m definitely the taller fighter in this fight, so I am going to have to use my distance to my advantage. We need to have great conditioning, which we do, to be able to fight at his pace and to make good usage of my speed.
Boxing insider – Going into this fight, what do you think would be Lomachenko’s most difficult attribute to adjust to?
Jose Pedraza – well we are going to see how the fight unfolds. My team and I have studied Lomachenko really well. So, we are going to see how the fight unfolds and make the proper adjustments as the rounds go by.
Boxing Insider – This is a big fight for you to end the year with. God willing, you come out victorious this Saturday, who else out there would you like to face?
Jose Pedraza – well after this fight, which I’m a 100% sure I will be victorious, we’re going to go after all those great champions in the division. We’re going to continue unifying the belts. So, we are going to make sure we keep training hard so we’ll be ready to take on these fights.
Boxing Insider – Thank you Jose. All the best for this Saturday!
Jose “Snipper” Pedraza (25-1 12 KO’s) is currently the W.B.O World Lightweight Champion. He is only the second Puerto Rican boxer to win world titles at 103 and 135 pounds. Jose will be taking on 2-time Olympic gold medalist and currently the W.B.A Super World Lightweight Champion Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (11-1 9 KO’s) in a unification bout Saturday December 8th at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The fight will also be live on ESPN at 9 p.m ET. Tune in for another exciting night of Boxing!
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Preview: Linares vs. Lomachenko, Adames vs. Barrera
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night two of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters, Jorge Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko will square off in a WBA Lightweight Title bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will be working together and will televise this fight on ESPN.
The co-feature of the night will be a welterweight bout between Carlos Adames and Alejandro Barrera. Other prospects on the fight card include Michael Conlan, Teofimo Lopez, and Jamel Herring. Conlan may appear on the televised portion of the card due to his popularity, but that bout should be an easier victory for him.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing
The following is a preview of the co-featured bout and the main event of the night.
Carlos Adames (13-0) vs. Alejandro Barrera (29-4); Welterweights
Carlos Adames is a prized prospect with heavy hands. He’s only twenty four years old and will be seven years younger than Barrera on fight night. He will also have a significant three inch reach advantage.
Adames has been very active. He fought three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Barrera fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016.
Adames has considerable power. He has stopped eleven of his opponents and only one of his past ten opponents was able to make it the full fight. Barrera has eighteen stoppage victories, but he has lost two of his past four fights.
Adames is a former Pan American Gold Medalist and competed in the world amateur championships. Barrera has no notable amateur career to speak of.
Adames has fought mainly in the Dominican Republic, his past nine fighters were there. He has defeated the likes of Carlos Molina, Jean Carlos Prada, and Ivan Alvarez. Barrera has defeated the likes of Eddie Gomez and Juan Macias Montiel. He has losses to Armando Robles, Rmases Agaton, Errol Spence Jr., and Keandre Gibson.
Barrera is talented enough to score an occasional upset, as evident in his win over Eddie Gomez. But Adames looks like he will be too talented for Barrera to handle.
Jorge Linares (44-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1); WBA Lightweight Title
Jorge Linares used to be a top boxer in Top Rank’s stable of fighters, but back to back losses to Sergio Thompson and Antonio DeMarco in late 2011 early 2012 forced Top Rank to let Linares loose and allowed for Golden Boy Promotions to pick him up.
He has since won thirteen fights in a row and his name has often come up in conversation as one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters.
However, he’ll be facing a true legend in the sport with only eleven professional fights, Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lomachenko has eight stoppage victories and will be giving up about an inch in height and three and a half inches in reach to Linares. Lomachenko will be two years younger than Linares, but both boxers are still considered by most to be in their athletic primes.
Linares has twenty seven stoppage wins, but his past four fights were won by decision. Lomacheno fought three times in 2017 and twice in 2016 while Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
Lomachenko’s lone loss was a controversial one to Orlando Salido, who came in overweight. He has defeated the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Nicholas Walters, Roman Martinez, and Gary Russell Jr.
Linares has losses to Sergio Thompson, Antonio DeMarco, and Juan Carlos Salgado. He has defeated the likes of Oscar Larios, Mercito Gesta, Luke Campbell, Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihto Arakawa.
It is extremely rare to find someone with the amateur resume of Vasyl Lomachenko. He was a two time Olympic Gold Medalist. Linares was a national champion as an amateur in Venezuela.
Linares has excellent footwork and incredible accuracy, but Lomachenko also has excellent footwork and accuracy and in fact, probably has better footwork than Linares. Linares can hang with anyone in the first half of a fight, but he tends to fade late. Lomachenko has never shown signs of fading in a ring.
Lomachenko does have problems with fighters who are known for being rough on the inside and willing to fight a little dirty, like Orlando Salido. Linares is not that type of fighter. He’s known for his technique and finesse.
Linares will have a size advantage on Saturday night, and he’d be wise to use it. But Lomachenko’s movement and accuracy will should win him the fight, especially in the later rounds.
This writer thinks Linares will be able to keep it close early on, but will fade late and eventually succumb to a Lomachenko barrage.
Lomachenko Eager to Prove That Skills Will be the Difference Against Linares
By: Bryant Romero
Vasiliy ‘Hi Tech’ Lomachenko will be heading into unfamiliar territory as a professional prize fighter as he will head 5 pounds north to the lightweight division and challenge the most established champion at 135 pounds in Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) on May 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) will be challenging Linares for his WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight titles in just his first fight in the division. Linares is on an unbeaten 12 fight winning streak and is eager to prove that not only is he the bigger stronger man, but has the skills to match the talented Ukrainian. Lomachenko doesn’t seem fazed whatsoever at the size his opponent will bring come fight night and is confident that size won’t be a factor at all in this intriguing lightweight bout.
“For me, it’s a big challenge because before this fight, I fought against guys who were the same size or a little bit smaller than me,” Lomachenko said.
“Now, I want to feel the way Rigondeaux felt when he fought me. He was smaller than I at that point. I am going to be smaller than my opponents now. I want to show people it’s not a big problem, that five pounds is not too big of a difference.
“I wanted to go up to the next weight category, 135 pounds, and fight only champions. Jorge Linares was available for this moment. That’s why I wanted a fight with him.
“I was asked if I wanted to fight Linares. It took me less than two seconds to accept the challenge,” Lomachenko told the boxing media.
It’s the most important and biggest fight of both fighters careers and Lomachenko recognizes the history in not only fighting in New York but to get the chance to headline the big room at Madison Square Garden where boxing legends have been made.
“It’s important for me because I made my name in the history of boxing. Moving forward, I only want to fight in big arenas. I love New York. I love Madison Square Garden. I feel very comfortable there. The boxing fans are very knowledgeable. It’s a very famous arena. Fighting there is a big honor for me,” he said.
Bob Arum of Top Rank who promotes Lomachenko expects a capacity crowd of over 16,000 in attendance for this fight, which shows that the drawing power of the talented Ukrainian is significantly rising.
As for the two combatants themselves, there has been no shortage of verbal jabs being thrown at each in the lead up to this bout. But Lomachenko hopes that after the fight that Linares will show up at the post fight press conference.
“I like it. Before the fight, all boxers talk trash, but after the fight, nobody comes to the press conference. After this fight, I want to see Jorge Linares at the press conference, and I want to hear what he has to say,” Lomachenko said.
Bryant Romero can be reached on Twitter @BoxingTruth88
Jermall Charlo and Gervonta Davis Ask For Golovkin and Lomachenko
By: Ken Hissner
After Saturday’s quick knockouts on Showtime two of the winners shot their mouths off after destroying lesser opponents and asking for something they may regret in the future. In other words “Watch what you ask for!”
Houston’s Jermall Charlo, 27-0 (21) won the interim WBC World Middleweight title knocking out Hugo Centeno, Jr., 26-2 (14), of Oxnard, CA, in the second round. Charlo only had one fight in 2017 against a much overrated Jorge Sebastian Heiland, 29-5-2 (16), from Argentina in the 4th round.
The former IBF World Super Welterweight Champion called out Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 37-0-1 (33), of KAZ and L.A., CA. who on May 5th will be defending his title or title’s against the WBC No. 1 Super Middleweight against Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan, 36-3-1 (21), of Armenia and Glendale, CA., who has lost to twin brother Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo, 30-0 (15), back in March of 2015 via a 10 round decision. Martirosyan has never been stopped in his 40 bout career. He was the USA 2004 Olympian at welterweight.
The other winner Saturday night was Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 20-0 (19), of Baltimore, MD, but having moved out to Las Vegas, NV. He stopped Jesus Marcelo Andres “El Jinete Cuellar, 28-3 (21), former WBA World Featherweight Champion in the 3rd round to win the WBA Super World Super Featherweight title.
Interviewer Jim Gray brought up the name WBO Super World Super Featherweight Champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 10-1 (8), of the Ukraine now living in Oxnard, CA. He will be fighting WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge “El Nino de Oro Golden Boy” Linares, 44-3 (27), of VZ now living in Tokyo, Japan May 12 at Madison Square Garden.
This writer considers Lomachenko P4P No. 1 and Golovkin P4P No. 2. Both are former Olympians with Lomachenko winning Gold Medals in 2008 and 2012. Golovkin won a Silver Medal in 2004 after defeating Andre Dirrell losing in the final to Russian Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov who never turned professional.
My thoughts are Charlo meeting the Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 33-2 (29), of Brooklyn, NY, and Maciej “Striczu” Sulecki, 26-0 (10), of Warsaw, Poland, winner on April 28th at the Barclay Center. Sulecki stopped Centeno in June of 2016 in the 10th round.
I’m sure that though under suspension for six months Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-2 (34), of Guadalajara, MEX, and Golovkin will meet in sometime on or around September pending on the length of the suspension. That controversial draw that Golovkin got ripped off on should be changed to a NC or ND.
This writer felt that Golovkin could meet WBO World Champion Billy Joe Saunders, 26-0 (12), of Hatfield Hertfordshire, UK, with all the titles on the line. He will meet Martin Murray, 36-4-1 (17), on June 23rd in the UK, whose only stoppage loss was to Golovkin in June of 2015 in Monte Carlo in the 11th round.
If Charlo and Davis get “WHAT THEY ASKED FOR” I’m sure it will not before 2019.
Lomachenko-Linares Set For May 12th In New York
In what Top Rank Promotions is calling “a battle of two of the world’s pound-for-pound best,” Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1) will move up to attempt to gain a title in his third weight division by facing WBA lightweight champ Jorge Linares (44-3). The bout, which will go down at New York’s Madison Square Garden, will be aired live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes on May12th. The card will also be aired live via the ESPN app.
The official announcement of Lomachenko-Linares represents a cross promotional success story. “This demonstrates that promoters and networks, when they work together for the good of everyone, can accomplish so very much,” says promoter Bob Arum. Linares is part of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy stable. Lomachenko, on the other hand, is represented by Arum’s Top Rank Promotions.
“Jorge has established himself as the world’s best lightweight by taking on any and all comers over his storied career,” De La Hoya claims, “but a win on May 12 would put him on an entirely different level.” Lomachenko was an iconic Olympian who some feel is already the pound for pound best professional boxer in the world.
“We fully understand that Lomachenko is universally seen as the best fighter on the planet,” De La Hoya concedes, “but he’s never faced anyone with the size and skill of Jorge, and I am confident that he will retain his WBA and Ring Magazine world championships. As this fight makes clear, I’m 100 percent committed to giving fans the fights they want to see and will work with anyone to accomplish that goal.”
Linares himself appears quite confident heading into the matchup. “Not only will I demonstrate why I’m the best lightweight in the world,” he claims, “but also that I’m one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I have the speed, skill and power to win this battle. This May 12, Vasiliy Lomachenko will bow down to ‘King’ Jorge.”
Such a feat may be a tall order. Lomachenko now has a history for himself of making top level opponents quit on their stools, an unlikely feat which has earned him the nickname “No Mas-Chenko,” a nod to the famous 1980 Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran rematch, a bout which saw Duran inexplicably quit in the 8th round.
“We are very excited about the fight,” says Lomachenko. “It should be a great one. Fans from around the world have been waiting for Jorge and me to fight.” The 30 year old also claims he’s happy about the fight’s location. “I am looking forward to May 12 in New York to make my debut in the big arena at Madison Square Garden,” he claims.
Lomachenko Camp Quick to Dismiss Talk of Pacquiao Bout
By Eric Lunger
After a quick media dust-up yesterday, caused by Manny Pacquiao’s comments to a local Filipino news outlet, in which the current Senator and future hall-of-famer speculated on a possible fight with Ukrainian powerhouse Vasyl Lomachenko, the 130-pound champion’s camp made it clear that they are not interested in such a bout.
Egis Klemis, who manages the career of the Ukrainian two-time Olympic gold medalist, made clear his position via Twitter:
“Manny is Legendary and very respectful fighter, but he is non-active and he is done and Loma won’t take advantage of it just beating a legend to get him [sic] name. We have better route fighting active champions in our weight class.”
The final comment is the most perspicacious – as we noted on this website yesterday, finding a weight class that made sense for the bout appeared to be the biggest obstacle. Klimas told ESPN’s Dan Rafael that the three weight-class difference made any talk of a fight “insane,” and that there was no upside to beating an older man at a weight that he shouldn’t try to make.
I think many fans, upon sober reflection, would agree that Manny Pacquiao, a legend in the sport and one of the all-time greats, should not end his career with some pathetic beat-down or money grab. The loss to Horn was an honorable finish: a warrior giving his best but coming up short. For the Pacman, it’s time to stay retired.
Pacquiao Angling for a Chance to Fight Lomachenko in April
By: Eric Lunger
Manny Pacquiao, the former eight-division world champion and current Filipino Senator, is looking for a comeback bout against current 130-pound kingpin Vasyl Lomachenko, according to reports by ABS-CBN news, a media outlet in Quezon City, Philippines.
Pacquiao, 39, dropped a 12-round decision to Jeff Horn in July of last year, and many observers thought that loss would mark the end of his incredible, hall-of-fame career. “I’m not retired yet,” the indefatigable Pacman said on a Filipino talk show.
Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account
Lomachenko, the former two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, has ten professional wins and one loss (a split decision to Orlando Salido early in Loma’s pro career). More relevant than his record is the fact that he made his last four opponents quit on their stools: Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa, and Nicholas Walters. Many folks in the boxing world have the Ukrainian phenom at or near the top of their pound-for-pound rankings.
Bob Arum, long-time Pacman promoter who has also added Lomachenko to the TopRank stable, wants to feature Pac vs Loma on April 21, on the same card as the welterweight clash between Jeff Horn and Terence “Bud” Crawford, again according to ABS-CBN reports.
Pacquiao told ABS-CBN that an April date would allow sufficient time for a full training camp, and would mesh with his duties as a Senator, as the Filipino Congress will be in recess during the month of April. Arum is working on hosting the bout at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but may face scheduling conflicts with the NHL’s Golden Knights, who are on track to qualify for the playoffs, according to reports in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Another option, according to Arum, would be April 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The fight certainly makes sense financially, but, at age 39, does the Pacman want to test himself against Lomachenko’s formidable speed and ethereal skill? And what weight class makes sense for this bout? Is Lomachenko going to want to go anywhere north of 135? There are other unanswered questions, but boxing fans around the world will want to see the old lion Pacquiao roar once more.
Five Fighters to Watch in 2018
By: Eric Lunger
As the final wrapping paper gets cleaned up from under the tree, and as we collectively vow – in varying degrees of enthusiasm and conviction — to get back to sensible eating and exercise, it’s time to take a glance ahead at the upcoming year in boxing, and count down the top five fighters to keep an eye on. This is a pretty eclectic list, and no doubt you have your own picks; I’d love to read which boxers you are watching for 2018 in the comments below.
Photo Credit: WBSS
Joseph Parker (Heavyweight). The Kiwi WBO champion had a great 2017, defending his newly-won belt twice. In May, he took care of business against Razvan Cojanu, a late-minute replacement in a not-so spectacular bout, but in September, Parker traveled to Manchester, UK, to take on the talented contender Hughie Fury. Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) answered a lot of questions that night, and won over some critics. Still, there are some commentators who feel that Parker is the odd man out in the top tier of the division, that he doesn’t really belong in the same rarified air as Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury. But with his power, his hand speed, and most importantly, his meteoric learning curve each and every outing, Parker can be a real spoiler in the division. Will he get a shot at AJ in 2018? That is tough to envision, given Team Joshua’s current aversion to risk, but as the WBO Champion, unification of the belts has to go through Parker at some point.
Oleksandr Usyk (Cruiserweight). Usyk (13-0, 11 KOs) fought on the same Olympic team as Vasyl Lomachenko, training with Lomachenko’s father, and it shows in Usyk’s footwork and use of angles. Already WBO world champion, the Ukrainian southpaw is in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series Cruiserweight tournament, slated to take on undefeated WBC champion Mairis Breidis in Riga, Latvia, on January 27. Supremely confident, Usyk is one of those few European amateurs who understands that the professional game is about more than just scoring points; a fighter needs to be exciting to watch if he wants to build his fan base. With knockout artist Murat Gassiev and Yunier Dorticos in the other semi-final in February, the WBSS tournament is exciting and dynamic, and Usyk has to be the favorite to unify all the belts and lift the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Javier Fortuna (Lightweight) A southpaw from the Dominican Republic and former WBA World champion at junior lightweight, Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KOs) has an important title shot this coming January against undefeated IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter, Jr. Fortuna is an underdog in this fight, to be sure, but the matchup will be competitive and entertaining. The Dominican standout is a risk-taker, and he can get caught. But he is also brilliant to watch, especially when he makes intuitive adjustments in the ring or decides to ramp up the performance aspect of his game. This will be no easy tune-up for Easter, and Fortuna should not be overlooked as a potential upset of the year.
Danny Garcia (Welterweight). Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) has always been one of my favorite fighters. A guy with deep Philly roots, he’s had tough battles with the likes of Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi, and Keith Thurman. Danny is an accurate counterpuncher whose risky style is based on one of the most dominant left hooks in the game. The split decision loss to Thurman last March had to be a bitter pill for the proud Garcia to swallow. How does a fighter who has accomplished so much in the sport find the motivation to rebound from a loss like that? We will find out where Garcia is mentally and physically this February 17 as he takes on Brandon Rios (34-3, 25 KOs) in a twelve-round welterweight clash.
Vasyl Lomachenko (Junior Lightweight). Obviously, the slick Ukrainian southpaw is on top of the boxing world right now, and is a factor in everyone’s pound-for-pound discussion, but the real unknown for Lomachenko in 2018 is: whom should he fight next? Who will give him a challenge? Who will draw a big audience? Miguel Berchelt (32-1 28 KOs), who holds the WBC belt, seems like the logical next opponent for “HiTech,” but a case can certainly be made for Francisco Vargas (24-1-2, 17 KOs) or even Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs). There has also been significant social media chatter about Lomachenko moving up to 135 to fight Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), and what a fight that would be. Unfortunately, for now, Garcia has moved to junior welterweight to face Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) for the IBF title. Regardless, Lomachenko remains a fighter to watch in 2018.
Is Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko 2017 Fighter of the Year?
By: Ken Hissner
The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ukranian Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 10-1, living in Oxnard, CA, moved up from holding the WBO Featherweight title to defeating WBO World Super featherweight Roman Martinez in June of 2016, and defeating in his first defense the former WBA Super World featherweight champion Jamaican Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters, 26-0-1 by stoppage in 7 rounds.
In Lomchenko’s second defense in 2017 in April defeated WBA World Super featherweight champion (his title not at stake) Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 20-1-4, of Camden, NJ, stopping him in the 9th round at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, MD, stopping Sosa’s 17 fight winning streak.
In Lomachenko’s third defense in August he stopped Colombian Miguel Marriaga, 25-2, in the 7th round, at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, CA.
In December Lomachenko in his fourth defense stopped the former two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, WBO World Super bantamweight and WBA Super World bantamweight champion Cuban Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux, 17-0, in the 6th round.
Lomachenko was 396-1 in the amateurs while Rigondeaux was 463-12. This was a major event having a pair of two-time Olympic Gold Medalists meeting one another.
Lomachenko is now considering seeking moving up the lightweight to gain his third division world title. Egis Klimas is his manager who also has WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, of Russia, living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, among many other boxers and promoted by Top Rank.
Another considered for “Fighter of the Year” was Anthony “A.J.” Joshua, 20-0, in April, defending his WBA Super world heavyweight title stopping former Super World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, 64-4, and stopping Carlos Takam, 35-3-1, in a not too impressive defense.
Also considered was IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 37-0-1, of KAZ, living in L.A. who in March defeated former WBA World Middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, 32-1, at Madison Square Garden, in NY and in September getting robbed being held to a split decision draw by former WBO World Super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, 49-1-1, at the T-Mobile Arena, in Las Vegas, NV.