There have been few fighters in recent boxing memory as captivating and awe-inspiring as Vasyl Lomachenko. Every time the Ukrainian maestro takes to the ring, it’s a huge event for the sport, one which fans around the world don’t want to miss a second of. The next opportunity to witness modern day boxing greatness from the 31-year-old will fall on April 12th, when British hope Anthony Crolla will be the next challenger to contest Lomachenko’s WBA ‘Super’ and WBO lightweight titles.
A Safe Bet
It’s at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, where Lomachenko will aim to defend his 135-pound belts again. Vasyl is considered a strong favorite at odds of -5000. Notably, the Ukrainian ace also holds the prestigious and highly-regarded Ring Magazine strap, having won it when he brilliantly dethroned Jorge Linares back in May last year.
Incredibly, that victory for ‘Loma’ over the stylish and very popular Linares at the world famous Madison Square Garden in 2018 was his maiden ring outing at lightweight. His 10th-round stoppage success over the Venezuelan saw him become the fastest ever three-weight world champion, earning another slice of history in his already sublime career in the professional ranks.
Lomachenko shot to prominence in a short amount of time as a professional and dazzled anyone who’s had the opportunity to view his incredible credentials up close. Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, regarded as the favorite in the UFC odds to overcome Henry Cejudo before his eventual upset, was previously involved in the Ukrainian’s camp while the MMA fighter prepared for an upcoming bout in the Octagon.
Sparring footage proved that the Ukrainian is simply a class above the UFC fighter, who was stunned by Cejudo in the opening round of their clash at 125 pounds. But Lomachenko isn’t just outclassing high-profile names in the world of MMA; the reigning lightweight kingpin has been making elite-level fighters look helpless. His early overcoming of the likes of Jose Ramirez and Gary Russell Jr were signs of things to come from arguably the greatest amateur to grace the sport.
He reportedly racked up an incredible amateur record of 396-1 before turning pro, with his highlights including no less than two Gold medal victories from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Three World Championship coups have also boosted his legacy as the best amateur ever.
Legend in the making
Lomachenko’s reputation was already soaring before signing with Bob Arum’s Top Rank as a pro. He desired a world title fight in his debut but had to settle for waiting until his second outing. A loss to Orlando Salido didn’t halt his progress, instead he became world champion in just three bouts. He then added a second crown in his seventh and a third in his 12th appearance against Linares.
Later dismantling of Nicolas Walters propelled his reputation further, with Loma already cemented as a top pound-for-pound talent. Next up will be plucky Manchester native Crolla. The 32-year-old is a former owner of ‘Loma’s’ WBA strap and will be looking to cause one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport when they collide on American soil.
It’s a mammoth task ahead of Crolla, one which looks set to prove unsuccessful. Lomachenko has earned himself not just a reputation for being the best in the world right now, but one of the all-time legends. His next outing on April 12th will certainly be one of the biggest events to occur in the boxing world throughout 2019.