Lomachenko’s Current Standing
Vasyl Lomachenko boasts an amateur record of 396-1 with two Olympic gold medals. He has not even fought in ten professional fights, and has already won titles in two weight divisions. Most boxers at Lomachenko’s stage are fighting journeymen on non-televised cards, but he does not want to squander his athletic prime with meaningless fights. He wants to make history, and places great significance on each fight. Lomachenko is not the guy who fights for a single paycheck or to remain active. He is adamant about carving out a distinctive legacy for himself.
On Saturday night at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Lomachenko dismantled Jason Sosa on his way to achieving a 9th-round TKO victory. Lomachenko is an awe-inspiring figure, and fans continue to marvel at his versatile attributes. The attributes that come to mind when watching Lomachenko are his footwork, defense, and hand speed. He moves around the ring throughout the duration of every fight, and uses lateral movement to find punch openings. Lomachenko stays out of range when he does not want to get hit, and only remains in range when he strikes his opponent. He makes his opponent barely miss, and follows the wild shots with counters of his own. His opponents fail to anticipate his blows, as the punches come at a rapid pace with power and precision. Jason Sosa was a victim of those attributes.
He confused Sosa with punches from various angles and elaborate footwork. Sosa failed to remain in range, as he hopelessly flailed at Lomachenko in attempts to land a flush shot. He kept Sosa from his comfort zone, continually landing with ease and avoiding oncoming punches. Lomachenko taunted Sosa in the 6th round, imitating a matador waving his cape at an approaching bull. He countered Sosa’s desperate attacks with barrages of quick, powerful punches from complex angles. In the 9th, Sosa suffered numerous onslaughts of devastating blows. After getting picked apart, his confidence completely vanished. In Sosa’s best interest, his corner stopped the fight at the end of the round. It is safe to say that Lomachenko took Sosa to school.
In Lomachenko’s post-fight interview, he declared that he is in the sport to make history, saying “I want to start negotiating with all the other champions in my division. If they refuse to fight me, I’ll move up [in weight-class].” The biggest bout on his horizon is against WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia, in what will be considered a “pick-em” fight. Garcia is confident about beating Lomachenko, since he defeated Orlando Salido and Lomachenko did not. Garcia defeated Salido via technical decision in 2013, and knocked him down four times. In 2014, Salido defeated Lomachenko by split decision in what was only Lomachenko’s second pro fight. Lomachenko received on-the-job training in that fight, as he was hit by several low blows and continuously held on the inside. Despite the mitigating nuances of the loss, it remains a blemish on his resume. A victory over Mikey Garcia will put to rest any dispute over his worthiness of the number one pound-for-pound slot.
Lomachenko lacks an imminent threat at 130. In order to generate more interest in his career, he will have to move up in weight. There is no denying that he is an exceptional fighter, but boxing fans will continue to expect more from him despite his string of sensational performances. Lomachenko has more than enough potential to earn his way into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and could be a legend in the making. To achieve that level, however, he needs a break-out success before the fans and sages will be fully convinced.