There are many fighters that I love watching but for me, one man stands above the rest. He’s only been a pro for 3 and a half years and has had just 9 professional fights but is already a two weight world champion – I’m talking of course about Vasyl Lomachenko. Why is Lomachenko my favourite fighter? His footwork is the best I’ve ever seen, drawing comparisons with Neo from the Matrix which I have to admit are pretty accurate. His footwork allows him to find angles that no other fighter can and put simply Lomachenko is a genius who is changing the game. The ‘Lomachenko hop’ as it’s now being called will be being coached in boxing gyms around the world to try and emulate the Ukrainian star. In addition to his frightening boxing skill’s, Lomachenko is only interested in fighting the best guys out there – a perfect combination.
Age – 29
Height – 1.68m
Reach – 166cm
Record – 8-1 (6KOs)
Before turning pro in 2013, the Ukranian was the most feared amateur fighter in the world with a record of 396 wins and only one defeat that he avenged twice. He won gold at the Beijing Olympic Games at flyweight and struck gold again 4 years later in London at lightweight. Such was Lomachenko’s reputation that in only his second pro fight he fought for the vacant WBO world featherweight title against Orlando Salido.
The fight against Salido is Lomachenko’s only loss as a pro but the split decision defeat was highly controversial for a number of reasons. Firstly Salido missed weight meaning he weighed 11 pounds heavier than Lomachenko on fight night. Also, during the fight Salido threw countless low blows that should’ve been punished by the referee with point deductions or even disqualification but bizarrely the referee took no action.
Despite the controversial circumstances of Lomachenko’s first pro loss, he made no excuses and only blamed himself for the loss which is something I find admirable. Ever since that loss he has been in destructive form, taking out top-class fighters like Gary Russel Jr., Nicholas Walters and Jason Sosa – picking up titles at 2 weight classes on the way.
From Lomachenko’s 67% KO rate you might guess that he possesses serious punching power, however Lomachenko’s knockouts have come more through his unrivalled skill rather than sheer power. Lomachenko’s last 2 opponents were being so badly out-classed that they wanted no more and other opponents like Roman Martinez were knocked out because they couldn’t even see where the punches were coming from.
Lomachenko currently sits at number 6 on the ring magazine pound for pound list and it is only because of his lack of fights that he isn’t higher on the list. I have no doubt that Lomachenko will be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world in the near future.
So what next for Lomachenko? He’s rumoured to be chasing a rematch with Salido to avenge his only pro loss and if he gets the rematch I would expect him to comprehensively beat Salido as he has taken out much better fighters since that loss. Further in the future super fights surely beckon for Lomachenko but one thing is certain, nobody will be rushing to fight Vasyl Lomachenko.