By Tré Berry III🖋️
A look-back to 🇵🇷Jose Pedraza & ♛🇺🇦Vasiliy Lomachenko’s fight from a few weeks back…
Jose Pedraza came a long way from where he started, and has transformed himself into a very good fighter. He tends to learn things the hard way, but he learns them quickly. The next step in his evolution, he has to learn how to hold.
Holding is one of the most important, undervalued skills in the sport, and it should be taught to boxers from the beginning of the come-up. As evidenced in his fights with Gervonta “Tank” Davis and “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, the thought of holding isn’t second-nature to him, and instead he’ll rely on his shifty upper-body movement. But that will fail you if the other fighter never lets up and continues to fire without giving you any openings to counter. I suspect at some point, he’ll understand that, and address that.
When you are one of the rare fighters that can do everything, as is the case with Vasiliy Lomachenko, there are many times when one of your most effective traits will often be overlooked.
One of his most effective skills that is seldom talked about is his body-punching, and his ability to set up his body-punches. The standard bearers as we see it today in this area are Naoya Inoue and Errol Spence Jr., but Vasiliy may be up next for my list, and is without a doubt the most clever of them all in utilizing it.
Lomachenko knocked out Ramirez in his 1st pro fight with a liver shot, had Orlando Salido in pain doubled over with a well placed bodyshot in the 12th, forcing a late rally, and his win over Gary Russell in large part was due to mixing it up and keeping Russell off-balanced, not knowing when he’d go to the body, which he did a lot of.
Lomachenko made Gamalier Rodriguez quit by punishing him round after round, and doing him in with a liver shot. Koasicha was knocked out with a hook to the body. Jason Sosa has a great ability to take a punch both to the body and to the head, yet Vasiliy had Sosa hurt to the body a few times while pummeling him.
Against Jorge Linares, Lomachenko landed a perfectly placed liver shot under the elbow to secure the knockout, and in the 11th round of his last fight he floored Jose Pedraza twice, the second coming from a beautiful liver shot that Pedraza didn’t see. Normally when we discuss Lomachenko, it’s centered around his footwork, his boxing IQ, and/or his speed, but this skill is every bit as integral to his arsenal as the others often discussed.