By Tre Berry
Live in front of a Staples Center crowd in Los Angeles, California, USA, P4P Champion & Lightweight RING-MAGAZINE/WBA/WBO Champion Vasiliy ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko (13-1-0, 10KO) defeated mandatory #1 challenger & former World Champion Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla (34-7-3, 13KO) by devastating knockout in the 4th round, landing a picture perfect right hook to the left temple of Crolla, immediately putting him down and face-planting the canvas.
Veteran Referee Jack Reiss waived the count off at 4 when he seen minimal response from the fallen challenger. With this feat, Lomachenko retains his RING-MAGAZINE, WBA & WBO Lightweight Title Belts.
As usual, Lomachenko was razor sharp, watching Crolla and gauging his tendencies before he started to pick up the action with a multilayered variation of attack that Crolla couldn’t handle, or even see coming.
I have plenty of respect for Crolla, a tough warrior, model citizen, skilled fighter, but he and his team made some serious miscalculations. Their is no legitimate blueprint to follow in how to deal with or handle Loma within the guidelines of the rules, however Crolla seemed to have come into the fight with the mindset to stay on the outside to try and outbox Lomachenko in space, which is virtually impossible.
Apparently Crolla teaming up with rival Jorge Linares was foreshadowing that Crolla would try to instill the same type of tactics that Jorge used in his fight with Lomachenko where he held his own for a while, but there are a few things wrong with Crolla’s team taking in that rationale. For you to re-enact something hoping for similar success, you have to make sure that you are physically and skillfully equipped to carry out the type of skills that you are trying to replicate, and Crolla was never one with the style of skillset Linares has to outbox, Crolla always been one who boxes well from the pocket, and pressures you.
Crolla spent the entire fight using all of the ring with minimal attack, staying behind a defensive posture. Loma early on knew where to find the cracks in his gameplan, and made him pay for it dearly, pummeling him in the 3rd round to where Jack Reiss (correctly) called a standing-8 round due to Crolla enduring serious punishment on the ropes, with the ropes being the only thing that held him up.
Crolla got out of the 3rd round, but much of the same ensued in the 4th round, and Lomachenko ended Crolla’s night with a perfect right hook that will be a candidate for ‘Knockout of the Year’ thus far for 2019.
(The Right-Hook that Ended Anthony Crolla’s Night Pictured Here)
It feels weird having Lomachenko up as a candidate for this category, but I tend to tell people all the time that he has real power whenever he decides to use it. For Lomachenko, it was another day in the office, and he looked great, while Crolla has some internal questions to answer as he heals up from this fight about what direction he’d like to go in moving forward in his career.