Here we are keeping track with every division in boxing and how it maps out when it comes to the Ring-Magazine World Title Belts, here is the CURRENT breakdown in all 17 divisions…
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.
By Tre Berry
What happens when you’re a fighter that can literally do everything and wants to achieve, as well as accomplish everything there is to accomplish?
For a boxing savant such as P4P#1 & RING-MAGAZINE/WBA/WBC Lightweight Unified World Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1-0, 9KO), circumstances sometimes gets in the way. His goals at the professional ranks were always to unify all titles in the division he is active in to become Undisputed Champion, but situations tend to happen, and the human element can rear its ugly head and put a wrench in your plans.
These are circumstances that has hampered him in all 3 weight divisions that he has occupied as a pro (Featherweight, Super-Featherweight, Lightweight).
In many cases, he has been ducked and sidestepped by opponents who openly want no parts of the Ukrainian fighter, for others, business has gotten in the way…and in some ways has been used to mask a reluctance of pushing for a fight with Vasiliy. In this case, fellow title-holder, IBF Lightweight Champion Richard Commey unfortunately hurt his knuckle in his title-fight against Isa Chaniev, and wasn’t able to fully recover in time for Lomachenko’s scheduled time-slot, so that battle has to wait.
Loma’s mandatory challenger is #1 ranked WBA contender & former World Champion Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla (34-6-3, 13KO). It is a solid second option for Lomachenko, as Crolla has been a good fighter for quite some time now. The fandom since the news broke has disrespected Crolla and has taken things way too far, as if he isn’t a competent fighter to take on another world title challenge, when in fact, Crolla was the one fighter that finally pushed former Lightweight King Jorge Linares to his pinnacle and the level that we’ve seen Jorge fight at for a 4 – 5 fight span.
Sure this fight will be a dominant win for Lomachenko, but only because he is fighting at a freakish level, and the abundance of skill he has off-sets every one of Crolla’s abilities…but make no mistake, Crolla is a solid fighter, who deserves another shot to fight the best, and that is what we are getting this Friday, April 12th in front of a Staples Center crowd in Los Angeles, California. The fight will be picked up by ESPN+. Tune in.
There is word getting out that Unified WBA/WBO Lightweight Champion Vasiliy ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko (12-1-0, 9KO) has been granted a postponement by the WBA to bypass their mandatory for his next fight, which would be Manchester England’s Anthony Crolla.
With this being the case, this opens up lanes for Lomachenko to continue to look at the prospects of another unification fight with newly-crowned IBF world-titlist Richard Commey (28-2-0, 25KO) to take place next.
The complications however for this match-up is that Commey injured his right hand in his title-fight on Saturday, February 2nd, and is awaiting the results of an MRI on his hand to gauge the severity of the injury. If everything does however check out, the WBA will be in accordance with Vasiliy’s move towards another unifier, as long as that fight takes place no later than an April date, which works well given the tentative date of Lomachenko’s next fight being April 12th.
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 livershot 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.