Since turning over to the paid ranks, every one of Vasyl Lomachenko’s fights have been for a version of a WBO title.
Amazing to think, but Lomachenko is an amazing fighter, and the WBO were happy to basically endorse his boxing career from the beginning.
Lomachenko 5-1(3KO’s) is widely considered one of the best amateur fighters of all time, but his professional career did not get off to such a sweet start.
After a debut stoppage win, Lomachenko was bullied and narrowly outpointed by an overweight Orlando Salido (L SD 12) as he attempted to win the WBO Featherweight crown. Salido not making the weight kept the title vacant and Lomachenko duly won it with a fantastic triumph over the extremely talented Gary Russell Jr (MD 12).
Three defences later and Lomachenko is reaching the stage where he must stay relevant.
A magnificent boxer, but Lomachenko can be frustrating to watch at times, much like fellow amateur starlet Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Lomachenko cannot be criticised for his lack of power though, he has 3 knockouts, but the ease in which he has won his last 3 contests against lesser opponents leaves him in need of another big win.
Victories over Chonlatarn Piriapinyo (UD 12), Gamalier Rodriguez (KO 9) and Romulo Koasicha (KO 10) have not quite matched his level of opposition in fights 2 and 3.
But now Lomachenko takes a step up in weight to face WBO Super Featherweight ruler Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez 29-2-3(17KO’s).
Martinez is 33-years old and coming off the back of a controversial win and draw with Salido. And in 2013 he was stopped for the first time by Mikey Garcia (L KO 8).
A quick look at HBO’s Harold Lederman’s take on the fight:
Martinez was also beaten by Ricky Burns (L UD 12), while he has competed at world level since 2009. But the fashion in which he has won many of his contests leaves a lot to be desired.
On multiple occasions the Puerto Rican has squeaked by to win split or majority decisions, and has drawn twice on the world stage – Salido and Juan Carlos Burgos.
Martinez is a capable boxer, but not in the same league as the Ukrainian. He is also adept at trading leather in close, but does not possess the same work rate and roughhouse tactics that caused such problems for Lomachenko when he boxed Salido.
While this is a fine match-up on paper – it is certainly another terrific world champion on the record of Lomachenko – this could well be a rather one-sided affair.
I will give the champion credit however.
He will force Lomachenko to work hard every round, but he will be gathering loose change each session as the challenger’s patient approach earns him a dominant victory on the scorecards.
A body shot may halt a tired Martinez late, but I will pay homage to his grit and determination to see it out until the final bell, forcing the action late in an attempt to salvage his crown.
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