Few men in the history of boxing – in the history of any sport in fact – can lay claim to the kind of quicksilver ascension Vasyl Lomachenko has been blessed with these past few years. In arguably the most distinguished amateur career of all time he picked up an unthinkably dominant pre-pro record of 396-1 and two Olympic Gold medals in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
To begin a Vasyl Lomachenko analysis of his pro career thus far lets go back to the beginning for a minute.
Already a seasoned veteran in the eyes of many, Lomachenko didn’t play it coy when announcing his entry to the professional ranks and demanded a world title shot in only his first pro fight.
Anybody else would have been laughed out of the arena but considering his widely publicized pedigree, the idea was heavily considered by promoters and governing bodies.
Instead, Lomachenko would have to settle for a world title shot in his second fight – still the stuff of dreams or insanity – after demolishing Jose Ramirez inside four rounds.
Unfortunately for Lomachenko, in his second fight title shot, destiny didn’t play out how it was predicted to.
In an awkward, restricted display Lomachenko lost a split decision to an eleven-pounds-heavier Orlando Salido, who had been stripped of the title on the scales the previous night for missing weight.
Only one of two fights ‘Hi-Tech’ had lost in his entire existence as a fighter, amateur or otherwise, had crash-landed the night he was supposed to produce something no other fighter in history had ever achieved.
Talk about killing the party, right? Moving on in our Vasyl Lomachenko analysis it’s clear to see it didn’t kill the party for too long however.
Since then, however, the Ukranian sensation has been blazing a path to greatness with showings of brutal power shots and flashy punch selection, eventually lifting a world championship in his third fight against Gary Russell Jr and another one since via a flinch-worthy one-punch knockout of Roman Martinez.
A disgustingly beautiful shot:
After a mere seven fights as a professional many boxing pundits have been quick to jump on the Lomachenko bandwagon, hailing him as the next big superstar of the sport and a legend in the making.
His offensive style has even been compared to that of the late, great Muhammad Ali on more than one occasion.
For me personally, while I recognise there is much to like about the eastern enigma, I’m not quite ready to throw his name into a hat with the likes of the icon named above. There are still too many unanswered questions.
For example, during his losing effort against Orlando Salido, it’s true that many unnecessary forces were working against him that night that may have prevented us from seeing the best Lomachenko had to offer.
We’ve already mentioned the weight issue – Salido literally hitting the welterweight limit in a fight that was supposed to be for the 126 pound title – but also the actions (or lack thereof) of referee Laurence Cole, who repeatedly missed Salido’s low blows throughout the whole contest.
Add on top of that the exterior pressures of political unrest in Lomachenko’s homeland of Ukraine and it all mixes together to make an uneasy cocktail of deplorable fighting conditions.
Could all of this have been the cause of Lomachenko’s poor performance?
Having said that, even before the low blows of Salido began to surface he was still able to land more hard shots against the younger challenger than he was willing to return.
We all know Lomachenko favours accuracy over work rate but when it threatens the outcome of the biggest fight of your life surely the safest bet is to up the ante and throw a few more jabs and power shots just for the judges if nothing else?
He may have tried to employ this a little later in the fight but it proved to be too little too late. Perhaps it was all a bit to soon?
Then again, like Bernard Hopkins before him, Lomachenko has soldiered on since that early loss and has even credited it as one of the most important building blocks in his progression as a championship-level fighter and master technician.
Now, perhaps for the first time in his career thus far, he is set to face a young, unbeaten fighter worthy of his talent in Nicholas ‘Axe Man’ Walters.
Walters, who earned his fame and nickname when he dismantled fan-favourite Nonito Donaire two years ago, is looking to drop an emphatic boulder in front of the Lomachenko freight train and there are some, myself included, who wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls it off.
Even with all that’s been said above to question the legitimacy of Lomachenko’s early rise to the top I must admit I find him truly fascinating to watch.
After putting together a brief Vasyl Lomachenko analysis of his pro career thus far, it’s clear to see we have a special athlete on our hands here.
Even when his foot isn’t on the gas the intensity and fluidity-of-motion his technique brings always makes for a good night’s viewing.
He is, after all, ‘The Picasso of Boxing’ according to Bob Arum. Whatever you think of him, you can’t help but appreciate the level of artistry he brings to our canvas.
Check out our Lomachenko vs Walters pre-fight prediction here.