As fans know, Vasiliy Lomachenko will return to action on Saturday night in his first fight back since being shocked and upset by Teofimo Lopez in October. Loma, or “The Matrix,” will face tall and tough Japanese fighter Masayoshi Nakatani.
Fans are wondering how much the 33-year-old former pound-for-pound king has left. But Britain’s Anthony Crolla, who faced the Ukrainian southpaw back in 2019, being KO’d, believes Lomachenko has plenty left and will “want to make a statement” to prove as much against the never-stopped Nakatani.
Crolla, in speaking with Sky Sports, said Lomachenko “will go down as an all-time great,” with Crolla adding how “he will put on a display to remind people” on Saturday night.
“He will be looking to make a statement. That’s something I expect him to do,” Crolla said of Lomachenko. “He is arguably the best amateur boxer to ever live. And what he has done as a professional, in a career of 16 fights, to win world titles at three weights is unbelievable. We’ll see how the shoulder is. He has been around a long time. He was on the amateur circuit for years, fighting top guys, and at some point, it will catch up with you.”
Loma underwent shoulder surgery after the Lopez defeat, and as Crolla says, we will be looking to see if Lomachenko, 14-2(10), is 100-percent on Saturday. Crolla says all those amateur fights will catch up with Lomachenko eventually.
But the big question is, have they done so already? Crolla expects a statement win from Loma, but we will have to wait and see. If Lomachenko’s body is falling apart on him, if he has not fully healed from the number of injuries he has suffered during his career, then maybe we will see the upset on Saturday.
Certainly, Lomachenko could have picked a far easier comeback foe than Nakatani, who is 19-1(13), with the loss coming against common opponent Lopez. Loma will be giving away height and reach along with age in the fight. A Loma statement win over this guy, say a KO or stoppage, would be most impressive. But will “The Matrix” prove he has been reloaded?