If he wins on Saturday night – and most fight fans expect him to win – Vasyl Lomachenko will, in just 12 pro bouts, have conquered three different weight divisions; or at the very least, he will have won world titles at three different weights. Standing in his way is of course the classy and experienced Jorge Linares. We should see quite a fight on Saturday.
But assuming the form-book is obeyed along with the betting odds and Lomachenko does get his 11th win (just the one loss, to an over-the-weight Orlando Salido a million years ago) – what then? Will the ultra gifted southpaw stick around at 135 pounds and go for more belts there, or will he perhaps go up in weight even further?
Hungry and thirsty for the big fights – super fights – Lomachenko may have to move up to 140 or, dare we say it, 147 in order to get them. There is always the possibility of catch-weight fights (and Manny Pacquiao continues to talk about his desire to face Lomachenko, this year) but that aside, Lomachenko will likely have to pack on weight in order to get the big, big tests he craves.
As good as he has looked, we may have only seen around 50 per cent of what “Hi-Tech” can really do (how scary is that!) How much can Linares bring out of Lomachenko? We hope enough to make the other top fighters operating at or around the lightweight division to get brave enough to want to get in there with the Ukrainian.
Linares is probably/arguably the toughest test Lomachenko is going to get at 135, so his stay in the division could prove to be a short one (again, not writing Linares off; simply realising it looks a long shot that anyone beats Lomachenko at this point, even as fine a fighter as the man from Venezuela).
Could we, in the not too distant future, see a 140 or a 147 pound Lomachenko in there with excellent fighters such as Mikey Garcia and Regis Prograis, or even the likes of Terence Crawford and Erroll Spence?
How exciting a prospect is this – even if it’s perhaps expecting too much even from as special a boxer as Lomachenko clearly is. It’s not our fault Lomachenko and his enormous talent is making us think this way!
Lomachenko has, after all, made his last four opponents quit. Can he make it five in a row on Saturday? Linares, 44-3 (27) says no way!