WBA lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko wanted to unify lightweight world titles. After 12 rounds, he got his wish, although WBO champion Jose Pedraza sure didn’t make it easy and halted Lomachenko’s eight-bout knockout streak in the process.
(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)
Lomachenko (12-1 9 KOs,) defeated Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) via unanimous decision in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,312 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden to unify world titles for the first time in his illustrious career.
Scores were 119-107 and 117-109 2X.
“It was my dream to unify titles,” Lomachenko said. “It was my next goal. I can now focus on my next chapter.
“He’s a veteran. He did a very good job, and I respect Pedraza and his team.”
Said Pedraza: “I am happy with my performance tonight. I went 12 rounds with the best fighter in the world. I knew what we were going up against. I thought it was a close fight until the knockdowns. At the end of the day, I am proud of what I did.”
It was tactical fight, as Pedraza’s long arms kept Lomachenko at bay for much of the night. In the 11th round, Lomachenko, turned up the heat, scoring a pair of body shot knockdowns as Pedraza barely survived the round.
For Lomachenko, it’s on to the next challenge.
In other results:
Alexander Besputin (12-0, 9 KOs) defended his USBA welterweight belt with a 10-round unanimous decision (100-88 3X) over Juan Carlos Abreu (21-5-1, 19 KOs) in a foul-filled bout.
“He fought a very uncomfortable, dirty fight, but I dominated,” Besputin said. “I am ready for a world title fight next.”
Heavyweight Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello came, saw, and conquered in his pro debut, knocking out Luke Lyons (5-2-1, 2 KOs) at :29 of the second round. Vianello, a native of Rome, represented Italy at the 2016 Olympics.
“It was a dream come true to make my professional debut at Madison Square Garden,” Vianello said. “I hope I did Italy proud. I came here tonight to score a knockout, and I delivered.”
Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (12-1, 8 KOs), a Bronx native, put on a show for the hometown fans, scoring three knockdowns en route to a fifth-round TKO against John Renteria (16-6-1, 12 KOs). Vargas has now won six straight since a controversial disqualification defeat.