Vasiliy Turns 36 – How Much More Greatness Is There To Come From Lomachenko?

By James Slater - 02/17/2024 - Comments

The great Vasiliy Lomachenko turns 36 today, this an age that can see even the very special fighters begin to show their age and slow down. How much more greatness is there to come from “Loma?” One of the finest amateur boxers of all-time (that astonishing, indeed jaw-dropping to look at 396-1 record, the sole loss later avenged), the southpaw from Ukraine has also dazzled us at pro level. Massively.

Loma, who went pro in October of 2013, and who wanted to fight for a world title in his pro debut, instead challenged the wily and tough Orlando Salido in his second paid bout. Salido, huge for the weight, did just enough to get the decision win, the Mexican warrior picking up the vacant WBO featherweight title. After this brief setback, Lomachenko claimed the again vacant WBO strap in his very next fight, with him decisioning Gary Russel Junior.

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Three retentions came, before Loma moved up and won the WBO belt at 130 pounds with a stoppage win over Roman “Rocky” Martinez. It was around this time that Loma began making quality operators quit when they faced him – with Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga and Guillermo Rigondeaux all opting to stay on their stool after being befuddled by “The Matrix.”

That loss to Salido sure seemed a long time ago.

Loma then moved up to 135 and became a champion there, with the now 30 year old Lomachenko seeing off good fighters in Jorge Linares, Jose Pedraza, Anthony Crolla and Luke Campbell. Lomachenko had been ranked in the top-10 pound-for-pound charts for a heck of a long time by this stage. But then, in a huge upset, Loma was beaten by Teofimo Lopez, this via decision in October of 2020. Loma left it too late and didn’t really start fighting until the second half of the fight, and “The Takeover” rightly got the decision.

Since then, Loma has boxed just four times, winning three and losing one. Last time out, in dropping a decision against Devin Haney, Loma looked to be back operating at his almost otherworldly specialness. The decision that went Haney’s way generated plenty of debate, and so many fans felt Lomachenko should have left the ring in May of last year with the WBA/IBF/WBC/WBO lightweight titles around his waist.

Since then, Loma has been inactive, yet he has a big fight set for this coming May. On May 12, in Australia, Loma will face George Kambosos Jr for the vacant IBF lightweight belt. Should Lomachenko get the win – and he is favoured by most – there could be some bigger fights to come. And maybe some more special, masterful ring displays.

At 17-3(11) Loma doesn’t have that many pro miles on the clock, but he has suffered a number of injuries during his career, and Vasiliy did of course have that long, demanding amateur career. How much has Loma got left? Who knows?

But if things turn out the way he and his team feel they will, Lomachenko will beat Kambosos, and then, hopefully, he could face top names such as Shakur Stevenson and Tank Davis, and perhaps other young studs such as Frank Martin and Keyshawn Davis. But Loma wants more world titles and, if he can regain the IBF belt in May, who knows who he could face next?

It will all depend on how Lomachenko looks, and feels, against Kambosos. But for however long he stays around, we should all appreciate Lomachenko and his quite amazing skills.

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