It’s official: pound-for-pound best and WBA/WBO/Ring Magazine lightweight ruler Vasyl Lomachenko will defend against Anthony Crolla on April 12th in Los Angeles. Promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed the fight is a done deal and will take place at The Staples Centre.
“Delighted to agree terms for ant_crolla v @VasylLomachenko for the@ WBA world title with @trboxing @espn – April 12 Staples Centre – more news soon” Hearn wrote in his tweet earlier this morning UK time.
This is of course great news for former WBA champ Crolla, for British fight fans and for British boxing as a whole. It would have been even greater if Loma had agreed to fight Crolla of Manchester here in the UK, but it’s a big night all the same and Crolla won’t mind having to go to the U.S for this massive opportunity. And Crolla really does come off as believable when he says he genuinely feels he can score the big upset and win the fight.
Experienced, classy and determined, Crolla isn’t the type to be fazed or overwhelmed by the occasion – but can he better Lomachenko’s incredible skill set? For however long the boxing match lasts, it promises to be a chess-match, a real and intense battle of wits. Lomachenko has shown at least some signs of vulnerability up at 135 pounds – being tested and even knocked down by common opponent Jorge Linares and being taken the full 12 rounds by Jose Pedraza in his last fight – and Crolla is a strong lightweight even if he is no big puncher.
Loma is of course the big favourite to win, and with good cause, but some astute judges think we will see a good, competitive and maybe even very close affair on April 12th.
It is also fitting that the finest boxer on the planet will be fighting on April 12th of this year, the date marking the 30th anniversary of the passing of the finest of them all in Sugar Ray Robinson. Crolla will be aiming to “do a Randy Turpin,” and shock the world the way Randy did against Sugar Ray all those years ago.