Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko is so good, fans do not want to see him fight against anything other than truly elite opposition, each and every time out. The two-weight champ with the deceiving pro record – 8-1(6) in no way being numbers that are indicative of the 29 year old southpaw’s formidable talents – wants the big, big fights himself, but for now he must make do with the Jason Sosas and Miguel Marriagas of the world.
This Saturday, in what will be another boxing boost for ESPN (the network recently having exclusive rights to superstar Manny Pacquiao’s shock upset loss to Jeff Horn; ESPN also set to showcase the August 19 140 pound unification clash between Terence Crawford and Julius Indongo), Lomachenko will take on Colombia’s Marriaga, 25-2(21).
A decent enough fighter, with some respectable wins to his name, the 30 year old is one monstrous underdog; for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s Lomachenko he is facing, the fighter many good judges have as their number-one pick for best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet, and secondly, Marriaga is coming off a loss (to Oscar Valdez, a UD defeat in April). If that wasn’t enough, Marriaga has also lost to common opponent Nicholas Walters, a fighter “Hi Tech” destroyed in apparently easy fashion, and, to add to the mighty odds against him, “The Scorpion,” as Marriaga is known, is moving up in weight from 126 to 130 pounds.
Marriaga is durable enough, having never been stopped, but this fight looks like being the Lomachenko show and nothing more. You have to go back to November of 2014 for the last time an opponent took Lomachenko the distance. Since his featherweight win over Suriya Tatakhun, Lomachenko has reeled off five straight stoppage wins. Unless Marriaga is capable of putting on the fight of his career, Lomachenko will extend that number to six on Saturday night.
Fans want to see what the reigning WBO super-featherweight king will do after he’s beaten his latest challenger. Will Lomachenko make the move up to lightweight, and will the super-fights we all wants to see happen then take place?