Lomachenko’s Pound-for-Pound

By Robert Ecksel on November 1, 2018
Lomachenko’s Pound-for-Pound
"People know you if you say something wrong, if you are talkative. I do not fight for fame."

“My father explained to me” that “money can end tomorrow, but with history they will not forget you…”

The phrase pound-for-pound was coined to honor the great Sugar Ray Robinson in the 1940s. He was considered, then and now, the greatest fighter to ever enter the ring. Others have laid claim to that title, some before it existed and many others since that time. But there was only one Sugar Ray, even though exceptionalism in the square circle has never disappeared.

One of the truly exceptional fighters in our time is the current WBA lightweight champion and consensus number one pound-for-pound fighter, Vasiliy Lomachenko, the mercurial southpaw from Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine. With a December 8 fight at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City looming against Jose Pedraza after an absence due to injury, talk of his pound-for-pound status has resumed, and with the resurgence of boxing, he has some competition for that honorific

Talking with ESPN Deportes, as per BoxingScene.com, Lomachenko said, “People know you if you say something wrong, if you are talkative, but I do not fight for fame, for me the most important thing is to put my name in history.”

History is what we’re talking about and determining one’s place in a centuries-old art is an iffy business in the best of times.

“My father explained to me,” continued Lomachenko, that “money can end tomorrow, but with history they will not forget you. That’s why, for me, boxing is a sport and not a business.”

That old-school thinking runs contrary to these times, where Mammon is king and to think otherwise can be demoralizing. But it’s a refreshing change from the norm, no matter how prevalent that norm, no matter how reassuring, no matter how fleeting and/or shallow.

Ticking off his top five pound-for-pound fighters of his era, Lomachenko said, “For me Mikey [Garcia] is the fifth best in the world, Anthony Joshua is fourth, Oleksandr Usyk is third, Canelo is the second and Terence Crawford is the first.”

That’s not a bad list as lists of that sort go, but there’s a fighter of note who failed to make the cut and who Loma gracefully noted.

“Of course, without me being on the list because they already know my place.”

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  1. Ho Lee Chit 08:16am, 11/02/2018

    Meant to say those four guys. Hagler, Duran, Benitez and Hearns. Lost count. haha. Robinson would have a tough task beating anyone of those guys. I doubt Robinson ever faced a puncher like Hearns.

  2. Ho Lee Chit 08:12am, 11/02/2018

    thrashem…. Forgot about Pacman, my apologies. Would also include the first and LEGIT triple crown winner, Bob Fitzsimmons. A guy weighing a buck seventy or even less sometimes,  knocking out guys 50-60lbs heavier is a hard act to follow. The guy might be the greatest pound for pound puncher ever. Granted the pioneers and old-timers often looked wild and unskilled but I am taking in consideration the era that they fought in. Regarding the Ray Leonard and Ray Robinson. The same thing applies. IF Robinson had fought in Leonard’s era, he wouldn’t have fought that much. Leonard fought and beat all time greats Hearns, Duran, Hagler, and Benitez. I would stack those three guys up against anyone Ray Robinson defeated.

  3. thrashem 07:26am, 11/02/2018

    Hey Chit, Robinson and others fought 12 times or more a year and never dodged anyone and we cannot say that for Leonard. No comparison! Same thing goes for Loma. Throw the dog a real bone, like Pacman and see what happens.
    The unfortunate part of being a fan of boxing, HBO, PPPV, GoldenBoy Productions, Bob Arram… greed is fuckin with the greatness of these potential greats! Sorry, someone with 100 fights far outweighs anyone taking the scraps from todays pugalistic table.

  4. Kid Blast 04:21pm, 11/01/2018

    Nice piece Robert

  5. Ho Lee Chit 01:09pm, 11/01/2018

    Hmm, I would say that Ray Leonard wasn’t far behind Ray Robinson. Very CLOSE call IMO. Leonard even succeeded when he took the light heavyweight “world champion.” Granted it was the heat that beat Robinson and not Joey Maxim, and Maxim was certainly a better fighter than Donny Lalonde. Others that might give Ray Robinson a run for the pound for pound title would be Henry Armstrong, Harry F*ckin’ Greb, Mickey Walker, Willie Pep, Roberto Duran, etc.

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