Vasyl Lomachenko—Such High Praise

By Marc Livitz on August 8, 2017
Vasyl Lomachenko—Such High Praise
"When he's avoiding punches, he's always looking for weaknesses in the opponent."

After he turned professional in 2013, “Hi-Tech” waited only seven months until he was given his first shot at a world title…

On Saturday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko made the third defense of his title when he dismantled Manuel Marriaga. Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KO’s), a two-time Olympic gold medalist has to his credit (either per legend or literal truth) but one loss as an amateur across nearly four hundred bouts.

After he turned professional in 2013, “Hi-Tech” waited only seven months until he was given his first shot at a world title. In a bout that made many a boxing traditionalist grin with a sheepish smile, Orlando “Siri” Salido pulled from an ancient bag of tricks and showed the man from southwestern Ukraine how it’s done in the ring en route to a split decision win. Additionally, Salido may have also partaken in the protein and calorie rich elixir of knowledge because he failed to make the featherweight limit of 126 pounds.

Alas, the WBO belt was still available and a short three months later, Vasyl’s true coming out party was on full display with an impressive decision win over Gary Russell, Jr. One decision and six knockout victories later is where Lomachenko now stands. He’s currently promoted by Top Rank. To be sure, his technique in the ring when coupled with sublime footwork has allowed him to blaze through the division after he moved up in weight last year. His seventh round stoppage win over previously unbeaten Nicholas Walters last November was a surprise to many. The result may not have been a shock, yet the manner in which it was carried out was just short of breathtaking.

So, ten fights are now in the books for Lomachenko and although part of a promoter’s job is to deliver praise upon his or her boxer, the kind words heaped upon him by Top Rank President, Bob Arum may indeed be interesting to some. The legendary frontman who has been a grand part of the boxing landscape for half a century took part in an interview with “First Take” on ESPN last week and declared “Hi-Tech” to be the best all around fighter he’s seen since Muhammad Ali.

Arum and a co-worker further lauded the Ukrainian champion with comparisons to former greats of the past, all of whom are no longer with us. “When he’s avoiding punches, he’s always looking for weaknesses in the opponent and he looks to take the opponent out or make the opponent quit,” he said. “I look at Lomachenko as the best that I’ve seen. My matchmaker, Bruce Trampler compares him to the old-time fighters and feels that guys like Sandy Saddler, Willie Pep, Salvador Sanchez and even Alexis Arguello would be no match for Vasyl Lomachenko.”

There are many who are of the opinion that Lomachenko’s greatest challenge still awaits him. In his present division, imagine a bout with perhaps Miguel Berchelt or even Francisco Vargas. Maybe Leo Santa Cruz or Carl Frampton, provided they’re willing to move up just a smidge in weight. Lastly and speaking of “movin’ on up,” we’re left with a man who can bring his highly accomplished amateur record to the ring which with combined with that of “Hi-Tech” gives us a grand win/loss total of 859 wins against 13 losses. This of course is none other than super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.

The future for Lomachenko looks promising indeed, but the best since Ali? High praise. Perhaps even unbelievable praise. Where do you, as a fan of champions both past and present stand on this new argument?

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  1. Koolz 04:15pm, 08/11/2017

    ok people keep on saying clowning around is BS for Loma to over matched fighters?
    this is nothing new!  many boxers have done this same tactic in the ring.
    Saw a video called Lomachenko the Matrix and it’s slowed down of the fight with Marriaga.  Basically even standing in front of Loma Marriaga couldn’t hit him.
    It’s pretty damn cool to watch.
    and the link.

  2. Koolz 09:01am, 08/08/2017

    Blame Arum not Loma.  Loma tried to make it entertaining as much as possible.  The fight shouldn’t even have happened.
    Loma is levels above and he didn’t even try.  He never even gave it his all he never went to second gear.  It’s easy to see this by comparing his last two fights.
    Arum needs to do better for someone so talented. 
    I Rigo is to small but the fight should happen.  Rigo’s team needs to contact Arum and make the fight not play twitter wars.

  3. Don from Prov 08:02am, 08/08/2017

    Great talent but clowning over-matched fighters = bullshit to me.
    It is disrespectful to his opponents and to the sport.
    I might find myself not particularly liking this guy.

    However, coming from someone who love Ali, the above could be called into question.  i could lay out reasons I wasn’t as bothered as much by Ali’s clowning, but instead I’ll just say that I’m older now, or maybe a hypocrite.

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