Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko has had just 8 professional bouts, including one loss, so how on earth can he even be considered boxing’s pound for pound king? The answer to that is that he is an absolute freak.
Boasting an amateur record of 396-1, Lomachenko’s move to the pro ranks was highly-anticipated and his fourth round knock-out of Jose Ramirez didn’t do anything to encourage the doubters.
However, in just his second fight, “Hi-Tech” had his shot for world title. Orlando Salido put his WBO featherweight strap on the line in Texas in what was supposed to be Lomachenko’s historic world-breaking moment. Unfortunately, for the Ukrainian, it was not to be and the Mexican won amid controversy surrounding weight and the refereeing of the fight. This left many questioning whether the two-time Olympic Gold medal winner was going to live up to the hype.
He would bounce back immediately, though, equalling the world record for the least amount of fights to become a world champion. Gary Russell Jr has been touted as one of the future stars of boxing but Lomachenko put on an absolute clinic to beat the American by a majority decision. In just his THIRD PROFESSIONAL FIGHT, Vasyl Lomachenko was a world champion.
Three defences of his WBO featherweight crown and “Hi-Tech” was ready for a new challenge and moved up in weight for a super featherweight title opportunity against Roman Martinez. He knocked him out in five rounds and with just seven fights under his belt, the Top Rank fighter was a two-weight world champion and was fast becoming one of the most talked about boxers in the world.
In his last fight, he had won almost every round before the previously unbeaten Nicholas Waters retired causing promoter Bob Arum to describe his man as a “magician”. The Ukrainian, himself, now declared that he wanted to be the pound for pound king.
His next opponent, Jason Sosa, enters the fight on the back of a five-year unbeaten run and is a fearsome fighter in his right. However, there is almost an inevitably about the result. Lomachenko is that good that we expect him to showcase his skills and put on a masterclass for us. Anything else will be a disappointment and that is testament to the skills of the Eastern-European warrior.
Both Arum and Lomachenko have already said that should they beat Sosa, they see their future at a higher weight with bouts against Manny Pacquiao, Jorge Linares and Terry Flanagan being touted. With his skill-set and unbelievable winning mentality, it’s hard to imagine him losing again. If he carries on beating high-level opponents, “High-Tech” is heading right for the top.
By the end of the year, Vasyl Lomachenko could be a three-weight world champion and the pound for pound king. That could well be before he has had TEN professional fights. People are describing him as the “Next Muhammad Ali”, for our generation, let’s hope we get to continue watching the genius.