Fight Previews

Lomachenko vs. Marriaga: Fight Night Preview

All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Saturday night, August 5, Vasyl “Hi-TechLomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) and Miguel “The Scorpion” Marriaga (25-2, 21 KOs) are fighting for Lomachenko’s WBO Junior Lightweight title.

Lomachenko vs. Marriaga will take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California and will air live on ESPN.

Without seeing him fight you’d never guess that Lomachenko, with just nine professional fights under his belt, is arguably the best technical boxer in the world.

Lomachenko, the current WBO Junior Lightweight champ, doesn’t have the resume to back being considered one of the greatest in the sport today, but watch him fight and you’ll witness a master technician. Lomachenko’s offense looks effortless and on defense he is almost impossible to hit.

Marriaga is an extremely tough fighter–he has the power and heart of a true warrior. Both Nicholas Walters and Oscar Valdez beat Marriaga, but they were not able to stop him. With all of that being said, Marriaga is overmatched in this fight against Lomachenko.

Marriaga is coming off the loss to Valdez and simply is not as well rounded of a fighter compared to Lomachenko. Though the odds are very much in Lomachenko’s favor, Marriaga shouldn’t be counted out because like every boxer, he has a puncher’s chance.

I imagine very few boxing fans were thrilled when this fight was announced. With no disrespect to Marriaga, Lomachenko should be fighting stiffer competition. Compared to his peers, Lomachenko looks unbeatable at this point.

“The biggest thing for me is I want to fight top, top fighters in the weight class that I am now fighting in,” said Lomachenko during a recent Q&A session.

“That is my biggest goal. Then maybe it is different weight classes. I want to be in the history book of boxing–I want my name to be mentioned when people talk about the history of boxing. Most important for me is to fight the best–where the fight means something–fans want it – people want to see it. I want to be on top of the list.”

Many argue that Lomachenko should move up to the 140-pound division in order to face actual competition like Terence Crawford and Mikey Garcia, which would make for better matchups and much more exciting bouts.

Even though Lomachenko vs. Marriaga isn’t the biggest draw for boxing fans, Lomachenko’s performances never seem to disappoint. Tune in Saturday night on ESPN, to watch Lomachenko put on yet another clinic. Though Marriaga is a very tough fighter, Lomachenko’s technical abilities will likely be too much for Marriaga to handle and it is doubtful that this fight will go the distance.

After Saturday night, Lomachenko has options in the 130-pound division–Miguel Berchelt, Jezreel Corrales and Gervonta Davis are all good fighters. If not, a jump up to the 140-pound weight class would also make things interesting.

Regardless, keep your eyes on Lomachenko; he is undeniably on his way up the pound-for-pound rankings.

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