On December 8, Hi-Tech will put his WBA lightweight strap on the line against WBO champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (25-1, 12 KO) in a unification bout taking place in Madison Square Garden.
The boxing world has missed Lomachenko, as the Ukranian has remained relatively inactive, having been out of the ring since his breathtaking battle against Jorge Linares in May. Though Lomachenko won the fight in spectacular fashion, he injured his rotator cuff and was held out of the spotlight for months as he focused on recovery.
Jose Pedraza was an unexpected contender for Lomachenko until his dominating performance over former champion Ray Beltran in August. Having held three titles and battled with champions like Beltran, Andre Klimov and–most notably–Gervonta Davis, Pedraza is no stranger to the elite-level of fighting that Lomachenko will be at.
Having said that, Lomachenko, the arguable pound-for-pound king that he is, is projected to plow through Pedraza with little-to-no difficulty. Pedraza will have more to work with in preparation, thanks to Linares giving Lomachenko his best challenge yet, but he does not possess the ability to move like Loma, nor the power to catch the Ukranian and turn the tide of the match.
Bob Arum, founder of Top Rank, seems to have some assemblance of doubt however. According to Pedraza’s coach, Luis Espada, Arum approached him after Pedraza’s domination of Beltran, suggesting that Pedraza has the tools to defeat the Ukranian.
Regardless, the boxing world will be ecstatic as Lomachenko returns to the ring, and we will all be on the edge of our seats, eager for the show he will undoubtedly put on display.
Header photo by Crown Boxing