Editorials

Who’s Next for Vasyl Lomachenko?

Photo by Al Bello
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

If you watched WBO Featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1-0, 2 KOs) for the first time in the opening televised bout on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao undercard, you’re probably seriously impressed.

If you’re a fan of “Loma” and have been for a few years now, then your man crush has probably heightened after his dominant performance over WBO No. 1 contender Gamalier Rodriguez (25-3-3, 17 KOs).

Even though nobody gave Rodriguez much of a chance against Lomachenko, who is the most decorated amateur boxer ever having won two Olympic gold medals before turning professional and winning a world title in just his third fight, you can’t take away from the extremely impressive showcase of talent and potential that the Ukrainian displayed.

After a few rounds of feeling-out Rodriguez and getting his timing down, Lomachenko took the fight over completely, landing punches at will–doubling, tripling and quadrupling up combinations, while using awesome footwork to keep Rodriguez square and hittable throughout the fight.

A professional and relentless body attack was mixed into the onslaught by Lomachenko, as well as some finely timed low blows to Rodriguez, who made it a point to intentionally land low on Lomachenko all night in an attempt to make him uncomfortable, similar to the way Orlando Salido did during his win over Lomachenko in their fight back in March 2014.

It was in the ninth round that Lomachenko finally landed his finishing blow, when he snuck a right cross inside on Rodriguez, who was beaten, frustrated and decided to take a surrendering knee from which he would never get up from.

Looking forward, there are a lot of options for Lomachenko in a Featherweight division that is gradually becoming one of the most competitive and exciting divisions in boxing.

The clear and obvious question will be if his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank will be interested in throwing Lomachenko in with the absolute best-of-the-best of the division with only five professional fights under his belt, or if he’ll choose to move him along more gradually.

So let’s take a look at some potential opponents for Vasyl Lomachenko, and how fast he could potentially rise up on many pound-for-pound lists over the next couple of years.

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