Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko 10-1 (8) has thrown down the gauntlet to other big name fighters in an around the 135-pound weight class ahead of his fight against Venezuelan veteran Jorge Linares 44-3 (27) for the WBA lightweight title at Madison Square Garden, New York this Saturday night.
“I am not interested in regular bouts, and just taking a guy because he’s available to fight,” Lomachenko said to Yahoo! Sports. “I want my bouts to be competitive and challenging and I’m always looking for the best opponent I can find.”
The problem for Lomachenko is that even the bouts that look competitive and challenging on paper can turn out to be one-sided routs when he matches his superlative skills against anyone else vaguely around the same weight.
In his last bout the 30-year-old Ukrainian made a mockery of highly-regarded Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, who was unbeaten at 17-0 (11) going into the December bout but was comprehensively outboxed for six rounds before retiring on his stool.
If Lomachenko can get past Linares – a win that would make him a world champion in three weight divisions – the fight that needs to happen is against unbeaten American Mikey Garcia 38-0 (30) who has won world titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140-pounds.
If that fight doesn’t happen, Lomachenko will keep bowling over the best fighters available while he waits for a career-defining fight.
“I haven’t always gotten the best. I know that. But the guys I’ve fought, they were the best guys who were available at the time,” Lomachenko continued.
“The stronger opponents, the better opponents, they maybe didn’t want to fight at the time or they were with a different network or a different promoter, and so it didn’t happen.
“You can only fight those who say yes and accept a fight, so I have fought the best I could get.”