On Friday, April 12, WBA and WBO lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko will make his next ring appearance when he faces off with former champion Anthony Crolla. The fight will air on ESPN + from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Lomachenko is a huge betting favorite heading in.
Lomachenko is one of the top stars of the sport, regarded by many as the pound for pound best in boxing. His fight with Crolla isn’t a huge fight by any means, but if he can win he will surely have bigger options awaiting him.
Lomachenko has won titles as well at 126 and 130 pounds, and admits that lightweight (135 pounds) isn’t his preferred weight division. During a recent open media workout in Los Angeles, Lomachenko had this to say.
“Right now, I am a lightweight, but lightweight is not my ideal weight category,” Lomachenko said. “My goal now is to unify all four titles, and then, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll move back down to 130 pounds and win world titles there for a second time.
Crolla briefly held a version of the WBA lightweight title before losing back-to-back fights to Jorge Linares a few years back. Lomachenko, who also defeated Linares, admits he isn’t too familiar of the UK fighter.
“I don’t know too much about him,” said Lomachenko. “I know him from his two fights with Jorge Linares. I do know he is an aggressive fighter, and I like to fight guys who come forward.”
Despite just having 13 fights (12-1, 9 KO’s), Lomachenko has many years in the game dating back to his amateur days, where he captured a pair of gold medals. All these years later, he continues to prepare in the same fashion.
“I prepare like always,” said Lomachenko. “We are training hard. I’ve been training for a couple months already and will put on a great performance for my fans in Los Angeles and on ESPN+. I will show everyone my best style and hope everyone enjoys it.
“I want to fight the best,” Lomachenko added. “But now, Crolla is the best choice. He is the mandatory challenger and wanted to fight me. That is why I accepted this fight.”
One man who has been clamoring for a fight with Lomachenko is 21-year old Teofimo Lopez, a 21-year old lightweight who has been settling the sport on fire with a string of knockout performances.
To Lomachenko, he has at times dismissed the talk from Lopez, but admits he would be willing to face him if he can collect a title.
“I’m ready for everyone,” Lomachenko stated. “ I need the belts. If you have a belt, you can come in the ring and I’ll fight with you.”
If Lomachenko can get past Crolla, next up looks to be a late summer duel with IBF champion Richard Commey.