2018 was a little bit of a rough year for Ukrainian star Vasyl Lomachenko. Sure, The three division world champion captured two more titles to add to his impressive resume (WBA and WBO lightweight), but there were moments in his fights where he didn’t look as electric as we were used to seeing him.
In May he was dropped for the first time in his career by a straight right hand from Jorge Linares. Lomachenko got off the canvas to show his championship heart, scoring an 11th around TKO via a crippling body shot.
In December, Lomachenko struggled at times with that awkward style of Puerto Rico’s Jose Podraza. Still, Lomachenko was victorious that night, scoring too late knock downs on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Having recently turned 31 years old, and with over 400 amateur fights on his ledger, and coming off of a shoulder injury , many were wondering if the best Lomachenko was still in front of us.
On Saturday night, Lomachenko showed that he is still one of, if not the, best fighters in the world, with a vicious fourth round knockout over former champion Anthony Crolla. It was a signature performance from a fighter who has gotten used to dazzling spectators with his blend of skills, savvy, and underrated power.
Crolla is a capable fighter, but he was outclassed from the get go. Lomachenko moves very well on his feet and he began pot shotting his England opponent in the early rounds. At the end of the third round Lomachenko pinned Crolla against the ropes and scored his first knockdown.
It was all but a formality, as Lomachenko ended the fight as the fourth round opened with the punishing barrage that had Crolla bloodied and dazed on the deck, as the fight was waved off.
Sure, this wasn’t the opponent anybody preferred, but it was great to see Lomachenko back in rare form. In the wake of his victory, it was revealed that Vasyl may have broken his right hand, as he claims to injury came on the exact punch that scored the knockout.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is planning a fall return for his fighter, and he told the media post fight-Fight that he would love to match Lomachenko with WBC champion Mikey Garcia. But that fight may have some promotional road blocks to overcome, plus Garcia will be returning in May in an exhibition match versus Mexican legend Erik Morales, so he has to get past all of that first.
WBA lightweight champion Gervonta Davis has been going back-and-forth with Lomachenko on social media, and it would be a great fight.
“But, you know, I think Gervonta Davis is the best fighter on Twitter,” Lomachenko said.
Davis is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and it seems unlikely we will see the fight anytime soon.
It remains to be seen what the rest of the year, and the future, has for Lomachenko. But, if anything, he reminded us why he is so special on Friday night.