At the age of 29, Vasyl is a three-year pro. A two-division world champion, he won the WBO featherweight world title in his third pro fight in June, 2014, and made three successful defenses. He vacated the title to move up in weight, and won the WBO junior lightweight world title in June, 2016. He has made three successful title defenses.
Vasyl is a very special talent. He was a dominant force as an elite international amateur who won gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics – as well as the Val Barker “Outstanding Boxer” award in 2008 – and the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, and is considered by many to be the greatest amateur boxer of all time.
His goal as a professional is simple – to be the best boxer in the world – and after only three years and 10 pro fights, he has already reached elite status. He is widely considered as one of the best at any weight in the ring today, and many already consider him to be the best.
Vasyl has a unique style. Many boxers use lateral movement to set up angles that take themselves out of their opponents’ punching range and set up their own offensive attacks, but Vasyl has taken that technique to another level, one not seen anywhere else.
And although he’s not thought of as having devastating punching power, he has scored one-punch knockouts – to the body and head – and won his last six fights by knockout.
The way Vasyl views potential opponents is also very simple. He wants to fight the best opposition and to him, that means all of the other world title-holders. If they’re not available or willing to fight, he wants to fight the highest-ranked contenders. The exception, of course, is a rematch against Orlando Salido, who gave Vasyl his only loss as a pro. Vasyl’s only loss in 396 amateur fights came against Albert Selimov in the finals at the 2007 World Championships. Vasyl avenged that loss with two wins against Selimov in later fights.
In his last fight on August 5 in Los Angeles, he won by seventh-round TKO against Miguel Marriaga.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Vasyl Lomachenko has his eyes on being the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world – and he’s not far away from that lofty status – but to keep his train moving in that direction he had to take care of challenger Miguel Marriaga.
No problem. At all.
Lomachenko absolutely toyed with Marriaga, knocking him down twice and winning by one-sided seventh-round knockout before 4,102 on Saturday night in the main event of the Top Rank ESPN card at the Microsoft Theater at LA Live.
The fight came to an end when Marriaga’s corner mercifully stopped the fight after a brutal seventh round in which Marriaga took extreme punishment.
As usual, Lomachenko began by probing Marriaga and looking for a place to land his pinpoint shots. By the time the round was over, he had landed stiff jabs and hard body shots without taking anything clean in return.
By the second round Lomachenko was firmly in control. He landed combinations to the body and head and backed up Marriaga. Marriaga, whose only losses have been in world title fights, was playing defense because he knew what was coming, but he had no answers.
Lomachenko continued to dazzle in the third round. He popped Marriaga with a body shot, pivoted to the side and came upstairs. He is like a boxing symphony.
In the third round, he landed a clean straight left that dropped Marriaga to his backside. Marriaga easily beat the count and then Lomachenko motioned for him to come at him in the corner. Marriaga obliged, and Lomachenko nailed him and wiggled his hips and made a face at him as the crowd went wild. An accidental head-butt in the fourth round opened a cut over Lomachenko’s left eye.
Lomachenko, however, appeared unaffected by the cut, because he continued to pepper Marriaga with every punch in the book, throwing from all angles, sometimes with power, sometimes just for range. But he landed punch after punch and was in total control in every round.
Lomachenko had a huge seventh round. He battered Marriaga all over the ring. He left Marriaga befuddled and taking damage all over the place.
Finally, moments before the round ended, Lomachenko landed a hard left hand, and Marriaga crumpled to the mat. The bell ended the round, but Marriaga was done, and his corner threw in the towel. [End Rafael item]
Manager Egis Klimas said, “Vasyl goes back home to Ukraine after every fight, but he trains every day. He runs every day no matter where he is. In the wintertime he plays hockey, in the summertime he plays basketball or soccer.
“Vasyl and his father have their own gym at home – I believe it’s called ‘Akkerman.’ That’s the old name of their home city – Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi used to be called Akkerman. They train other fighters at their gym, too, but mostly amateurs, no big names. Alexandr Usyk often visits Vasyl there because he’s the godfather of Vasyl’s kids. Then Vasyl comes to California to finish his training at my gym in Oxnard and focuses on sparring, drills, and boxing.”
Vasyl wanted to challenge for a world title in his pro debut but when that was not possible, he did challenge for one, unsuccessfully, in his second fight. He won a world title in his third fight in June, 2014 – only eight months after his debut – which tied the record for winning a world title with the fewest fights. Saensak Muangsurin of Thailand also won a junior welterweight world title in his third fight in 1975.
Vasyl made history again in his last fight by becoming the first fighter to win world titles in two weight divisions in only seven fights. The previous record was eight, held by 23-year-old Naoya Inoue of Japan, who won the WBC light flyweight title (108 pounds) in his sixth fight in April, 2014, made a successful defense five months later in September, then won the WBO junior bantamweight title (115 pounds) in his eighth fight three months later in December, 2014.
Vasyl said through an interpreter, “I like to know every single detail about my opponent before we fight. It doesn’t matter if my opponent is strong, it doesn’t matter if my opponent is not strong – I always want to know every detail. I study every opponent very closely.”
Regarding his nickname, Vasyl said, “I think I got it during the Olympics. I was training somewhere and one of the reporters was talking about high technology, and he said that I was a ‘high tech’ boxer.”