When a fighter tops the bill at Madison Square Garden and is appearing between performances from Bon Jovi and Billy Joel in New Yorks entertainment landmark its fair to say they have arrived.
The Ukrainian boxer Vasyl Lomachenko is used to the big stage however, with a career that is beyond belief, an amateur record consisting of consecutive Olympic and world golds as well as picking up every honour in the sport worth winning. His final amateur record was a staggering 396 wins with only one loss which he avenged twice.
His 11 fight pro career to date has astonishly seen him become a two weight world champion winning the first in only his 3rd professional contest. He has breezed through the divisions best fighters including 3 x Olympic champion and undefeated World champion Guillermo Rigondeaux who retired on his stool after 6 rounds.
Fight number 12 this Saturday May 12th at the Mecca of boxing sees him go for an astonishing 3rd weight world title against one of boxing’s modern legends in WBA, lightweight champion, Jorge Linares of Venezuela, who is himself is a 3 weight World Champion.
British fans know Linares very well having defeated our top lightweights in Kevin Mitchell by stoppage in an excellent fight, Manchester’s Anthony Crolla with back to back points decisions and our own golden boy, 2012 Olympic hero Luke Campbell in a close call in September last year.
Lomachenko is a phenomenon, everything he does in the ring is measured and thought out and practised to precision from his ultra relaxed defence to his blistering combinations and he improves with every fight, whereas Linares boxes in a more orthodox techincal manner, boxing from centre ring and often relying on determination and toughness to drag out a win.
Linares 3 defeats have all been by stoppage, albeit several years ago, but he does get cut and bruised and this could be a problem with the fast punching Ukrainian hitting him from every angle. Although he has height reach and experience advantages, it’s hard to see the excellent Linares coming out a winner.
My advice? Enjoy the occasion and a truly mouthwatering match up that will provide every thing we love about this sport, a true boxing classic we will be talking about for a very long time.