Vasiliy Lomachenko isn’t just the best fighter in the world — he’s beginning to make a case for the best of his own era.
Unable to lure fellow lightweight champions into the ring, Lomachenko kept busy on Friday against mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla and defended a pair of 135-pound titles with one of the most spectacular finishes of his 14-bout pro career.
Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) continued his historic march, which includes titles in three weight divisions, by flooring Crolla face first in Round 4 with a perfect right hook to the side of the head to cap off yet another one-sided performance. Referee Jack Reiss jumped in at 58 seconds to wave off the fight without a count in the main event of a Top Rank card from Staples Center in Los Angeles.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, the 31-year-old Lomachenko was expecting to face IBF champion Richard Commey until a broken right hand for Commey brought on a change of plans. Instead, he dismantled Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs), the 32-year-old former champion from Great Britain, with a brilliant display of clean and creative punches from awkward angles. Lomachenko outlanded Crolla 72-12, according to CompuBox, and limited his opponent to five punches landed or fewer in all four rounds.
Lomachenko continued to solidify his claim as the pound-for-pound best in the sport in a short career that has already saw him tie or set boxing records for the fewest fights to win a world title and the fewest to win titles in two and three divisions.
Reiss ruled a knockdown late in Round 3 when combination punching from Lomachenko caused Crolla to sit down on the ropes while eating clean shots. Both Lomachenko and the California commission members thought the fight had been stopped and began to celebrate and enter the ring until Reiss restored order. One round later, Lomachenko continued to pour on the assault to set up the finishing blow.
“I want a fight with Mikey Garcia but we’ll see, I don’t know,” Lomachenko said. “I [will] stay at 135 longer, it’s possible. I want to unify all titles.”
Source: Brian Campbell