Can Anyone Beat Vasyl Lomachenko? Five Potential Opponents For The Gifted Ukrainian
Vasyl Lomachenko added further credibility to the claims he is boxing’s current pound-for-pound king this weekend after hammering poor Anthony Crolla around the Staples Centre for four rounds and says he’ll be fighting again in September.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist improved his professional record to 13-1 (10) and after picking up titles in three weight divisions along the way, the question is - can anyone beat him?
Below, TheSportsman picks out 5 potential opponents the wizard-like Ukrainian could fight this year.
Loma had already expressed an interest in fighting the Hull man shortly after conquering another Brit this weekend, citing his love for the UK boxing fans and the interest a bout between the two Olympians could generate.
Campbell has seen a career resurgence since a shock defeat to Yvan Mendy at the end of 2015, winning eight of his last nine fights and avenging his earlier loss along the way.
His one blemish in that period was against former Lomachenko and Crolla foe Jorge Linares, but the Briton put in a sublime performance that night and proved he could definitely mix it with the lightweight division’s big boys.
TheSportsman’s Upset Rating (2/5): Luke Campbell is a classy operator and is among the best the division has to offer. However, defeat to an over the hill Linares shows he might not quite on the level needed to claim Loma’s throne as his own.
In the midst of rebuilding his career following his 12 round annihilation at the hands of Errol Spence Jr last month, Mikey Garcia is still the best opponent out there for Loma.
Having made the mammoth jump up to 147lbs in a brave but ultimately futile attempt at Spence’s welterweight titles, a return to lightweight would be a punishing one on his body and he’ll perhaps need to take a tune-up fight before jumping in with the in-form Loma.
TheSportsman’s Upset Rating (4/5): Despite coming off a devastating loss, Garcia has the tools and the size to give Loma problems but it remains to be seen how damaging the hammering Spence gave him was psychologically to the Californian.
A fight between Loma and 21-0 (20) super-featherweight Gervonta Davis has been mooted for some time now and it’d certainly generate a lot of hype and subsequently a lot of cheddar.
Davis is one of boxing’s rising stars and the protege of a certain Floyd Mayweather Jr but as tantalising a match-up this is, the two fighters are simply at different points in their careers right now.
Never say never, and you wouldn’t bet against Loma moving down for a blockbuster clash with Davis one day - sadly, it probably won’t be this year.
TheSportsman’s Upset Rating (3/5): ‘Tank’ is building up a reputation as a bit of KO artist and could definitely give Loma a test at 130lbs but his chances to win can only improve if this potential showdown is left to simmer for just a while longer.
IBF title holder Richard Commey had been in line to fight Lomachenko on Friday night but a hand injury forced him out of the clash leaving Crolla to take his place and the tall and tough Ghanaian would arguably have had a better skillset than his replacement in dealing with the wily Ukrainian.
Back-to-back split decision defeats to Denis Shafikov and Robert Easter Jr in 2016 are the Accra-born fighter’s only hiccups in a 30-fight pro career.
TheSportsman’s Upset Rating (2/5): Probably the most logical fight to happen for Lomachenko in September and there’s no question Commey would be game opposition for the man they call ‘Hi-Tech’ but you can be confident in predicting another Loma win if this was to happen.
The long shot. Teofimo Lopez is being touted as another of boxing’s hottest prospects and the lightweight nicknamed ‘El Brooklyn’ is already being considered as a potential opponent for Lomachenko somewhere down the line.
The New York native has already stated he wants Loma eventually and even claimed this weekend that Loma had swapped hotels to get away from him.
Like Davis, this fight can be filed under ‘one for the future’ and we’re more likely to see Lopez fight Richard Commey first - a win against the Ghanaian and maybe his name could be one step closer to being at the front of the pack of potential Loma opponents.
TheSportsman’s Upset Rating (2/5): Too early to say, despite the prospect carving out a brilliant CV in his pro career so far, it would be hard to sell this fight in 2019. Like Loma said himself, “Teofimo Lopez is nothing in boxing right now.”