Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Romulo Koasicha on November 7th on HBO
By Dan Ambrose: WBO World featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KOs) will be making his third defense of his WBO 126lb title two months from now against #8 WBO contender Romulo Koasicha (25-4, 15 KOs) in what has to be seen as a poor mismatch on HBO Championship Boxing from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Lomachenko- Koasicha will be the co-feature on the Timothy Bradley vs. Brandon Rios card, but in truth this fight should more like the first bout on the card and nowhere near the co-feature.
The co-feature bouts should be competitive match-ups, but this isn’t even close to being competitive. It’s really no different than Lomachenko’s last two fights against Gamalier Rodriguez and Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo. Lomachenko has been going backwards since his fights against Gary Russell Jr. and Orlando Salido. Those were very good opponents, but since then it’s been all downhill for Lomachenko. They’re really missing the boat in trying to turn Lomachenko into a star. He can’t be turned into a star being put in with over-matched opponents again and again.
Lomachenko hasn’t had a competitive fight since June of 2014, when he beat Gary Russell Jr. by an exciting 12 round decision.
As of now, Lomachenko-Koasicha & Bradley-Rios are the only two fights on the November 7th HBO card.
Lomachenko was hoping to unify all the titles at featherweight, but he’s had no luck in doing so. He would have had an opportunity to win the WBA strap if Top Rank fighter Nicholas Walters hadn’t lost his title when he came in over the weight limit for his fight against Miguel Marriaga in June of this year.
Lomachenko was a great amateur fighter in winning two Olympic gold medals for Ukraine. After he turned pro he was hoping to get a lot of interesting fights, but this far he’s only had two and his career is starting to fly by now. He’s 27 now, but you can bet that the poor match-making will continue year after year for him.
“I don’t know much — nothing, really — about my opponent,” Lomachenko said via ESPN.com. “My promoter, Top Rank, made the match, and I am good with it. I will be ready and am anxious to get back into the ring.”
That’s not exactly an endorsement of Koasicha by Lomachenko. I suppose he should be lucky he’s fighting at all because fellow Top Rank fighter Rios is barely getting his second fight this year after sitting out of the ring since January of this year without being matched against anyone.
Lomachenko last fought in May of this year when he stopped Gamalier Rodriguez in the 9th round in a mismatch on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Before that, Lomachenko defeated Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo by a lopsided 12 round unanimpus decision in a one-sided fight on the undercard of the Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri fight in Macao, China. It’s nice that Lomachenko is fighting on Pacquiao’s undercards, but what good is it if Top Rank isn’t going to match him against guys that will further his career?
“Rigondeaux’s team has no realistic understanding of the marketplace, which is a shame because the fighter gets hurt the most,” Top Rank promoter Carl Moretti said to ESPN.com. “We’d love to make that fight, but not for what they were asking for. It’s a song we’ve heard before.
For a company as big as Top Rank, they should have deep enough pockets to get guys like Rigondeaux for Lomachenko. If they want the best for their fighters, then sometimes they’re going to need to pay to get them. If they don’t pay the extra to get the really good fighters then you’re going to see Lomachenko spending his career fighting the likes of the little known Koasicha instead of against good fighters.
Lomachenko should be facing fighters like Abner Mares, Leo Santa Cruz, Jhonny Gonzalez, Gary Russell Jr., Lee Selby, Nicholas Walters, Jesus Andres Cuellar, Nonto Donaire, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Evgeny Gradovich, Jayson Velez, Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton, Javier Fortuna, Jose Pedraza, Takashi Uchiyama, Orlando Salido and Roman Martinez. It’s just really disappointing that Top Rank isn’t putting him in with any of those guys.