Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Romulo Koasicha in mismatch on Saturday
By Allan Fox: WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KOs) has one of his easier fights this Saturday night in defending it against Romulo Koasicha (25-4, 15 KOs) on the undercard of the Tim Bradley vs. Brandon Rios fight at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lomachenko has the talent to make this a very easy fight for him, as the #7 WBO ranked Koasicha is just a guy that was selected by Lomachenko’s promoter Bob Arum to take the fight when no better could be found.
Lomachenko wants to shine in this fight, and he definitely has the right opponent for him to do this. Koasicha was recently beaten by Lee Selby in a one-sided 12 round decision loss last year.
It wasn’t competitive and it’s hard to believe that as bad as Koasicha looked in that fight that he’s getting a world title shot just a year later. It’s senseless really. Lomachenko should be fighting better opposition at this point in his career rather than little known fighters like Koasicha.
“I want to bring something new to boxing,” Lomachenko said to ESPN.com. “I want to be known to fans and appreciated as a ‘boxer-painter’ in regards to speed, footwork, punching power — an art form inside the ring.”
Lomachenko isn’t going to do much in terms of his popularity if all he’s fighting are guys like Koasicha. In Lomachenko’s last few fights since his loss to Orlando Salido in 2014, he’s beaten Gary Russell Jr., Gamalier Rodriguez and Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo. Those aren’t household names, and Lomachenko burned up a year of his career fighting those guys.
Russell Jr. is a good fighter, but you can’t list those other fighters in the same category. If Lomachenko wants to become a big name, he’s going to need to push Top Rank to set him up against fighters like Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nonito Donaire, Nicholas Walters, Abner Mares, Leo Santa Cruz, Jhonny Gonzalez, Salido [rematch], Russell Jr. [rematch]., and Roman Martinez. It might also require that Lomachenko moves up to super featherweight rather than staying at featherweight.
At least if Lomachenko moves up to super featherweight, he can fight guys like Salido, Martinez, Takashi Uchiyama, and take on some of the lightweights that are five pounds above that division at 135.
Lomachenko could fight guys like Jorge Linares, Terry Flanagan, and Felix Verdejo. It would be risky for Lomachenko to fight these guys, but if he wants to become popular, then he’s going to need to take chances with his boxing career rather than staying at featherweight and being limited to fighting guys like Koasicha, Gamalier Rodriguez and Piriyapinyo. That’s a waste of a career.
“He was the best guy we could get,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said to ESPN about Koasicha.
If that’s truly the best that Arum could come up with, then it’s time that Lomachenko move up to super featherweight and/or lightweight so that he can face better opposition. It’s a waste of time for him to be stuck chewing up a year of his career fighting the guys that Arum has been feeding him.
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