Lomachenko: I am going to spoil the Puerto Rican fans weekend
By Eric Baldwin: Vasyl Lomachenko (5-1, 3 KOs) will be moving up in weight in a little over a week to take on WBO super featherweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KOs) for his title on HBO Championship Boxing on June 11 from Madison Square Garden in New York.
The 28-year-old Lomachenko will be looking to win his 2nd division world title. He’s got a great chance of accomplishing that fete, as Martinez is coming off of a bad beating at the hands of Orlando Salido last September, and he arguably should no longer be the WBO 130lb champion after receiving a 12 round draw in a fight that he clearly lost in the eyes of many boxing fans.
This writer had Salido winning easily by an eight rounds to four score. Salido really gave Martinez a bad pounding in that fight. Scoring the fight a draw was almost comical because it so clear that Salido had won the fight. To give Martinez a draw in the fight meant that the judges had to see something he was doing in the one-sided rounds to see him earning a draw.
I didn’t see anything Martinez did that deserved him getting a draw out of the contest. With the punishment the 33-year-old Martinez took in that fight against Salido, I think it would have been better if he took a year off to recover because that was a really grueling fight for him.
The Lomachenko vs. Martinez fight will be taking place a day before the Puerto Rican day parade. Lomachenko says he’s going to spoil the Puerto Rican fans’ weekend by beating Martinez.
“I think Martinez is a very strong and experienced fighter and I think when he comes in the ring on June 11, he will know exactly what he needs to do to win the fight and my position will be to destroy his plan. I am going to spoil the Puerto Rican fans weekend,” said Lomachenko.
In the pro ranks, Lomachenko has one loss in losing a 12 round decision to a much heavier Orlando Salido in his second fight as a pro in March 2014. It was too early for Lomachenko to be facing a guy with the kind of size and experience that Salido had going for him in that fight. It was a really tough fight for Lomachenko, as he spent much of the contest holding onto Salido to keep from getting hit by his powerful body shots.
Lomachenko is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in winning golds in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. If Lomachnenko had stayed an amateur, he could be competing for his third gold medal in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. As an amateur Lomacheko finished with a record of 396-1.
“They will feel very let down. After June 11, I am going to be the one thinking and making the decisions whether to fight Walters or not,” said Lomachenko about the Puerto Rican fans.
If Lomachenko does defeat Martinez to win his WBO super featherweight title, he’ll need to make up his mind whether to keep that belt or move back down to featherweight and resume defending his WBO title in that division. Lomachenko will have 10 days to make a decision after the Martinez fight whether he wants to stay at super featherweight or move back down to featherweight.
It could come down to which division Lomachenko feels better fighting at. If he stays at super featherweight, it won’t be as difficult for him to make weight like it is at featherweight. Lomachenko says he’s not having problems making the weight for the featherweight division yet.
By staying at super featherweight, Lomachenko will have more opportunities for big fights against the likes of Nicholas Walters, Javier Fortuna, Jezreel Corrales, Jose Pedraza and Francisco Vargas. Lomachenko could also move up to lightweight at 135lbs and go after the top fighters in that weight class like Terry Flanagan, Anthony Crolla, Rances Barthelemy and Jorge Linares. Those fighters tend to rehydrate into the 140s, and it could be difficult for Lomachenko to handle their size. That would take a big adjustment by Lomachenko for him to be able to compete with large fighters like that.
In the co-feature bout on the Martinez vs. Lomachenko card is unbeaten WBO Latino lightweight champion Felix Verdejo (21-0, 14 KOs) defending his title against Juan Jose Martinez (25-2, 17 KOs).