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Roman Martinez vs. Vasyl Lomachenko results

By Jim Dower: Undefeated Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) smashed WBO super featherweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-3-3, 17 KOs) in stopping him in the 5th round to win his WBO title at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Lomachenko, 28, knocked Martinez down with a crushing right hook to the head. Martinez hit the canvas and was badly hurt. The referee then halted the fight with Martinez still down.

The fight was dull for the most part compared to the Orlando Salido vs. Francisco Vargas fight a week ago. It’s not because Martinez wasn’t trying to make it interesting. It was because Lomachenko was focusing on not getting hit, and using his in and out style of fighting. That style is sort of like watching Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight. It might be interesting to some fans, but not for others.

Martinez was clearly too slow to time Lomachenko and hit him as he came forward. Much of the time, Lomachenko would attack at angles, making it almost impossible for Martinez to land anything. Martinez didn’t have the attacking style of Salido to pressure Lomachenko, and that’s what he would have needed for him to have a chance at winning the fight tonight.
For the 28-year-old Lomachenko, he now holds the WBO featherweight [126lbs] and WBO super featherweight titles [130lbs].

Lomachenko hasn’t said yet which of the two titles he’ll be choosing to hold onto and defend. However, it’s very likely Lomachenko will choose to vacate the WBO featherweight strap, because there’s not a lot of options available to him in that weight class right now. He’s probably not going to be able to fight guys like Lee Selby, Leo Santa Cruz, Jesus Cuellar or Gary Russell Jr. Lomachenko already conclusively beat Russell Jr. in the past. There’s no one from super bantamweight for Lomachenko to fight other than Scott Quigg, Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Top Rank might have a hard time making those fights.

“The reason that I like Olympic boxing is that all the best fighters come together and find out who the best fighter is,” said Lomachenko to Fightnews.com. “I want to do the same in professional boxing. I want to line up all the best professional boxers at 130 pounds and see who the best fighter is.”

If there’s any wonder which belt Lomachenko will be keeping, it’s pretty clear from that statement that he’s going to keep his WBO super featherweight title and defend that belt instead of the WBO featherweight title. It would be a backwards move for Lomachenko to go back down to featherweight. He’s already been there for three years already and seen the lack of opportunities for interesting fights in that weight class.

By moving permanently to super featherweight, Lomachenko is in reach of fighting lightweights like Terry Flanagan, Felix Verdejo, Rances Barthlemy, Anthony Crolla, Dejan Zlaticanin, Jorge Linares, Richard Commey, and Robert Easter Jr. Those fighters would be an excellent mix for Lomachenko with the super featherweights he can potentially fight.

If Top Rank can’t get Lomachenko fights against the top super featherweights, then they can always pool from the lightweight division to get him notable opponents. Further, if some of the top featherweights want to come up to super featherweight to fight Lomachenko, then that would be great too.

As many boxing fans expected him to do, Lomachenko called out former two division world champion Orlando Salido after the fight, saying they should face each other. Salido beat Lomachenko by a 12 round decision two years ago in March 2014 in winning a 12 round split decision. The loss clearly still bothers Lomachenko, who would like to get a chance to avenge the defeat. For his part, Salido appears ambivalent about the defeat. I don’t think he really cares one way or another if he fights Lomachenko again, because he already beat him. There isn’t that motivation that you normally have when you’ve fought someone that beat you in the past or when you haven’t fought someone before.

The motivation to make that fight happen is clearly on Lomachenko’s side because he’s the one with a lot to prove, not Salido. The rematch doesn’t do anything for Salido because he’s already been there and done that. Beating Lomachenko a second time won’t do much for Salido’s career. Besides that, Lomachenko has changed his fighting style and is much more defensive now compared to when he fought Salido in 2014. I don’t think Salido wants to have to chase Lomachenko around the ring for 12 rounds. It was hard enough for Salido to deal with Lomachenko’s nonstop holding the last time he fought him.

“Hey Salido, don’t lie. I didn’t tell you that. I’m ready to fight you anytime. Let’s do it!” said Lomachenko to Salido about him supposedly telling the Mexican star that he wouldn’t fight him unless he had a belt.

Salido currently is just a contender at super featherweight and not a belt holder. Salido’s record in his last three fights is 0-1-2. The 35-year-old Salido hasn’t won a fight in two years since his 11th round knockout of Terdsak Kokietgym in September 2014, although many boxing fans believe Salido deserved victories in his last two fights against Francisco Vargas and Roman “Rocky” Martinez. The fact remains, Salido hasn’t won a fight in two years.

Lomachenko’s 84-year-old promoter Bob Arum was extremely pleased with Lomachenko’s victory over Martinez, who he also promotes in his Top Rank stable of fighters. Arum even compared Lomachenko to boxing great Muhammad Ali. However, the difference between the two are like night and day. Ali was willing to put his chin on the line in his fights. Lomachenko is more relucatant to do that than Ali. Lomachenko is more like Floyd Mayweather Jr. than Ali. He does not put himself in the position where he’s going to get hit, which is why Lomachenko likely won’t become super popular like other Eastern European fighters Sergey Kovalev and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Both of those fighters are willing to put their chins on the line to make for entertaining fights. Lomachenko doesn’t fight like that. He still fights like an amateur with his constantly shifting angles of attack and his hit and run style. It’s all clever boxing with Lomachenko, and it takes a special type of fan to appreciate that stuff. To some fans, it’s frustrating to watch Lomachenko because he won’t stand in the pocket and he won’t go after his opponents in the way that fans like to see from their heroes. You can make an argument that Francisco Vargas and Salido are much more entertaining fighters than Lomachenko, because they’re willing to get hit in order to throw their power shots.

“We have a lot of great fighters in Top Rank as you know,” said Arum via Fightnews.com. “This young man is the greatest. Muhammad Ali was the greatest of all time, Vasyl Lomachenko is the greatest of our time!“

Lomachenko cannot be the greatest of our time when he was beaten by Salido. That loss disqualifies Lomachenko as the greatest of our time.




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