Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Miguel Marriaga – Results
By Jim Dower: WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) easily beat Miguel Marriaga (25-3, 21 KOs) by a 7th round stoppage on Saturday night in a fight televised by ESPN at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.
Lomachenko knocked Marriaga down in rounds 3 and 7. At the end of round 7, Marriaga’s corner had the fight stopped. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight at the request of Marriaga’s corner. The official time of the stoppage came at 3:00 of round 7. Boxing News 24 had Lomachenko up 7 rounds to 0 at the time of the stoppage. You can argue that Marriaga might have done enough to win round 1, but that’s the only round he was in competitive in.
The fight saw the 29-year-old Lomachenko pressuring the Colombian Marriaga constantly, staying close to him and hitting him with constant punches to the head and body. It was continuous pressure that envetually wore Marriaga down.
Lomachenko started slowly in rounds 1 and 2, throwing few punches, and mostly just following Marriaga around staying close to him. Lomachenko was tapping Marriaga with punches that were meant to make contact.
You can second guess the way that Marriaga fought Lomachenko. Marriaga wasn’t letting his hands go, as he was frequently backing up from Lomachenko and circling the ring. It was the wrong style to use to beat Lomachenko. It’s not surprising that the fight turned out to be such a mismatch. Marriaga fought like he was scared from the opening bell in the 1st round.
To be sure, Marriaga was picked out by Lomachenko’s promoters at Top Rank from the featherweight division from the recently beaten ranks, so it’s not surprising that he wasn’t showing confidence. Top Rank found a guy that was beaten by one of their other fighters Oscar Valdez and they decided to let him be Lomachenko’s opponent tonight instead of making a more logical choice of picking out someone from the super featherweight division. With Marriaga having taken a lot of punishment in his last fight against Valdez, he was no real position to put it on the line against the bigger Lomachenko in this fight. Marriaga looked like he didn’t want to fight. He was just there, surviving and trying not to get hit.
This was an exciting fight by stretch of the imagination. Lomachenko was showboating much of the time, tapping Marriaga with light punches and trying to impress the boxing fans at ringside. The light punches Lomachenko was throwing didn’t make him look impressive. He needed to get rid of Marriaga as fast as possible. The way to impress against an over-matched opponent is to get rid of them as fast as possible. Lomachenko seems to believe that it’s better to clown his opponent, make them look bad, and then eventually take them out with a flurry of shots. The fight was like watching Floyd Mayweather Jr’s boring win over Andre Berto in 2015. Mayweather was just toying with Berto, but in that fight, he never tryied to knock Berto out. He just left him in there for the full 12 rounds.
“I need training on my defense. I need to work more on my defense,” said Lomachenko after he fight when asked about the bruising under his right and the cut over his left eye. “It doesn’t matter. Anybody. I want to unify the titles. To me, it doesn’t matter,” said Lomachenko when asked who he wants to fight next.
It was a satisfactory performance from Lomachenko. He did a much better job of beating Marriaga than his fellow Top Rank stable mate, WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez, who struggled to defeat him by a 12 round unanimous decision on April 22 of this year. Lomachenko made it a point of throwing fast combinations, and not giving Marriaga room to get leverage on his power punches. That was the main difference between the two fighters. Lomachenko was just too fast and too busy for Marriaga.
As far the next opponent for Lomachenko, he says he wants to unify the super featherweight division. He’s previously mentioned wanting to fight WBC champion Miguel Berchelt. That’s a guy that he would like. Berchelt is 25-years-old and a highly talented fighter. Out of all the fighters in the 130-lb. division, Berchelt might be the best. Orlando Salido is also an opponent that Lomachenko wants. He lost to him by a 12-round spot decision 3 years ago in his second pro fight in 2014. However, getting Salido to agree to a fight with Lomachenko may be tough. Salido reportedly turned down $750,000 to fight Lomachenko for this fight date on ESPN; although the Mexican warrior was said to have a hand injury. WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux is also a fight that Lomachenko is interested in. But for that fight to take place, Rigondeaux will need to move up 2 weight classes to fight Lomachenko at the full weigh for the 130-lb. division. Lomachenko won’t fight Rigondeaux at 126 or fight at him at a catch-weight. The fight can still happen, but it’ll require some give on Rigondeaux’s part. It would be an interesting one between two former 2-time Olympic gold medalists. Rigondeaux captured 2 Olympic gold medals for Cuba, whereas Lomachenko won 2 gold medals for Ukraine.
Lomachenko might need to move up to lightweight for him to find a real competitive match. Mikey Garcia really wants to fight him, and he’d be very good test. With Mikey’s power, he would give Lomachenko problems. If Lomachenko decided just to tap Garcia for 8 rounds, he might get knocked out by him. Lomachenko would need to change his fighting style to have a chance against a guy like Garcia. Based off this performance, I would pick Garcia to beat Lomachenko. The Ukrainian needs to develop some power, and start sitting down on his shots a lot earlier in his fights for him to beat guys like Garcia.