Who can beat Lomachenko and at what weight?
By Grant Darling: It seems that no matter who you put in front of him, WBO super featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko systematically breaks them down to the point of surrender. Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) is most definitely in the top 3 pound-for-pound rankings and some would argue he should be at in the number 1 spot, but what will happen when he goes up in weight?
It seems that Lomachenko, 29, could quite easily go up at least 2 weight divisions to super lightweight (140lbs) and be comfortable as he weighed in 137lbs in the morning of the day of the fight against Guillermo Rigondeaux at 137lbs. But what happens when Lomachenko reaches his optimum weight and his opponents have boiled down to make the weight and come in on fight night 15 pounds heavier than him? For someone with so much talent it seems like Lomachenko would need to be the smaller and a lot lighter fighter to test him. I remember watching Manny Pacquiao v Antonio Margarito when despite, being nearly 20 pounds lighter than his opponent. ‘PacMan’ schooled Margarito. But when you look at who is currently at the helm of the weight divisions above Lomachenko, there are already some very tough and rigorous fights if ‘Hi-Tech’ is to become a multiple weight world champion.
Jorge Linares has shown his toughness and his quick slick skills against Anthony Crolla and Luke Campbell, but it’s fair to say that Lomachenko is a far superior fighter to those two so how would he match up against him? I think it would be a great fight for boxing purists to watch, and one I think Lomachenko could win, but it would most certainly be the toughest test of his career and is not a guaranteed ‘W’ on his résumé. Mikey Garcia is another one that I think Lomachenko could win, but that would be a much sterner test than what he’s facing now and one that could easily go both ways. The obvious choice for Lomachenko is the vacant WBO lightweight title, and with his current and previous titles being WBO as well, it seems that it will most definitely be the option, but with that means Lomachenko isn’t fighting the best in the division of the weight class he’s in. The same can be said for the 140lb weight class with the WBO belt and depending who is ranked at the top when Lomachenko does move onto that, I still think he can win and become a 4-weight world champion. The huge test though, comes at 147lbs; Welterweight.
The welterweight division is really heating up and by the time Vasyl Lomachenko gets there, I would of thought Mikey Garcia will be there along with Terence Crawford so there are some huge fights there to be made. The big issue though, is that the power of the guys in this division is a huge step up from what Lomachenko has been fighting. Some of the welterweight fighters come in over 160lbs on fight night, looking like a solid middleweight and carrying huge power without being sluggish. How would Vasyl fair against the likes of Keith Thurman or Errol Spence Jnr? They are fights that you would have to seriously consider who would win and fights that would really test him to the nth degree. If Lomachenko could pick them apart like it does in his current fights and come out like that night Manny did against Margarito (albeit these are far better fighters than Margarito) then he really would be considered a Hall of Fame Great.
These are the fights I think everyone would love to see happen, and ones that would be fascinating to watch. Would the size and weight be too much to handle for ‘Hi-Tech’ or would he show his unparalleled skills and make them discouraged enough after a few rounds that he can pick them apart like he currently does? Time will tell, but I’m sure I can speak for all boxing fans that we hope Lomachenko carries on his path and goes up the weight classes, taking on difficult challenges that most don’t want to see how far he can go up through the divisions, taking on the best.