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Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Anthony Crolla: Terms agreed for April 12 fight

Vasyl Lomachenko

By Scott Gilfoid: Terms have agreed to between WBA/WBO lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko and former WBA champion Anthony Crolla for a fight on April 12 on Sky Sports in the UK and ESPN in the U.S at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. A good television fight, this is not. Fans want to see Lomachenko step it up finally. He’s over 30 now, and starting to show signs of age. People want to see Lomachenko fight Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis or Mikey Garcia. Unfortunately, Crolla is more along the lines of the guys Lomachenko has been embarrassing in the past like Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa and Nicholas Walters.

Fans ask, ‘Why is Crolla getting this fight?’ The reason is he defeated Daud Yordan in a World Boxing Association lightweight title eliminator three months ago on November 10 to earn the mandatory spot for Lomachenko’s WBA title.

Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs) wants this fight badly, and he’s now gotten his way. The fans don’t see it as a highly desirable fight unfortunately. The boxing public views Lomachenko vs. Crolla as a “cherry pick” by Vasyl, and they’ve seen too many mismatches already involving him.

This isn’t expected to be a competitive match-up. Although Crolla (36-6-3, 13 KOs) has looked good in winning his last three fights in beating Daud Yordan, Edson Ramirez and Ricky Burns, he’s still going to be a monstrous underdog against the two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko in this bout. The fans don’t want to tell Crolla not to fight the best like Lomachenko, but at the same time, he’s so badly over-matched in this fight that it might not be in his best interest to take it. If Crolla doesn’t quit along the way during the fight like many others have against Lomachenko, he could take a real pounding.

Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing is a powerful promoter, but he’s not doing Crolla or the boxing public any favors in putting this match together. Crolla isn’t in the same league as Lomachenko or 10 other top contenders in the division that Hearn has conveniently not matched against Ant. Hearn has been careful with the way he’s matched Crolla lately, and he stopped losing, but he also didn’t fight anyone worth noting. A better fight for Crolla would be for him to be taking on IBF lightweight champion Commey. That’s the fight that Hearn should have been looking to make instead of having him face a guy that he has next to no chance of beating in Lomachenko.

It’s too bad Crolla didn’t have to earn this fight against Lomachenko in a proper way by taking on the true talented contenders in the lightweight division instead of only needing to beat Yordan, Ramirez and Burns. Those guys are nowhere near as good as many of the other top lightweights that Crolla should have had to fight to get in position to challenge for a title against Linares. At least if Crolla had fought a proper talented contender, the boxing fans could say that he earned it, and he’d been tested by a trial with fire instead of him beating an arguably over-the-hill Burns and Yordan to get the fight.

Lomachenko hasn’t fought up his normal standards in his last two fights against Jose Pedraza and Jorge Linares, but even if he’s not yet 100 percent in coming back from shoulder surgery, he’s still likely going to be too much for Crolla.

This isn’t the fight that Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) wanted. He was hoping to face IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) in a unification fight on April 12, but he couldn’t take the fight due to hi suffering a hand injury in his last fight against Isa Chaniev earlier this month on February 2.

Top Rank Boxing, the promoters for Lomachenko, want to turn him into a big star in the United States, but that’s going to be nearly impossible for them to do as long as he’s stuck having to fight lesser names and talents like Crolla instead of the fighters the boxing public wants to see him in against. Fans want Lomachenko to fight Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Miguel Berchelt, Tevin Farmer Josh Warrington, Oscar Valdez, Mikey Garcia and Jose Ramirez. Crolla isn’t on the fan’s wishlist as far as guys that they want to see fighting Lomachenko.

It wasn’t long ago that Crolla was the WBA lightweight world champion, and considered one of the best in the division. Jorge Linares dethroned Crolla in September 2016 in beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision, and then beat him again in March 2017. Crolla came back from those losses to win his last three fights, but he didn’t fight any of the talented lightweights like Teofimo Lopez, Jose Pedraza, Devin Haney, Luke Campbell or Rances Barthelemy. Crolla might be able to beat some of them, but maybe not. There’s a good chance that Crolla would lose to all of them. Crolla beating Teofimo would be completely out of the question. That would be a likely mismatch as well in favor of the 21-year-old Lopez.

If Crolla can at least go 12 rounds against Lomachenko, that would be a victory in itself. It would be a moral victory for him. At least Crolla could brag about having gone the 12 rounds with Lomachenko, and he could complain about the scorecards and say he should have won a certain amount of rounds the way a lot of fighters do after they lose a decision. Lomachenko vs. Crolla is a similar match-up as the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding mismatch from last December. Fielding was bounced around the ring like basketball for three rounds by Canelo. It wasn’t even remotely sporting. It was just a mismatch all the way. It made the WBA look bad in that Fielding was their WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion. Fielding was gawd awful on the night. If Lomachenko gets hurt during the fight with a shoulder injury or soething like that, Crolla will have a chance of winning. But without Lomachenko injuring an arm or hand, it’s very unlikely he’s going to win.

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