Vasily Lomachenko: Back from the Matrix in 2021
By Dan Ambrose: Vasily Lomachenko says he’s “back from the Matrix”, and he’s ready to leave no doubt in 2021. The Matrix is reloaded following his loss to Teofimo Lopez last October, and he’s ready to turn things around. Lomachenko has become the ultimate outsider, waiting for his chance.
Lomachenko, 33, recently had shoulder surgery on his right shoulder following his fight with Lopez. The two-time Olympic gold medalist fought Teofimo with one arm and still came close to beating him.
The former three-division world champion Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) is going to need help from his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank if he’s to get back on top. Without Arum working his magic, none of the top lightweights will agree to fight Loma.
Is Lomachenko being frozen out?
It’s become increasingly clear that the so-called ‘Four lions’ in the lightweight division, Devin Haney, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Ryan Garcia, and Teofimo Lopez, aren’t mentioning Lomachenko as a fighter that figures into their future plans.
Lomachenko has been frozen out by the top guys. Haney said to ESPN that Lomachenko isn’t one of the top five due to his loss to Lopez. He’s been eliminated.
The Matrix Reloaded 🇺🇦
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) January 25, 2021
As for Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs), the undisputed 135-pound champion says he’s not going to give a rematch with Lomachenko because he failed to add a rematch clause in the contract for their fight.
So because of that careless mistake, Lomachenko won’t be given a rematch with Teofimo.
It’s a terribly weak excuse on Teofimo’s part, but at least he’s being transparent about his trepidation in getting back in the ring with Lomachenko.
If we assume that Lomachenko will have zero luck in fighting any of the ‘Four lions’ in 2021, the next question is who will Top Rank find for him to fight this year?
Options for Lomachenko in 2021:
- Richard Commey
- Shakur Stevenson
- Miguel Berchelt
- Oscar Valdez
- Leo Santa Cruz
- Gary Russell Jr
- Rolando Romero
- Jackson Marinez
- Javier Fortuna
- James Tennyson
Unfortunately, it’s necessary to have a huge net to try and get at last one guy to agree to fight Lomachenko. They don’t want to fall into the club of fighters that quit while fighting the talented Ukrainian.
Assuming that things stay the way they are now with top fighters at 135 wanting no part of Lomachenko, he’ll need to make a decision whether it’s worth it to stay at lightweight or if he should move back down to 130.
If Lomachenko is going to be ignored by the top lightweights and shunned because of the risk that he presents to them, he’s got no choice but to move down in weight to super-featherweight.
Whether the 33-year-old Lomachenko likes it or not, he’s not young enough to wait out a fight against one of the top four lions in the lightweight division.
Even if one of the sanctioning bodies makes Lomachenko mandatory to Haney, Teofimo, or Tank Davis, they’ll likely not fight him.
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