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Lomachenko vs. Nakatani: Could Vasily lose tonight?

Vasiliy Lomachenko

By Allan Fox: Vasily Lomachenko is taking on a tough opponent tonight in the tall 5’11 1/2″ Masayoshi Nakatani on ESPN+ at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) will be facing a guy that is almost as dangerous as his previous opponent Teofimo Lopez, who he lost to last October.

Although Lomachenko, 33, is the favorite in tonight’s clash, there’s a real possibility that the powerful Nakatani will beat him and he might knock him out.

If you saw Nakatani’s last fight against former blue-chip prospect Felix Verdejo, he’s got an excellent shot at defeating the two-time Olympic gold medalist.

During fight week, Nakatani said he wants to KO Lomachenko, and he’s not kidding. With Nakatani’s power and size, he could do damage to Lomachenko tonight.

Is Lomachenko too weak to fight at 135?

We heard the injury excuse that the former three-division world champion Lomachenko gave to explain away his defeat Teofimo, but there are still a lot of doubts whether that was valid.

Some people believe Lomachenko has gotten old, and he doesn’t belong in the 135-lb division in terms of size and power.

Vasiliy Lomachenko

If Lomachenko had more power, he could exist at lightweight and breeze through the fights. But as we’ve seen in Lomachenko’s five fights in the weight class, he’s had a tough time in four of them. Loma wasn’t injured in all four of them, was he?

Of course, not, and that’s why it’s a good idea for Lomachenkot to consider moving back down to 130 after tonight’s fight with Nakatani.

Lomachenko struggled against these four lightweights:

  • Teofimo Lopez
  • Jorge Linares
  • Luke Campbell
  • Jose Pedraza

Loma took a lot of punishment in all four of those fights and wasn’t the fighter that he’d been at 126 and 130. Whether that’s due to Lomachenko’s age or lack of power/size for the 135-lb division is uncertain.

Lomachenko will win if he’s at 90%

“This guy is a legend and he held three titles before he lost it to [Teofimo] Lopez,” said Tim Bradley to Fighthype about Lomachenko.

“I think Lopez will go up to 140 and fight Taylor. I’m not sure he’ll give him the rematch. Yep,” said Bradley when asked if Lomachenko can beat Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.

“Loma is a legend. You don’t come into boxing and have a plan and fight for a world championship with three fights. You don’t do that.

“You don’t do that and then fight Gary Russell Jr., and then come back and fight [Nicholas] Walters. It all depends on how healthy Lomachenko is. If he’s 90%, that’s a good moment in my opinion.

“I don’t know if he’s 100%, but if he’s 90, 95%, he’ll beat all these guys at 135. Loma is a legend, and he will be the favorite,” Bradley said when asked about Lomachenko fighting Devin Haney.

“Haney is a guy looking for greatness. He’s looking for legendary status.  If TR [Top Rank] and [Eddie] Hearn can make something [between Haney and Lomachenko], why not?

Loma needs the WBC belt to lure Teofimo

“Make it happen. Maybe that’s a little way to grab Teofimo. Teo is hypothetically undisputed because he beat the man but the belt is over with Haney, who was lifted [by the WBC] to be champion.

“Maybe that’s a way to lure in Lopez to say, ‘Hey, I got one of your straps, buddy. The champion is right here.

“I just got my strap back to Haney that I gave to.’ I think it’s a great fight, I wouldn’t mind seeing it. Loma would be the favorite but Haney can box,” said Bradley.

Tim is getting ahead of himself, talking about wanting to see Lomachenko take on WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney. Lomachenko still needs to win tonight before he can begin looking ahead towards fights against someone like Haney or Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.

 




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