“Loma just too small for 135” – Ryan Garcia

By Boxing News - 10/30/2022 - Comments

By Brian Webber: Ryan Garcia pointed out the obvious last Saturday night, saying that Vasyl Lomachenko is “too small for 135” after watching him go to life & death to defeat the much larger Jamaine Ortiz (16-1-1, 8 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision at New York’s Madison Square Garden in New York.

Ryan Garcia could be right about Lomachenko being “too small” for Lomachenko because he’s looked outsized by his larger opponents ever since he moved up to the 135-lb division in 2018.

The difference in size & punching power made the contest much harder than it otherwise would have been for the 34-year-old Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs).

Loma’s decision-making also made the fight even tougher for him, as he stayed on the outside much of the time rather than taking the contest to the inside, where he had the clear upper hand against Ortiz.

When Lomachenko was on the outside, he was getting hit a lot by the longer-armed Jamaine, who had a 4-inch reach advantage over him in addition to his huge weight advantage.

Another negative about Lomachenko’s performance was that he wasn’t pulling the trigger on his shots. Loma was often dancing around on the outside, doing nothing and letting the time on the clock run down in the rounds.

When Lomachenko did come inside, he allowed the 5’8″ Ortiz to tie him up. Surprisingly, Loma made no effort to fight through the clinch. In fact, it was Jamaine that was letting his hands go while he was holding Lomachenko.

For a fighter with two Olympic gold medals like Lomachenko, it’s bizarre that he hasn’t learned to fight while being held by his opponents. It’s as if Lomachenko hasn’t adapted to the professional game and is fighting like he still thinks he’s in the amateur system.

If Lomachenko fights undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney next, he’s going to get battered when the two clinch because Dev continues to throw punches when he’s holding onto his opponents.

We saw Haney do that repeatedly in his last fight against George Kambosos Jr on October 15th. Each time Haney would initiate a clinch, he would batter Kambosos with his free hand, taking advantage of him relaxing and not continuing to fight.

Jamaine looked like he was 10 to 15 pounds heavier than Lomachenko, and that’s a lot of weight for a smaller weight class like a lightweight.

Lomachenko doesn’t possess the size to be fighting at 135 against gargantuan fighters like Jamaine Ortiz and Ryan Garcia. These are guys that arguably should be fighting at 140, but they’ve chosen to compete at 135.

Even if they were slightly smaller, they’d still be bigger than Lomachenko because he doesn’t have the size for the division.

Obviously, the money for Lomachenko is at 135 rather than the 130-lb division, which is barren of big names aside from Oscar Valdez. At some point, Lomachenko will need to consider moving back down in weight to 130 if he wants to extend his career.