It’s an absolute pleasure watching Vasyl Lomachenko box. So much so, that I even updated my Facebook status to reflect that and in this day and age posting anything other than a self-praising, egotistical selfie is frowned upon.
As the little Ukrainian outboxed and outfoxed a bewildered Nicholas Walters, much to my surprise, the commentary team lamented on a possible future matchup with Manny Pacquiao. My surprise was not necessarily that Lomachenko outboxed Walters but it was more so the manner of ease that he appeared to do so.
Lomachenko started quite patiently however, the way in which he moved through the gears as the rounds progressed to systematically take apart Walters was something that you can only sit back and admire.
As Walters refused to go out for eighth round many were quick to criticise the Jamaican fighter as he committed what many consider to be the cardinal sin in boxing; quitting. As a sympathetic soul, I am probably in the minority in thinking that Walters (or his team if you believe him) made the correct decision. His heart was broken, he was becoming easier and easier to hit, he couldn’t have hit Lomachenko with a handful of rice and frighteningly for him, Lomachenko hadn’t really put his foot on the gas yet. At very best, he almost certainly would have lost a unanimous decision but at very worst he almost certainly saved himself from a further five rounds of Lomachenko using his cranium as a heavy bag. The main thing to remember here is that, although Walters is a big puncher, he simply couldn’t get his shots off, therefore, he no longer had a punchers chance.
Prior to Lomachenko’s beat-down of Walters, Frank Warren and Terry Flanagan had already touted ‘Hi-Tec’ as a future opponent at 135lbs in the wake of an expected victory over the outmatched and outsized Orlando Cruz. With two WBO titles in two different weight classes already in his trophy cabinet, it’s easy to forget that Lomachenko only has eight professional fights to his name. And he lost his second bout. However, with his current standing (and Frank Warren’s ‘friendly’ relationship with the WBO) it is not hard to see Lomachenko challenging for his third world title in his third weight division before his tenth fight.
Lightweight and beyond? If Lomachenko was to beat Flanagan (and it’s a big if) I could see him possibly moving to 140lbs in search of a further title in a fourth weight class; he should however avoid Terrence Crawford like the plague.
Who knows, even a catch-weight just over the 140lb limit with Manny Pacquiao would likely see Pacquiao’s 147lb strap being sanctioned for the bout.
The fact of the matter is, the sky is the limit for this unique athlete and he is in a serious rush to fulfil his potential.