Until Loma throws hands with a fighter with a bigger name and comparable skills, he will still be chasing greatness.
This weekend Vasiliy Lomachenko caught another body.
Jose Pedraza became the twelfth victim on the Loma Express train adding unified world lightweight champion to his name. Lomachenko now has every lightweight belt except Mikey Garcia’s WBC title and the vacant IBF title.
Lomachenko is one of the most successful amateur boxers ever in the history of the sport. His first professional fight was for a title and he won via a fourth-round TKO. Since then he has compiled a record of 12-1 with wins over Gary Russell, Jr., Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Jorge Linares.
Vasiliy Lomachenko returns from a torn labrum and defeats Jose Pedraza by unanimous decision to unify the WBA and WBO lightweight titles. Lomachenko turned his offense on in the 11th round and scored a pair of knockdowns.
The Ring named Lomachenko as their Prospect of the Year in 2013; he only fought once. Lomachenko has constantly been ranked as the world’s best active boxer, pound for pound, by major news outlets. The Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring named him Fighter of the Year in 2017.
However, there is a growing contingent, albeit small, that are becoming critical of the Ukranian star. Boxing politics aside, those critical believe Loma hasn’t truly proved himself until he steps to the bigger names in the sport.
His ambition extended to the higher weight classes and the only names that matter is Mikey Garcia and Terence Crawford. However, with Garcia having left Top Rank, Loma’s promoter, a fight is unlikely. Crawford, ironically signed to Top Rank, stepped up to welterweight after demolishing the lightweight ranks as the undisputed champion.
With Gervonta “Tank” Davis currently at super featherweight, the talk has been about him joining the lightweight ranks. This fight could spell the PPV debut for both and finally define Loma’s greatness against another boxer-puncher.
As a smaller fighter, it is rare to jump multiple weight classes. But, when its done by a fighter of Loma’s ilk, its nothing short of legendary. Floyd Mayweather started as a super featherweight and fought as high as light middleweight. Since Garcia and Crawford departed for welterweight, Loma’s legacy will only be solidified against another big name fighter.
When he defeated Rigondeaux handily, many looked at Loma as too big. Tank Davis would set the perfect stage for Loma to have a real challenge with a fighter also in his prime and in need of a highly visible win.
Currently, Davis has a rumored fight against Abner Mares in February 2019 which pushes the possibility of a fight with Loma further into next year. Until Loma throws hands with a fighter with a bigger name and comparable skills, he will still be chasing greatness in the matrix.