Lomachenko won 396 fightings and two Olympic gold medals as an amateur. His next aim is to beat Jorge Linares and become a three-weight world champion after just 12 professional fights
Vasyl Lomachenko may be the most talented boxer of his generation. As an amateur, he won two Olympic gold medals and lost just one of his 397 fightings. In the professional ranks, he won a world title in his third oppose, became a two-weight world champion after simply seven fightings, and has forced his last four opponents to retire on their stools. Boxers don’t tend to quit, but they do when Lomachenko is in the opposite corner.
The Ukrainian should be celebrated the world over but global acclaim has not come his style. Does the lack of recognition ever bother him? Sitting at his home in California, he pauses briefly before answering.” Yes. I’ll be honest, I’m getting a bit frustrated. Every fighter thinks about their legacy and I’m not any different .”
After dedicating so much of his career to the amateur ranks, winning featherweight gold in Beijing and the lightweight title at London 2012, Lomachenko has been inducing up for lost hour since his professional debut in 2013. He won his first world title at featherweight in 2014 and he became the fastest two-weight world champion in boxing history when he beat Roman Martinez at super-featherweight in 2016. He will stimulate more history next month if he defeats Jorge Linares at Madison Square Garden to become a three-weight world champion after only 12 fights.
Linares, a powerful Venezuelan who holds the WBA lightweight world title, will hope to present a stiffer exam than Lomachenko’s previous adversary at the Garden, Guillermo Rigondeaux. The Cuban was heavily and understandably hyped before their contest in December– he was unbeaten as a professional and had also won two Olympic gold medals- but Lomachenko dominated the fight to the point that Rigondeaux retired after the sixth round.
Fed up with fighters retiring during his bouts, Lomachenko joked at ringside that he should alter his name to” No Mas Chenko”- a reference to the night Roberto Duran supposedly quit against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980.” I get frustrated at the ending of the Rigondeaux fight ,” says Lomachenko.” I didn’t get an opportunity to finish what I had started and that’s hard. Linares is a very dangerous fight. I consider him a very good fighter. He has speed, coordination and, most crucially, a great boxing IQ. He’s on the very top level and he’s the kind of fighter I really want to face if I expect to set my name in the history of boxing .”
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