Vasyl Lomachenko Experiment Failed Its First Test

By kevinkuljis
Vasyl Lomachenko v Jose Ramirez
Getty Images

As a fight fan, prior to last Saturday night’s co-feature you had to be cheering for Vasyl Lomachenko to steal the show. It was a “David vs. Goliath” story as well, as an emotional one with the political unrest in his home country of Ukraine.

Top Rank Inc. wanted to make history last Saturday night by having Lomachenko become a world champion in only his second pro bout. He went in against a tough as nails veteran and three-time champion Orlando Salido. Salido was quick to show Lomachenko that the pro ranks is a whole different game.

Salido fought a dirty fight, as he came in at 147 pounds the night of the fight, 20 over the featherweight limit. Salido missed weight the day prior by two pounds coming in at 128, but the Lomachenko camp did not ask for a weight limit the next day, giving Salido the liberty to get up to 147 without any problem. Salido used his weight to his advantage, wrestling Lomachenko around for much of the contest. Lomachenko turned it on in the 11th and 12th, but it was just too little to late.

Lomachenko showed clear signs of inexperience, and frankly made the whole “history making” bit look ridiculous. We all know he didn’t deserve the title shot, but we were intrigued by how good he was said to be coming out of the amateurs (396-1, avenged the loss twice, two gold medals).

I do not think it is a career threatening loss. It will only make him better, and he is still a young and excellent fighter. Is he good enough to be a 20 pound heavier world champion? Well, no, but that isn’t saying much either. If Lomachenko’s camp would have restricted Salido from being more than a certain weight the next morning, it could have paid big dividends on fight night.

Regardless of what happened last Saturday night, the young Ukrainian will come back better than ever, and is sure to be champ not too far down the line.

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