Vasiliy Lomachenko looks to continue his post surgery comeback when he defends his WBA/WBO titles against a former title holder, Englishman Anthony Crolla, this Friday, April 12th@Staples Center, Los Angeles.
Bit odd having Loma fight on a Friday that makes me think his shoulder may still be a bother after shoulder surgery, hence a fight against a guy nobody has heard of in LA. In his last outing, Lomachenko was still pretty much a one armed fighter that sorta bodes ill for his future, so by necessity this is not designed as a superfight like most of his fights have been since he turned pro. By now he’s Ring P4P #1 and well established as a very rare, very elite fighter with very rare and very elite skills that have largely proved to be baffling to his previous opponents and absolutely amazing to boxing aficionados who understand the sweet science.
I expect the 32 year old Crolla to provide quality rounds as a benchmark to let us know where Loma’s health is. He’s well experienced, currently 34-6, 13 KO, and a bigger, stronger, and quite durable former title holder and won’t go meekly as many opponents did by their end against Lomachenko.
With over 300 amateur fights and competing to as near to perfection as possible in that venue, the 31 year old Lomachenko is generally acknowledged as the best ever amateur, so it may be time to prepare for a soft landing and retirement since all our mortal bodies, no matter how strong and well trained, eventually wear down before breaking down, and not necessarily in that order. That’s an unbelievable amount of time at the highest level obtainable. His pro record looks spare, 12-1, 9 KO, but it’s packed with 12 world title bouts.
I’d think most fans and insiders in boxing appreciate the art of Lomachenko’s aggressive matchmaking that has upended the usual novice boxing developmental model. A bout with the 40+ Manny Pacquiao, currently ranked as the #8 P4P and #3 Boxrec welterweight just below Ring P4Per welters Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, has been floated by Bob Arum as a superfight for a few years now. It could be made at 140 lbs to provide the perfect vehicle for a well deserved retirement for both, but will they ever take it?
In the here and now, “Million Dollar” Crolla serves up a decent enough fight for a minor viewing spectacle showcasing sublime Lomachenko skills that kicks both he and boxing down the road for further development. Stay tuned.