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BN verdict: Lomachenko is still very much Lomachenko

SOMETIMES, when you watch Vasiliy Lomachenko play, one wonders if in the end only his desire and the pressure to find challenges tainted what could have been a pristine – yes, perfect record at all.

It could be argued that this is just the nature of the game, or the beast, and that every boxer must at some stage weigh himself against risk versus reward. However, with Lomachenko, 18-3 (12), there is still a feeling that his record at a high level shows the pressure to continue to test himself rather than the brilliance he showed every time he entered the box. . A stubborn fighter, for example, may find it easy to say “no”, or look the other way when presented with a test. However, this method has never been Lomachenko’s method; not when he fought Orlando Salido in his first world title fight at pro number two, and not when he went from featherweight to super-featherweight and finally to lightweight to make things interesting and give others a chance.

Now at lightweight, where he has been since 2018, Lomachenko is the champion (IBF) again. That, for anyone who has ever watched Lomachenko in action will come as no surprise, but considering the fact that he is now 36 years old, and that he just beat an Australian in Australia, Lomachenko’s latest success takes on a new and bigger dimension. definition. Indeed, for some it represents his swansong; it could be his final achievement or the foundation of what was to come it becomes his last achievement.

Beating George Kambosos, the aforementioned Australian, wasn’t really in doubt – again, for those who know Lomachenko’s quality – but doing it the way Lomachenko did, dominating and stopping the Australian in the 11th round, evoked some of Lomachenko’s best moments . so it gives hope that you still have some left.

The 11th round finish, for example, was as good a finish as Lomachenko has been in a long time, especially as a lightweight. With the investment made early, and with Kambosos covered in blood and hurt, Lomachenko dug a brutal left hand into his opponent’s body at 11, causing Kambosos to turn from the action and take a knee. He would continue, of course, his courage, but Kambosos could not defend himself, even that part of his body, when the action started again. Because of this, Lomachenko followed him, throwing left hands only in the center, and quickly passed with victory following the intervention of the referee.

Lomachenko lands his left hand (Mikey Williams/Top Position)

Of all the things that should be taken from tonight, that, the state of the finish, was very encouraging for those who are still nervous about Lomachenko. After all, in pursuing Kambosos like this, and not sitting comfortably with a decision win, Lomachenko showed that he has both the gears and the will to impress and finish and, yes, take risks. It’s always risky to try to finish a fight, even a one-sided fight like tonight, and yet Lomachenko is happy to take such risks. Perhaps, to some extent, he is still frustrated by what happened in his previous fight, a close decision loss against Devin Haney, and he wanted to be absolutely sure this time. Perhaps Lomachenko is losing faith in the ability of judges, and boxing fans, to know and appreciate what they are watching.

For those who are do understand, there aren’t many things as attractive as Lomachenko on the track. Few fighters, whether current or past, can match his level of skill and few fighters can boast his many punches, either. Few fighters, in fact, can match Lomachenko to anywhere department, that’s why, to somehow level the playing field, the Ukrainian has spent his career handicapping himself and giving his opponents some advantages (usually in weight, or time) to ensure that his fights are remotely interesting and competitive.

Lomachenko, you see, that’s good. Actually you have, always that was good. Able to beat world-class fighters from day one of his professional career, one of the questions surrounding him these days is: Was/was he too good for his own good? That said, it’s hard to imagine a fighter as seemingly good as Vasiliy Lomachenko sporting anything but a perfect record (all things being equal), yet 18-3 is clearly not an accurate indicator of perfection. Which also begs the question: Will Lomachenko’s innate desire to have fun and exercise ultimately see him face setbacks and sometimes bite off more than he can chew?

It is possible. In any case, it is precisely this desire to have fun and exercise that makes Vasiliy Lomachenko a fighter that is easy not only to watch but also to admire.

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