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Vasyl Lomachenko returns on ESPN this Saturday at MSG

One of Top Rank’s biggest stars at the present moment, three-division world champion and two-time gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko will return this Saturday, December 8th at the historic Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Lomachenko, the current WBA lightweight champion will be facing WBO lightweight champion Jose Pedraza, two-division world champion, in hopes of unification.

“I had a really good camp. I am looking forward to getting back in the ring on Saturday. Madison Square Garden is my favorite place to fight. It is like another home for me. It is a very special place.” said Lomachenko at a media day on Wednesday.

“I am 100 percent. I feel good. When the injury happened, I was mentally prepared to deal with it. I still had my feet. I still had another hand. I am very competitive. I feel like when you step in the ring, you need to finish the fight.”

For Lomachenko, the finish line is within site as by the time the 2020 Olympic class gets signed to Top Rank Inc, Lomachenko will more than likely be looking at his last bout as a professional around that time. Right now, Lomachenko is on a legacy run up the divisions, to secure his place in the hall of fame.

Lomachenko, who after making a professional debut in a ten-round bout, lost his second professional fight to Orlando Salido only to win the vacant WBO world title in his third fight against Gary Russell Jr., a fighter who since has yet to lose. Lomachenko has since stopped 130 lb world champions Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa and Guillermo Rigondeaux as well as Jorge Linares in his last fight. Lomachenko’s last fight saw him move up to lightweight and also saw him touch the canvas as Linares sent him to the floor before Lomachenko pulled off a come from behind victory.

Coming back from injury Lomachenko is very honest and reflective saying the following.

“Nobody knows yet. I’ve had a long rest. Now, I load a new program into my head. We’ll see what happens.”

Lomachenko put a positive spin on it though as he stated it was the first real vacation of his life as he has been boxing for as long as he can remember.

Now Lomachenko, a once-in-a-generation talent, to face a young hungry and underrated opponent in Jose “Sniper” Pedraza.

Pedraza is a two-division Puerto Rican fighter, who has held belts at both 130 lbs and 135 lbs, as Pedraza defeated Stephen Smith for the IBF super featherweight title in 2016. Pedraza would lose the title in his next bout to boxing superstar, Gervonta “Tank” Davis. Pedraza left his former promoter DiBella Entertainment once his contract was up and went to Top Rank, where a fellow Puerto Rican fighter, Felix Verdejo was signed to.

Pedraza in his last outing defeated WBO lightweight champion, Ray Beltran to win the world title, in a fight Beltran just looked done in.

Pedraza at times can look good, like say the Stephen Smith or Ray Beltran fight, but at times he has looked awful like when he fought Ender Cherry or Antonio Moran. The fact is, no one knows which Pedraza will show up as Pedraza career has been a bit confusing and to the average fan even slightly unnoticeable.

Lomachenko looks to grab another title this Saturday, December 8th at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, on ESPN at 5 PM PST.

 

Photo: Cynthia Saldaña / Saldaña Photography
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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle