Lomachenko Legacy: Watching Loma’s Last Act in Boxing
Four-time, three-division world champion Vasyl Lomachenko has already created a hall-of-fame career winning a world title against then-unbeaten, Gary Russell Jr., for the vacant WBO featherweight title in his third bout. a feat not yet ever repeated.
Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, who views his professional boxing career as proof of his father, Anatoly Lomachenko, excellence as a coach, is nearing the end.
Lomachenko is 31-years-old, which is not old in life, but as an athlete with over 300 accumulative fights, as well as decades of sparring, and training camps, it is hard to believe Lomachenko will continue into the next decade, let alone fight more than two or three years from after picking up the WBC lightweight world title this past weekend over Luke Campbell. Lomachenko has been battling injuries over the past year, and it seems like the old adage that father time is undefeated, might be showing signs of its ugly head, even against a generational talent like Lomachenko.
So why should people respect Lomachenko’s legacy?
Well, Lomachenko was the start of the Eastern European trend in boxing. Before Golovkin and Kovalev were status quo in boxing, and Usyk was a deep-dive fighter the hardcore enthuistist loved, Lomachenko was the new era of boxing from Eastern Europe, Ukraine, primally. Before I go in-depth, in short, Lomachenko’s impact was so major since he didn’t fight like a traditional Eastern European fighter, and by that we mean our stereotype of what an Eastern European fighter fights like, upright, slow and strong.
Lomachenko brought athleticism mixed with a near fanboy-dom of Roy Jones Jr., Floyd Mayweather and other great fighters, whom he incorporated aspects of their style mixed in with an ability to create elusive angles to the point that most couldn’t stay on balance to throw an adequate punch. It sounds like a lot of fighters now, but Lomachenko’s influence will be felt for decades as he was one of the first “cool” Eastern European boxers respected for his skill, and not viewed as a cheap narrative of Ivan Drago from the “Rocky” movies.
It isn’t just what Lomachenko accomplished, but is the door Lomachenko opened, which cements his legacy moving forward. Lomachenko ushered in a new era, one that HBO Boxing went all in and now every promoter seems to be looking to find their version of.
THE FINAL ACT
Lomachenko heads into the final act of his career, as he fought this past Saturday on August 31st in the U.K. against Olympic Gold medalist Luke Campbell. The fight was tremendous, it was essentially a high-level amateur bout, with Lomachenko winning the latter half of the fight. Lomachenko now holds three of the four major sanctioning bodies world titles at lightweight with a unification bout looking to come early in 2020.
It is clear that Lomachenko doesn’t have many more interesting fights left as unifying the lightweight division is his sole focus as he will intently watch IBF lightweight world champion Richard Commey faces the young surging star, Teofimo Lopez, to see which of the two he will fight next year. If Lomachenko were to beat the winner of that fight and unify, the only other reasonable fight that could happen could be a rematch of the amateurs between Lomachenko and Jose Ramirez, at a form of a catchweight.
Lomachenko is also undersized at lightweight, essentially being within five to six pounds of the weight class for his whole training camp as well.
Even if you are the most hardcore of Lomachenko fans, you have to admit the end is closer than the finish at this point.