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He’s still got it – Vasyl Lomachenko returns against George Kambosos

Publish Date: 05/09/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

For a spell, Vasyl Lomachenko was the best fighter in the world.

The spell was circa 2016-2019.

Saying Lomachenko was dominant was selling him short. He embarrassed fighters.

Nicholas Walters, the vaunted straw man who had knocked out Nonito Donaire and was undefeated, was so beat up and humiliated by Lomachenko that he didn’t fight again for eight years.

Lomachenko stopped Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Jorge Linares. He disposed of gritty Anthony Crolla and won decisions over Jose Pedraza and Luke Campbell.

He accomplished this with speed, accuracy, and technique. His use of angles and footwork was exceptional.

Lomachenko’s run ended when he fought Teofimo Lopez. No matter what he said after the bout, he only had himself to blame. For seven rounds, Lomachenko moved around but didn’t throw punches. Lopez did. His lead was huge. Lomachenko rallied, but it wasn’t enough. Lopez won the decision and exited with the IBF, WBA, and WBO lightweight titles.

Lomachenko licked his wounds (and injuries) and stayed out of the ring for eight months. He returned to stop Masayoshi Nakatani and dominate Richard Commey.

In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Lomachenko chose country over career. Many thought he’d retire. He didn’t. He fought Jamaine Ortiz eight months later and won, but it wasn’t easy.

Off for an extended period again, he was back in the ring against the younger and favored Devin Haney. Lomachenko was on point, but so was Haney. He rallied late, but the decision went to Haney.

Lomachenko is 36.

“If you are talking about ages in boxing,” Lomachenko said on Fox New Australia a few days ago, I’m an old man.”

Lomachenko is fighting former lightweight champion George Kambosos this Saturday in Perth. They have Haney in common. Kambosos was hardly competitive in his 24 rounds – unlike Lomachenko.

The Aussie believes he can get rid of Lomachenko.

“There’s not one bit of doubt in my head that I will not only win this fight,” Kambosos told Melissa Woods of au.sports.yahoo.com. “I’m very confident I can be the first to stop Lomachenko and send him to retirement.”

Confidence is good. Kambosos was a 6-1 underdog when he fought world champion Lopez in 2021. He knocked Lopez down in the opening stanza and edged Lopez over 12 rounds. The titles were his, at least for a while.

Kambosos respects Lomachenko but feels he’s lost his edge.

“A 100 percent Lomachenko has a lot left in the tank,” said Kambosos.“But I don’t believe he has that dog inside of him anymore. I don’t think he wants it as bad as I do right now.”

Lomachenko disagrees.

“I’m still dangerous,” Lomachenko told Dimitry Kell of Ringside24.com last week.”I still have speed, power, and conditioning. I want to show my maximum.”

The question is: What is his maximum now?

The answer? More than enough to beat Kambosos, unless the fight is close.

Remember when Jeff Horn fought Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane, Australia, in 2017? Pacquiao almost stopped the rugged Horn and appeared to have won the fight by decision. I thought he did.

Nope.

Could it happen again.?

Sure, especially in boxing, but I don’t see it.

Lomachenko, by late stoppage or unanimous decision.

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