Boxing enthusiasts all over the world were stunned when Vasyl Lomachenko produced a performance of the highest quality to take the WBA super Lightweight championship from Jorge Linares.
'Hi-Tek' Lomachenko dropped Linares with a crippling left-hook to the body in round 10 of their super-fight in New York City's famous Madison Square Garden, with the referee stopping the bout after the Venezuelan struggled to get to his feet.
Both MSG and the internet exploded as the Ukrainian became a three-weight world champion, and even more impressively so it was only his 12th professional fight, giving him an 11-1 record - his only loss coming controversially to Mexican Orlando Salido in just his second pro fight.
Lomachenko displayed all the flashiness and speed that has made him a household name in the sport in such a short amount of time, and after his team struggled to convince belt-holders at Super featherweight level to agree to unification fights, there are hopes within Top Rank that fights in the lightweight division will be easier to come by.
One of those title-holders is Mikey Garcia. The American has won all 38 professional fights he has partaken in, and is arguably the biggest name who is a champion in the lightweight weight class that Lomachenko could fight.
And he believes the fact that Linares was able to put him to the floor with a flush right hand in round 6 makes him a more attractive proposition to the big-name fighters, which would give his promoter - the world famous Bob Arum - a much simpler job.
“That’s what I told [Top Rank] vice president Carl Moretti right after, in the ring,” said Lomachenko.
"“Right now, it’s gonna be much easier for you to get opponents for me because they all see I’m also a human being. And what I did, I just made an easier job for my promoter.”
Arum himself agrees with his star fighter's statement, and the fact that 'No Mas Chenko' agreed to move up a weight class to fight a world champion who is taller and has been fighting there for six-and-a-half years shows the true mettle of his character, despite the fact he was knocked down.
“I think it really elevates him,” stated Arum.
"People will now say that he’s a fighter. And frankly, guys at lightweight and above are saying tonight, ‘Well, I’ll go in [with him]. He’s not Superman.”
Lomachenko's next fight has already been announced to take place on August 25 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. No opponent has been announced yet but do not be surprised if a big unification fight with the likes of Garcia, Robert Easter Jr or Ray Beltran is lined up for Loma.News Now - Sport News