Vasyl Lomachenko proves pound-for-pound credentials with devastating display

Vasiliy Lomachenko v Jose Pedraza

Ukranian lightweight supremo and pound-for-pound contender Vasyl Lomachenko displayed the vast array of weaponry at his disposal on Saturday night with a comfortable decision win over WBO champion Jose Pedraza in Madison Square Garden to unify two of the four lightweight belts.

The WBA Champion was seemingly content to cruise through a swathe of rounds en route to beating Pedraza. However, after appearing to be hurt towards the end of the tenth, Lomachenko displayed all of his attacking talent and pushed up through gears that other fighters simply do not possess.

With 1 minute 37 seconds left of round eleven Lomachenko unleashed a devastating salvo of punishing head-shots and body work, all the while moving around his target with his trademark swivels.

Pedraza eventually dropped to the floor with what looked suspiciously like a low-blow, but no complaints from the Puerto Rican were forthcoming as he narrowly beat the count.

There was no let up for ‘The Sniper’, however, as Lomachenko immediately continued his attack, another body shot scoring the Ukranian his second knockdown of the round - see the video below.

Lomachenko’s phenomenal athleticism, lightning speed and terrific ring IQ are qualities that often see him top P4P Boxing rankings, and, even when in cruise control, Lomo appears to be at a level over and above that achievable by his peers at lightweight and below.

The Pedraza fight was not one for the boxing newcomer, such was the often tactical nature of the bout that only really burst into life towards the championship rounds.

When you take into account Lomachenko actually landed 42 power punches in the 11th round alone, Pedraza deserves credit just for surviving the three-minute onslaught.

The Ukranian was returning to the ring following shoulder surgery on a torn labrum, an injury sustained during a significantly more impressive victory over fellow P4P rival Jorge Linares in May.

A combination of ring-rust and an unwillingness to fully test his injured shoulder perhaps serve as explanations for a relatively reserved performance from the 2008 Olympic champion.

Vasiliy Lomachenko v Jose Pedraza

A potentially huge bout with American Mikey Garcia looms on the horizon for Lomachenko, although the former has the small matter of a duel with junior middleweight monster Errol Spence Jr to worry about first.

Although the fight will be contested at the welterweight limit or 147lb rather than the junior middleweight 154lb limit, most consider Garcia as heavy underdog in that bout, such is the difference in size between the two.

But even if he loses, Garcia will receive myriad plaudits for daring to be great and such an outcome would have little effect on the public’s appetite for a fight against Lomachenko.

Once the two meet in the ring, as seems inevitable, the P4P lists will become significantly easier to write.

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