What makes Vasyl Lomachenko the most talented boxer in the sport?

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vasyl lomachenko

By Jason Verduzco

Tenth round. Sweat pouring down his face. Right eye swollen and puffy as the lights of the arena grew more glaringly unbearable with every blow. Jorge Linares crumpled to the floor, bested. His resolve had finally been broken and his opponent, Vasyl Lomachenko, did his victory lap around the ring, standing aloft upon the ropes with his fist in the air. Linares had faltered at the last. Despite knocking Lomachenko down in the sixth, he had finally faltered.

In this one fight, Lomachenko proved why he should be considered among the most talented fighters in boxing. It was a fight that tested every attribute required of a top professional: stamina, resolve, forbearance, and above all, timing. It was a performance worthy of breaking a record. The Ukranian became the fastest boxer in history to win three divisional world championships, having taken just 12 professional fights to do so.

An impressive stat, and one which is arguably makes him a more impressive boxer than Anthony Joshua, who looks to successfully defend his championships against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday, 22nd September. Joshua vs Povetkin betting suggests that Joshua will remain undefeated in his professional career, priced at 1/12.

Lomachenko possesses one of the best amateur records the sport of boxing has ever seen. Two Olympic gold medals, at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, along with two World Championship gold medals and a European gold to boot — all complementing a quite phenomenal record of 396 wins and one defeat. So then should we really be surprised at how the Ukrainian has taken the pro game by storm?

Dominating the amateur game is one thing, but to bring those talents onto the professional stage is entirely another. Lomachenko has adapted to the transition in a way that few have ever done, honing and improving on his skills against the experienced, hardened fighters he has had to face.

Fleet-footed, and possessing exceptional speed of movement, Lomachenko is the quintessential lightweight boxer, a fighter who can move with both grace and speed, and also punch with the kind of power that belies his limited stature. Indeed, his two Olympic medals prove that he has the talent and ability to be considered among the most talented in his field. The standard at Olympic competition is incredibly high, with all prospective professional boxers eyeing it up as their gateway to the big time. To claim gold at two successive games is a remarkable feat.

With any individual sport, personal drive and ambition are of paramount importance, and Lomachenko has proved that he possesses these qualities in abundance. The bravery and bottle to accept potentially risky fights, and the determination to ensure you are in prime condition to win them, takes a lot of dedication. You don’t win three world titles in 12 fights without taking gambles, and risking your win record, but the 30 year old has never shied away from the spotlight.

Indeed, these qualities transfer into the ring itself when the chips are down, as they were for a brief moment against Linares in Lomachenko’s last fight. In the sixth round, a fierce blow to his midriff put the Ukrainian on his rear end, the first time he had been knocked down, to the howling guffaws of the crowd. It takes a great deal of courage and endeavour to get back up and go on to win the fight, but Lomachenko’s recovery and subsequent victory is further reason why he is to be considered among the elite of the sport.

The Ukrainian is a formidable opponent and those who come up against him are faced with an unenviable barrage of both mental and physical warfare. Lightning-quick punch after lightning-quick punch. Quick-footed movements and shifts in direction. Lomachenko is a boxer at the top of his game and at a level few in the lightweight divisions can rival. With three world title belts already in his back pocket, the sky is now the limit.

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