Vasyl Lomachenko made history in New York earlier this month by winning a world title at a third weight division, in what was just his 12thprofessional contest against Jorge Linares.
The previous record was set by Australian Jeff Fenech in 20 fights, however, Loma, was destined to enter the history books on numerous occasions after he won his first world championship belt in just his second bout.
The contest against Linares at Madison Square Gardens was for the Venezuelans‘s WBA (Super) lightweight title. It was the champion who struck first as he floored Lomachenko in the sixth round with a right hand to the nose. The challenger recovered well though and soon established control of the ring.
Lomachenko stepped up the pressure in the 10th round and it was a left shot to the body that sent Linares to the canvas. Referee Ricky Gonzalez felt the champion had taken enough punishment, therefore, he called off the contest, giving the man from Ukraine a technical knockout success against a fighter who had been on a streak of 13 victories.
What next for Lomachenko?
One of the hottest divisions in boxing right now is the welterweight category and one of Lomachenko’s long-term goals, if his body allows him to, will be to rise that 147 lb. Jeff Horn is set to defend his WBO title against Terence Crawford next month where he is as big as 9/1 to win that fight, while those backing the champion can also pick up a free bet from companies like bet365 as reviewed by Oddchecker to defend their bet. The unpredictable nature of the fighters will lead many to use an offer like that.
Before Lomachenko does start thinking about putting on more weight, he could continue to fight in the lightweight division and aim to unify his new title. Unbeaten American boxer Mickey Garcia holds the WBC belt and that would be a huge unification contest. As the Ukranian has proved in his last two fights against the very dangerous Guillermo Rigondeaux and Linares, he is not afraid of anybody in the sport.
IBF champion Robert Easter Jr. is also yet to suffer defeat in his career with 21 victories to his name and is a name which is being mentioned as a possible opponent later in 2018.
Arguably the weakest champion in the division is Ray Beltran who holds the WBO belt, as he is 36 years old now and could struggle against the speed which Loma possesses.
The other option for Lomachenko is to step up to light-welterweight in a bid to win a world title at four weight divisions. The IBF and WBO crowns in the 140 lb division are currently vacant therefore he may be able to earn a shot at one of these belts quite quickly. Belarus’ Kiryl Relikh is the WBA champion, while Jose Ramirez holds the WBC title as he recently beat Amir Inman in New York.
Whatever the future holds for Lomachenko, we are likely to see a lot more of him in New York as he continues to try and claim the spot as the number one pound-for-pound boxer in the sport today.