On a night that also featured HBO’s last boxing event (results below), most had their focus on what took place at Madison Square Garden. Ring Magazine #1 P4P fighter Vasyl Lomachenko unified the WBA and WBO lightweight titles with his unanimous decision win over Jose Pedraza on ESPN. Read on for a brief recap of Lomachenko vs. Pedraza.
Lomachenko vs. Pedraza – Fight Recap
The early rounds of the main event saw both champions try to implement their gameplans. With his height and reach advantage, Pedraza did his best to keep Lomachenko at bay. However, within the first few rounds it was obvious Pedraza did not have the firepower or foot speed to keep Lomachenko from landing numerous quality shots. Though Pedraza had success landing at times (Lomachenko’s face was marked up a bit), his shots did not have enough on them to faze or slow the steady onslaught from the Ukrainian that culminated in two eleventh round knockdowns and a unanimous decision victory (119-107, 117-109, 117-109).
Following the fight, Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) said he would like to fight WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) in 2019. Garcia, who like Lomachenko one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in boxing, moves up to welterweight to face undefeated IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. on March 16th.
In the co-main event, 23-year-old Mexican Emanuel Navarrete upset WBO super bantamweight champion Isaac Dogboe via unanimous decision. Dogboe, who was undefeated, came out strong early on but was hurt with body shots in the first half of the fight and never seemed to be able to fully recover against the relentless Navarrete, who improved to 26-1 with 22 KOs.
Also on the card, rising lightweight star Teofimo Lopez stopped fellow American Mason Menard in dramatic fashion in the first round to win the vacant NABF lightweight belt and improve to 11-0 with 9 KOs. The 21-year-old Lopez is quickly becoming a fan favorite with his exciting style in the ring and unique post-fight antics.
Other Notable Fight Results
- Kell Brook UD12 Michael Zerafa
- Cecilia Braekhus UD10 Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes
- Juan Francisco Estrada RTD7 Victor Mendez
- Claressa Shields UD10 Femke Hermans
Though he may have under-performed slightly, I disagree with those who are criticizing Lomachenko’s showing. Sure, he did not end up with a spectacular knockout or another “No Mas” situation, but he did win almost every round against a Jose Pedraza who had improved noticeably since his loss to Gervonta Davis last year. Although I predicted a late TKO win for Vasyl, I was not surprised at all that Pedraza was able to go the distance.
Lomachenko is not a huge puncher like Davis. There are guys that he will not be able to stop, but he has shown he doesn’t need elite power to dominate world champions like Pedraza. However, with that being said, I still favor Mikey Garcia if the two ever get in the ring. But that’s a different discussion. What do you guys think? Comment below with your opinion on Lomachenko’s performance and how he stacks up against guys like Garcia and Davis.