Chances are you’ve never heard of Vasyl Lomachenko, arguably the greatest amateur boxer of all time. Hailing from the former Soviet Union, now Ukraine, Lomachenko’s defense is the stuff of legend. You literally cannot hit this guy.
The good news: he turned pro in 2013 and has been on a warpath since.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist in 2008 and 2012, as well as a gold medalist in the 2009 and 2011 World Championships and the 2008 European Championships, Lomachenko finished his amateur career with a record of 396-1.
Vasyl suffered his only defeat at the hands of Albert Selimov, a loss he twice avenged.
The most glaring difference between amateur boxing and professional boxing is that fighters wear headgear during amateur boxing matches. Furthermore, amateur fights are three or four rounds compared to the 10 or 12 rounds that professional bouts are usually scheduled for. Also, amateur bouts don’t have ring girls.
You don’t get points for blood, knockdowns, aggression, or general savagery in amateur boxing, while those all factor into judges’ decisions in professional fights. If Lomachenko’s defense was rewarded with points, he would have basically not need to throw a punch in any bout. Check it out here…
At 28, Lomachenko still has some productive years left. He didn’t turn pro until 2013, with two Olympic gold medals already under his belt. He signed with legendary boxing promotion company Top Rank, whose fighters have included Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Manny Pacquiao.
Lomachenko’s most recent fight was back in November, where he defeated Jamaican fighter Nicholas Walters to retain the WBO junior lightweight title.
As the current WBO junior lightweight champion, Lomachenko is one of the highest rated fighters in the game today. It’s widely speculated that Lomachenko will get a shot at Manny Pacquiao (also represented by Top Rank) in 2017.
A blockbuster fight like that would finally put him on the map. Largely unknown outside of boxing circles (or rings), the Ukrainian fighter is one big win away from becoming a household name, a la Conor McGregor or Floyd Mayweather.
Keep your eyes peeled for Lomachenko. 2017 is his year, you heard it here first.