Vasyl Lomachenko’s (12-1, 9 KOs) performance on Saturday night versus Jose Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) left me questioning whether or not Loma is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and I could only land on one answer – NO!
For a fighter that was beaten by TKO in seven rounds by Gervonta “Tank” Davis (20-0, 19 KOs), it took Lomachenko too long to figure Pedraza out. It wasn’t until the 11th round that he was able to rally and drop Jose twice. While Lomachenko won nearly every round, he didn’t make Pedraza look silly or out of his league, like he had done to his previous opponents with the exception of Jorge Linares, who knocked Vasyl down when they fought.
The problem is that Loma has set expectations so high in the eyes of fans. What most would consider a great fight for others, is nothing more than an average showing when it comes to Lomachenko. As my friend Fritz mentioned to me after the fight, “it has the after taste of a Mayweather fight. He won easily but you left unsatisfied, despite coming forward the entire fight”.
What’s more is that he called out Mikey Garcia, and not Tank, who may be the toughest opponent for Vasyl at the moment. Was this an intentional omission? Both Garcia and Davis have belts, and if it’s Loma’s desire to unify the lightweight division, then he needs to face them both in no certain order. Perhaps, he honestly forgot about Davis, who’s been inactive for nearly 231 days and just isn’t top of mind.
Gervonta has made it clear that he’s not ducking Lomachenko and would be willing to fight him. Mikey on the other hand is rumored to have moved up to fight Errol Spence because for one, he sees Spence as an “easier opponent”, and two Mikey doesn’t have to put his lightweight title at risk, leaving him the option to come back down in weight if he’s not successful at welterweight.
Either way, as Loma has stepped up in weight and faced better competition, he has been touched more by his opponents and hasn’t had as easy of a go as he’s had in the past.
Don’t get me wrong, Lomachenko is one of the top two or three fighters in the world alongside Terence Crawford and Canelo Alvarez. However, he’s not the best pound-for-pound. We’ll reserve that honor for a second year in a row for Terence “Bud” Crawford, who has already captured and successfully defended his WBO Welterweight Title once, after unifying the Super Lightweight division in 2017.
As we head in 2019, I would love to see Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis come to agreement on terms for a fight, followed by a match up at the end of the year between the winner of that fight and Mikey Garcia.