Vasyl Lomachenko: ‘After this fight a lot of doors will open’

Vasyl Lomachenko how to box
Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Vasyl Lomachenko prepares to unify the division, even as he admits lightweight is not his ideal division

ALREADY a three-weight world champion, in just 12 professional fights, Vasyl Lomachenko will have his first unification clash on December 8 at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden. The Ukrainian, the WBA lightweight champion, takes on Jose Pedraza, the WBO titlist.

“I can’t wait. After this fight, a lot of doors will be open. Title unification fights are good for the sport of boxing,” he said. “I had a long rest [following shoulder surgery]. I am looking forward to seeing how I feel and taking on a tough opponent like Pedraza. I haven’t had much time to watch his fights.

“I love challenges. That’s what motivates me. I want all the top fighters. I’m open to anyone.”

He is coming off the most impressive outing of his career, when he picked himself off the canvas to halt Jorge Linares. “It was the first time I was knocked down as a pro. After the knockdown, I came back and finished the fight. It was a tough fight, but I showed the heart of a champion,” he said.

Vasyl Lomachenko

Expecting to beat Pedraza, he hopes to take on the WBC and IBF champion Mikey Garcia. “I hope [it will happen]. We can see in the future because my next fight is against Pedraza. After Pedraza, we can talk about fighting Mikey,” he said.

“I believe I’ll stay at 135lbs and focus on 135 because when I fought against Linares, I felt like he was bigger than me. So I’ll stay at 135 because I think 135 is not my [ideal] weight category right now. After one or two years, it will be my [ideal] weight.”

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