By Tom Donelson (BWAA)
Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America
Last weekend, Vasyl Lomachenko found himself in a fight going into the tenth round that was close with one judge having it two points lead for Lomanchenko, another scoring a two round lead for his opponent Jorge Linares with final judge seeing it a draw.
Lomachenko has been a champion since his third fight and in his twelve fight, he has moved up in weight from featherweight to lightweight, and considering most fighters are nowhere near to an championship belt in their twelve fights and Lomachenko having already won eight championship fights coming into this fight. He came into this fight with Linares seven knock outs in row, with the last four fighters retired in their corner. This was his first attempt at the lightweight title and Jorge Linares was the first fighter since the Russell match that prove competitive with Lomachenko.
Linares landed more power punches where Lomachenko landed more jabs and Lomachenko was more accurate in his punches but the number of punches were nearly equal. Linares even sent Lomachenko down for a quick knockdown in the sixth round. In the tenth, Lomachneko unleashed a five punch combinations that sent Linares down for good.
The question now where Lomachenko go? In the lightweight division, there are some good options to including fights with Ray Beltran and Mikey Garcia to unify portions of the lightweight titles. Lomachenko is one of those complete fighters who can box and slug and has eight knockouts in his twelve fights but these knockouts came against championship caliber fighters and not inflated by weak opponents. So Lomachenko power is for real.
The weekend before, Gennady Golovkin stopped Vanes Martirosyan in two rounds. At the end of the first round, Martirosyan nailed Triple G’s with a solid right hand but this prove to be illusionary as in the next round Golovkin stopped Martirosyan . This originally was supposed to be a super fight between Saul Alvarez and Golovkin but two failed drug tests by Alvarez ended that so Golovkin went searching for a substitute, deciding on Martirosyan.
What is left for Golovkin in the Middleweight division? The big money fight is still Alvarez but he has been suspended for six months and who knows if he will want to fight Golovkin immediately. There is Billy Joe Saunders to unite a portion of the title but there is also Jermall Charlo who has moved up from junior Middleweights or rematch with Daniel Jacobs. All of these fights will be popular fight but the fight Triple G’s wants is Alvarez as he wants to show the world that he is the true Middleweight.
Jaime Munguia won a portion of the junior Middleweights when he stopped recently crowned titlist Sadam Ali who won his title by defeating Miguel Cotto in Cotto last fight. The undefeated Munguia now has many options. Jermell Charlo and Jarret Hurd are two options for Munguia and boxing fans will enjoy those fights.
Munguia ripped Ali apart in two rounds and Ali simply didn’t have the firepower to compete but now the Junior Middleweight like the Middleweight division have many good fighters either compete for the title or hold titles.