Born To Be The King, 12 Fights In, This Aptly Named Ukrainian Is Making Boxing History

In order to achieve greatness in a particular area, skill, or sport, one must continue to surpass what others have done before. Go beyond the status quo and enter uncharted waters. There are levels here and if you choose to go beyond them, greatness awaits.

Enter Vasiliy Lomachenko. A two time Olympic Gold medalist and arguably the best amateur of all time with a mind-boggling 396-1 record, the Ukrainian is now reaching legendary status in the pro game after only 12 fights. Yes, you read that correctly, legendary and twelve career fights in the same sentence. Unheard of in boxing, ever.

On Saturday night at a legendary venue, Madison Square Garden, Lomachenko (11-1 9 KO) moved up to lightweight and stopped champion Jorge Linares (44-4 27 KO) with a perfectly timed liver shot.

After having captured belts at 126 and 130, the strap here at 135 makes him the fastest three division champion in the annals of boxing, again, after twelve fights. Faster than Oscar De La Hoya 22 fights, Floyd Mayweather 34, and Manny Pacquiao 41 as we were reminded several times during the telecast :), and the previous best record of 20 held by Jeff Fenech.

Linares is a very skilled pugilist and showed it early and often as he landed excellent combinations and committed to the body. He was having many, many good moments and more than Lomachenko’s past several opponents combined. That said, he did begin a bit dirty landing on the back of Lomachenko’s head with rabbit punches, possibly channeling his inner Salido. This occurred mostly in the first few rounds then subsided, albeit in exchange for some punches south of the border. But after a warning here and there, it was mostly a clean fight the rest of the way through.

But Loma does what Loma wants to do, when Loma wants to do it. After taking a few rounds to study the champion he began to back up the bigger man with his blazing hand speed, dazzling footwork forged by years of dancing, slick combination punching, and ring generalship.

Lomachenko began to systematically break Linares down as he has done to every opponent; however, in the sixth, he uncharacteristically got a bit careless on the way in and was dropped by a perfectly timed right hand. It was a solid legit knockdown and almost seemed to be a delay in him dropping after being hit. He got up and made it to the bell several seconds later.

That is what happens when you seek out the best and move up in weight to do so. The opponents will be bigger and they will hit harder. In the case of Linares, he also has speed. The likelihood of these things happening greatly increases. High risk, high reward. How you respond after facing adversity is what champions are made of.

“It was a great fight. That right hand [that knocked me down], it was a great punch. It happens,” said Lomachenko

Over the next few rounds, Lomachenko was in Hi-Tech mode landing Matrix like combinations, sneaky pot shots, and increased his work to the body. All of that said, Linares was also doing good work in spots; however, Lomachenko’s body of work was, as it always is, at another level. In addition, the challenger cut the champion over the left eye and went after it like a shark smelling blood.

In the tenth, Lomachenko landed a four punch combination culminating with a wicked left hook to the body. It was so quick amid the flurry that initially it was a bit unclear what crumbled the champ to the canvas. Replay revealed a perfectly timed left hook scrapping the weak part of Linares’ core. Game over.

“I prepared for the last few rounds, and my father told me, ‘You need to go to the body.’ said Lomachenko

Not exactly No Mas but another stoppage win for the top P4P fighter in the game. Make that eight stoppages in a row to be precise.

It is a lonely time when you go down to the canvas at the receiving end of a right hand to the chin, especially when it is your first time down as a pro. You are supposed to be the top P4P fighter, this is not supposed to happen. “Let’s stay cautious” says the brain, “Like hell” counters the heart.

We learned a lot about the Ukrainian’s resolve in the first real panic moment of his career. He showed that if the fire gets hot he is more than up to the challenge. Not only did he not fight cautiously after the knock down, but fought as if it never happened. We knew his mindset was strong but after several “no mas’s” in a row from his opponents, this was new twist, a foe with return fire. Lomachenko welcomed the change and showed it through his actions.

As we like to say at Standing-8, Loma is “Part throwback, part modern-day, and quite frankly, something from the future”

On February 17, 1988, in a hospital in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, Anatoly and Tetiana Lomachenko welcomed their new baby boy into the world and named him Vasiliy, meaning “king”.

Thirty years later, the prophecy is being fulfilled.

Lomachenko and Linares finalized for May 12

Updating yesterday’s post, Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares, as of today, is now more than a rumour and has been finalized. Linares, the lightweight world champ will put his strap on the line against junior lightweight champ Lomachenko on May 12th at Madison Square Garden.

If there is anyone who can move up in weight to challenge Linares, it’s P4P King Lomachenko.

Although Lomachenko’s last four opponents yelled “No Mas Chenko” it’s doubtful that Linares will follow suit. That said, even as masterful a boxer as Linares is, he is going to have his hands full with the Ukrainian.

Lomachenko is flat out on another level until proven otherwise. As Standing-8 likes to say, he’s part throwback, part modern day, and quite frankly, something from the future.

I’m having difficulty thinking about a current fighter or one in recent memory that looks for the toughest opponent every fight out and ensures that their management team gets the deal done. Lomachenko is that fighter.

In any event, this is going to be a cracking fight which will bring out the best version of Hi-Tech yet and that is scary.
Fun Fact- If Lomachenko defeats Linares, he will capture his third belt in as many divisions in only his twelfth fight which will be a record.

Oh, and one other positive here; however, it may be a sign that the apocalypse is upon us, The Cold War keeps getting warmer….TR and GBP playing nice in the sandbox. A tip of the hat here is well deserved.

Lomachenko v. Linares Rumoured For May 12

Social media buzz that WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge Linares will defend his title against P4P King Vasyl Lomachenko, on May 12 at Madison Square Garden.

The official announcement is expected soon.

Lomachenko is also in talks to face Luke Campbell at some point. It is suggested that Campbell would potentially be on the May 12 undercard, or at least in attendance.

Curtain Call- Microsoft Theater Showing of “Lomachenko” Is A Smash Hit

On Saturday night from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1 7 KO) once again systematically broke down another opponent en route to retaining his WBO Junior Lightweight title. That’s three Hi-Tech adversaries in a row that have chosen to remain on their stool during the fight rather than to re-enter The Matrix.

This time around it was the tough as nails Miguel Marriaga (25-3 21 KO) who did not answer the bell. We can’t blame Marriaga, round after round he was subjected to the Ukrainian’s brilliance.

Lomachenko opened Round One studying the challenger but as usual, there was the beautiful footwork muscle memoried from years of dance lessons. Lomachenko landed a blistering left -right combination which would set the tone for the rest of the fight. The speed was going to be too much.

In the second, the champion began to land to the body while activating his jab like a piston in an engine. Marriaga did land a few solid punches in this round but that’s about all you will land because when you swing again, the target is gone.

The third was actually a closer round until Lomachenko dropped Marriaga in the last-minute. As Marriaga was moving back in retreat, Lomachenko landed a straight left dropping him; however, as it happens when a southpaw fights a conventional fighter, the entanglement of their feet may have contributed to the fall.

After Marriaga got up, Lomacheno purposely backed himself into the neutral corner and motioned Marriaga to come forward. Marriaga obliged Lomachenko and caught a few shots but also landed a few. Lomachenko did a bit of a dance then landed a few more punches as the round ended.

In the fourth, Lomachenko’s footwork was on full display with his trademark step over move. The effortless movement is the key to all that he does. He only need focus on landing his textbook variety of punches with head movement to dodge return fire as his feet subconsciously do the rest.


Later in the round, a clash of heads cuts the champion over the left eye. It bothers Lomachenko temporarily but between rounds his corner does a masterful job in making the wound a non-issue.

In watching Lomachenko’s fights, it appears that his game plan is to dissect the bout into thirds with each third more brutal than the last. He adds a new wrinkle in each segment if needed and is relentless in his attack.

Over the next three rounds Marriaga was systematically broken down. Lomachenko a scientist, setting up everything behind the jab, working the body, landing blistering combinations, and controlling it all with his movement.

In the seventh, Lomachenko landed a barrage of lethal hooks to the head and body resulting in another knockdown. Marriaga made it out of the round but his corner had seen enough and ended things with no argument from the Columbian.

After the fight, Lomachenko’s face, more so than Marriaga’s, showed the signs of battle. In his defense, the Marriaga head butt did most of the damage on the left eye but the challenger did hit him with some clean shots which created the welt by his right eye.

After the fight, Lomachenko knew that going forward he must tighten up his defense saying, “It was an interesting fight, I have more experience. I need training on my defense”.

Let’s face it, Lomachenko can win these fights without taking visible punishment if he chooses to do so. He can use his exceptional skills to score points, bank rounds and win a one-sided decision. There is nothing wrong with that for the purist of the bunch but for those who want the brutality of the sport this is not going to sit well. Lomachenko is aware of this and aims to please both groups which is evident by his performances.

Thing is, he’s willing to take a shot to give seven. He’s willing to engage his opponents in combat and has a mean streak that appears when it is needed.

Arguably the greatest amateur of all time, he still is only ten fights into his pro career. He’s already in the top pound for pound conversation and has been for a few fights now.

All you need to know about Lomachenko is that he has a desire to be the best and break from the conventional wisdom that a top P4P fighter only fights a few times a year.

Said Lomachenko in an ESPN interview “I’m ready to get in the ring every two to three months and fight the finest boxers in the world. I want my name to be evoked anytime the topic of boxing is brought up, for my name to be synonymous with boxing”

There’s been plenty of talk about a matchup with Guillermo Rigondeaux. Rest assured they’ll knuckleup soon enough. That said, I’d rather see Rigondeaux first face an opponent that Lomachenko has already defeated and that is Mr. Gary Russell Jr.  If Rigondeaux gets past Russell Jr. then start the talks…thing is, I’m not sure he gets by Russell Jr.

Mikey Garcia or Tank Davis? Great matchups and we’ll no doubt see an even better Lomachenko than we have seen already. Yes, that is possible, he’s only ten fight into his pro career and while he’s already been amazing he surely has not peaked.

It is unlikely that as the competition increases we will continue to see more versions of “no mas” but one thing’s for sure, when Lomachenko foes enter The Matrix, they only have two choices.

You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in  your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red  pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole  goes.“―The Matrix






Snippets On Arguably The Hottest Topics In The Sweet Science This Week

Axe Handled 

Vasyl Lomachenko is good, that is all. Note: See Pound4Pound Roalty article.

Don’t Quit, Suffer Now And Live The Rest Of Your Life Like A Champion…Or Not…

Nicholas Walters didn’t want to continue after the seventh round against Lomachenko, not exactly what we would expect from an undefeated fighter who was considered to be entering the peak of his career. In his defense, he was facing Lomachenko but WOW. He stated after the fight that a shot from the champion off of his temple had damaged him to the point where it would have been unsafe to continue. Cue the “No Mas” references in 5,4,3..

Luck O’The Irish 

Terry Flanagan (32-0 13 KO) was mentioned as a future opponent for Lomachenko by Bob Arum. Although as expected, he defeated Orlando Cruz (25-5-1 13 KO, by 8th round stoppage) he is going to need some better opposition prior to that opportunity. 

“Haye No Fair, Bellew Gets That Work With Hayemaker?”  

David Haye (26-2 24 KO) and Tony Bellew (28-2-1 18 KO) at the O2 in London on March 4th?? Why?? Bellew who just beat the career long under-achiever B.J. Flores last month gets to move up and face Haye? I’d rather see Bellew against Mairis Briedis than getting Rod Salka’d by a Hayemaker. 

More Than Meets The Eye

At the conclusion of the Kovalev-Ward scrap, I had Kovalev winning by a slight edge without scoring it. After hearing the decision, thought it was wrong but after scoring it, had Ward as the winner oddly with the same score as the judges; however I rightly gave Kovalev the 10th, unlike all three judges cards. Ward 114-113, with Rounds 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 11.

Pound4Pound Royalty

In Standing-8’s fight preview for the Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1  5 KO)  v. Nicholas Walters (26-1-1 21 KO) fight we stated that Lomachenko was, “part throwback, part modern day, and quite frankly, something from the future”, on Saturday night, he again was all three.

From the opening round, there was Lomachenko, transforming into Hi-Tech, a Transformer/Terminator doing what he does best, jab, hook, cross, to the body, to the head, countering, spinning, head movement and the footwork, oh the footwork.

Here’s a clip of the brilliance that is Lomachenko-

After a brief feeling out round to start the bout, the Ukrainian settled in and every round was a carbon copy of the next. Loma does what Loma wants to do.

Jab to the body, jab to the head, hook, cross, tap, tap, boom. Mixes it up on his terms and his terms only. Uses head movement and footwork of the highest levels, counter, spin, etc…Google Search….Sweet Science = Vasyl Lomachenko….

To be fair, Walters had a few moments, ok, less than a few, but… a few shots to the body at times, landing a hook here and there but when he went to land another he was swinging at air.  Round after round Lomachenko systematically broke Walters down.  It was similar to what he did to Gary Russell Jr. except this time his opponent quit.

At the end of the 7th round, Lomachenko was toying with Walters landing a tornado of punches as the bell ended.  Lomachenko motioned Walters to his corner as if to say, “take a seat son, this one’s about done”. 👊

A few moments later Walters and his corner told referee Tony Weeks, dare I say it……”No Mas”.  Lomachenko TKO end 7, successful first defense of his WBO super featherweight title.

In his post fight interview, Lomachenko stated, “I want Vargas” refereing to title holder Francisco Vargas (23-0-2 17 KO). In addition, there is the rematch with Orlando Salido whom promoter Bob Arum said, “That’s unfinished business”.

After only eight fights, and not that he wasn’t already there, you can firmly place Lomachenko in the top 10 P4P, check that, top 5. Yes, after only eight fights as a pro, unheard of.

A few times during the fight, the broadcast team compared Lomachenko to a few greats of the past, Willie Pep, Pernell Whitaker, he does some things that are modern day; however, he is giving us a look into the “Hi-Tech” future of boxing. We have not been here before and it is amazing.

A boxer or puncher on whatever terms he dictates, and whenever he chooses, he is truly special and the epitome of the sweet science.

The Return Of The King

In February of 1988, in a hospital in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, Mr. and Mrs. Anatoly Lomachenko welcomed their new baby boy into the world and named him Vasyl, meaning “king”. Ever since the then he has been fulfilling the prophecy.

Vasyl won gold at the 2008 & 2012 Olympic Games, and is arguably the best amateur fighter of all time compiling a mind-boggling record of 396-1, his only defeat, avenged…..twice for good measure.

The blood lines for athletic greatness were strong, his mother a gymnast and trainer, his father an amateur fighter and trainer who has provided the wise guidance to Vasyl since the beginning.

“I can’t even remember how old I was when I first started boxing, but I was very very young” Lomachenko has said. “When I was born, I think they took me straight from the hospital to the gym”

No doubt.

Lomachenko (6-1 4 KO) is poetry in motion.  The footwork unmatched, the style as smooth as silk. His skill set is part throwback, part modern-day, and quite frankly, something from the future. Since turning pro in 2013, “Hi-Tech” has dazzled us and caused our minds’ eye to take a moment to process what it just saw . He moves forward then back landing jabs, power crosses and hooks. He works both efficiently to the head and body. The movements as effortless as a painter’s strokes on a canvas,  a physical acknowledgement to the hours of dance lessons learned early in life.

Lomachenko is a refreshing addition to, the at times, monotonous performances in the squared circle. He has speed for days and can also bang as evident by his recent string of three straight knockouts.

When the Ukrainian knuckled up with Gary Russell Jr., he was in with arguably the quickest hands in the game. But there was Lomachenko, masterfully defensive as he countered the speed with his movement while surprising Russel Jr. with his own lightning. A southpaw by trade, he was brilliant, immediately going to Russell Jr.’s body from the opening bell to ensure his opponent’s biggest asset would decrease round by round. It was obvious in the championship rounds that the game plan had been executed for optimal effectiveness.

By besting Russell, Lomachenko captured the vacant WBO featherweight title and oh, while he was at it, tied Saensak Muangsurin’s record for the fastest to win a world title as a pro.

In his last fight on June 11,  Lomachenko stopped the tough as nails Roman Martinez (29-3 17 KO) in the fifth round with a beautiful partial left uppercut-right cross combination . It was evident early on that Martinez was just not in the same class with the fighter who had twenty-eight fewer fights.

Said Lomachenko after stopping Martinez, a fight he dedicated to The Greatest, the late great Muhammad Ali,

“I want to line up all the best fighters at 130 and see who the best fighter is……..I just came to do my job”

Speculation was that Lomachenko would look to avenge the only loss of his young career in his next bout, a rematch with Orlando Salido, but…..The Axe Man cometh.

The rematch against Salido can be scheduled at a later date… or not. To be honest, we’d rather see Lomachenko in against the Walters’ and Rigondeaux’s of the world. Even grossly outweighed and illegally fouled throughout the fight, Lomachenko still only lost by the slightest of margins via split decision. Lomachenko about had Salido out at the end and while Salido is as tough as they come his skill set is not on par and he would be exposed in a rematch.

And now we get to the matter at hand… this Saturday’s meeting against Jamaican Nicholas Walters (26-0-1 21 KO) from the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas for the WBO World super featherweight title. These are the types of matchups that the fans want to see.

Walters is very compact in his approach and doesn’t waste energy. He is very calculated and throws a sneaky and timely right uppercut. At times, he gets a bit wide on his punches and is susceptible to a power shot down the middle. A straight ahead fighter who uses the shoulder roll effectively and understands how to throw punches from it. He also has a significant reach advantage in this one but for a compact fighter not adept on fighting on the outside, it will be interesting to see if it makes a difference.

If there is one Achilles heel for Walters it is his inability to effectively fight off his back foot. In reviewing tape on Walters, when he is forced to work off his back foot, he does not throw punches and his activity level is non-existent. Very few fighters today work on the outside as well as Lomachenko, his movement will force Walters to fight off his back foot and turn him into a mostly defensive fighter looking for one shot.

Walters is at his best when he is in tight and fighting in close quarters. There will be opportunities in this fight for that to happen but few and far between. The Ukrainian will not oblige Walters in a slugfest but will however, pick and choose when he will throw his own power shots for maximum damage. Make no mistake, Lomachenko can bang, but he is like a surgeon, calculated in his approach and will do so on his own terms.

Another key factor will be the head movement of Lomachenko. He is very skilled at slipping and dodging punches while countering with blistering speed. In addition, while using the aforementioned effortless footwork of a dancer, he is known to spin out of harms way while landing punches with bad intentions. If there is one shot that Lomachenko may have an opportunity to land in this fight, it’s the check left hook. It will be interesting to see if it unfolds.

Walters last faced a southpaw in 2014 when he stopped Vic Darchinyan in five but the Armenian had moments due to his unorthodox movement as he forced Walters to fight off his back foot. Again, something Walters will face against Lomachenko; however, against this lefty, he will be in deep and many, many, levels above in class.

Make no mistake, this will be an excellent matchup that will push both fighters, the best fighting the best, how refreshing.

At the end of the day, the call here is Lomachenko. He has too many tools in the tool belt and his ring generalship is about the best in the game. To already be in the P4P fighter discussion after only seven fights is unheard of. Walters will bring out the best in Lomachenko and we will again have to adjust our focus, grab the remote and rewind the tape to validate what we just saw.

…….It’s good to be the king.

Snippets On Arguably The Hottest Topics In The Sweet Science


Desert Stormed

Timothy Bradley (33-1-1 13 KO) wore down a poorly conditioned Brandon Rios (33-3-1 34 KO) and stopped him in the ninth on a series of body shots.

Bradley looked amazing, snapping straight right hands while exhibiting some of the best lateral movement he’s ever displayed. In addition, his defense was solid, hand speed elite and he utilized a side step-hook to the body combo beautifully on a few occasions. 

Rios landed a few shots with more than one getting Bradley’s attention but did little else. 

Bradley started to sit down on his punches in the seventh and in the ninth, buckled Rios to the canvas with a body shot. After Rios got up, Bradley attacked landing a hook to the body dropping Rios a second time. This time, Rios stayed down on a knee and waited to be counted out.

Bradley’s  speed was way too much. Rios will always find difficulty with lighting quick opponents.

No surprise really. Yes Rios had looked good defeating Mike Alvarado in January but Alvarado by his own admission was grossly unprepared and shouldn’t have been in the ring.

Before that, Diego Chaves gave Rios a tough go and and Manny Pacquiao flat out dominated him.  The signs of Rios’ decline have been present and the issues of his weight loss/gain only added to the problems.

Apparently, after barely not making weight then making it, Rios entered the ring on fight night in excess of 170. You could see the sluggishness impacting him each passing round as his rehydration plan backfired. After the fight Rios indicated he would retire.

Time for a public service announcement- alphabet soup, please get together and discuss the feasibility of same day weigh-ins or mandating limits for appropriate weight levels through rehydration.

Back to our regularly scheduled program-

Take nothing away from Bradley, he did what he was supposed to do. It was a very strong performance, just needs to be kept in perspective. 

The partnership with Teddy Atlas is off to a rousing start.

The Return Of The King-Painting Masterpieces Fight After Fight

WBO Featherweight Champion Vasyl Lomachenko (5-1 3 KO) is six fights into his pro career and can already be included in the top pound for pound fighter discussions. Vasyl, meaning “king”, arguably the greatest amatuer ever is begining to breakthrough to another level in the pros.

On Saturday night in true “Hi-Tech” fashion, the Ukrainian dominated Romulo Koasicha (25-5 15 KO) before stopping him in the tenth on a flurry of punches culminating with a left to the midsection followed by a thunderous shot to the ribs. Game,Set, Match.

While Koasicha is not a championship caliber opponent, he is a solid pro and Loma made him look like a sparring partner.

Lomachenko’s footwork was sensational. He glides effortlessly to and from his opponent always in the position to counter or move out of harm’s way only slightly having to absorb anything in return.  That’s not to say that he won’t be willing to take one to give one as he showed against Koasicha.

Lomachenko landed 64 % of his power punches according to Compubox.

“I was having fun in there if I wanted to knock him out earlier, I would have.” said Lomachenko

A matchup with Guillermo Rigondeaux would be amazing and we may see the best Lomachenko yet. 

Lomachenko is a master technician in the ring and puts on a performances utilizing a skill set like no other fighter today. If you love the sweetness of the science,  Lomachenko’s your man. 

Monaco Masher

Ruslan Provodnikov (25-4 18 KO) stopped Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (14-1 11 KO) in the fourth round in Monaco.

Who? Ya, I know, not really a household name facing the former WBO junior welterweight champion. Infact, out of fourteen fights, Alvarez-Rodriguez had only faced one fighter with a winning record.

In the fourth round, Provodnikov stunned Rodriguez with a big right. Sensing he was hurt, Provodnikov attacked with a barrage dropping Rodriguez. Provodnikov finished the job as Rodriguez got up, dazing him again with another right and then dropping him again with a left hook. The referee had seen enough.

This was Provodnikov’s first fight with ex-Bradley trainer, Joel Diaz since leaving Freddie Roach and we saw some glimpses of boxing from the slugger.

Ruslan turned boxer – puncher would be a scary thought, just sayin.

Ted Talk -Ideas Worth Screaming

“Are you ready for the fire? We are firemen. WE ARE FIREMEN! The heat doesn’t bother us. We live in the heat. We train in the heat. It tells us that we’re ready, we’re at home, we’re where we’re supposed to be. Flames don’t intimidate us. What do we do? We control the flame. We control them. We move the flames where we want to. And then we extinguish them.” -Teddy Atlas to Timothy Bradley

Christmas Early

Canelo v. Cotto under three weeks away, nuff said.

Who You Can’t Wait To See Again

1) Floyd Mayweather- Painting materpieces fight after fight, the canvas, his canvas. One of the best ever, nuff said.

2) Vasyl Lomachenko – Arguably the greatest amatuer in history, he has moved his talents seamlessly to the pro game. Beautiful to watch him work his craft.

3) Erislandy Lara- What he does is called the sweet science not boring as some as implied. Hit and don’t get hit is what it’s about.

4) Terence Crawford- Getting better and better with each fight. Not only does he have outstanding boxing skills , he can punch too.

5) Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero – This dude brings it fight in and fight out. He boxes beautifully but when he gets hit, all bets are off and the “warrior” comes out. A spiritual family man and one of the good guys in the game.

6) Roman Gonzalez- All action, all the time. Stud.

7) Andy Lee- Love his throwback style.

8) Timothy Bradley- You’re going to get a war every time out.

9) Amir Khan-Seems to be getting better with age.

10) Keith Thurman- “One-Time” can box or punch and is a student of the game.

11) Shawn Porter- Showtime is as tough as they come.

12) Gilberto Ramirez Sanchez- “Zurdo” is a rising star. A southpaw with size, skill, and power. Remember the name.

Rigon(deaux) In The New Year


Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0 10 KO ) overcame his opponent’s height and reach advantage and a seventh round knockdown to stop Japan’s Hisashi Amagasa (28-5-1 19 KO) by  eleventh round TKO in route to retaining his WBO and WBA super bantamweight titles at the Bodymaker Colluseum in Osaka, Japan on the eve of the new year.

Amagasa jumped on Rigondeaux at the opening bell and threw a flurry of punches that were mostly blocked by Rigondeaux gloves. The round proceeded into a feeling out process as Rigondeaux tried to solve his opponent’s six and a half inch height and three inch reach advantage.  

In round two, Rigondeaux, a southpaw, started to find a home for the overhand left which was being set up nicely by his jab. Amagasa’s face was visibly starting to show the effects of The Jackal’s power as he started to swell around both eyes.  In the third round,  Rigondeaux started crouching and fighting low causing Amagasa to negate his own height advantage as he lowered himself to try and land his arsenal on Rigo. Due to Rigondeaux’s superior athleticism,  he parried most of Amagasa’s assault while countering him repeatedly. 

As he did in the first three rounds,  Rigondeaux strategically allowed Amagasa to be the aggressor and move forward as he countered the challenger with a stiff jab and power hooks. Rigondeaux picked up his speed and movement in round four and landed quick shots at his onrushing foe but Amagasa was able to land a few punches of his own and may have had his best round through four. 

To start the fifth,  Rigondeaux landed a stiff straight left that seemed to buckle Amagasa. Sensing he may have hurt his opponent,  Rigondeaux moved forward and went left hand crazy landing several overhand lefts as Amagasa reeled into the ropes.  Amagasa recovered and the action resumed as it had the previous four rounds, Amagasa moving forward and Rigondeaux picking him off with quick jabs and left crosses. 

Rigondeaux controlled the entire sixth round with his movement as he utilized some of the finest footwork you will ever see.

In the seventh, it all seemed to be going well for Rigondeaux until he spun around Amagasa and was caught by a quick right which dropped him with thirty seconds left in the round.  Rigondeaux was up quickly but Amagasa charged the champion and swung wildly landing a solid right that seemed to momentarily stun the champion. As Rigo tried his best to tie up Amagasa he was pushed down to the canvas and it was (incorrectly) ruled a knockdown by referee Mike Ortega. Rigondeaux was up quickly as the round ended. 

Said Rigondeaux, “The first punch which caused the knockdown was not a powerful blow. I was caught off balance and suffered a flash knockdown. I was not hurt, but I had to be on guard as my opponent gained confidence and threw everything at me in that round,”

Energized by his heroics in the seventh, Amagasa went on the attack in the eighth but Rigondeaux calmly countered him repeatedly with straight left crosses and was beginning to sit down on his punches. Again using beautiful lateral movement and parrying punches in the ninth, Rigondeaux controlled all aspects of the round. All of the damage done by his left hand was evident as Amagasa’s right eye was a protruding mass to close the round.

In the tenth, Rigondeaux moved forward as the aggressor and Amagasa was forced to fight going backwards which clearly took him out of his comfort zone.  Rigondeaux dropped Amagasa with a beautifully timed straight left half way through the round.  Amagasa got up but was a little wobbly on his feet. Rigondeaux took his time and walked down Amagasa landing multiple combinations to the bell.

Looking like a beaten fighter entering the eleventh with both eyes closing and the left side of his face swollen , Amagasa did very little as Rigondeaux continued to land just about anything that he threw.  At the close of the round, Amagasa went to his stool where the fight was stopped by his corner.

At the time of the stoppage, Rigondeaux was leading on all cards with scores of, 107-99 X2 and 105-101. This was Rigondeaux’s seventh defense of his WBA and fourth defense of his WBO 122 pound titles. 

Rigondeaux boxed beautifully throughout the fight and was intent on being more active. “The boxing public has been asking for more action, so I delivered” said Rigondeaux.

“I have a lot of skills. On Wednesday night, I showed I can mix it up and, more importantly, that I can close the show in devastating fashion.”

Manager Gary Hyde agreed, “The fans have hinted that they want blood and guts, and Rigo certainly showed he can massacre fighters if needs be.”

On what is next for Rigondeaux,  Hyde stated, “Rigo is looking at forcing the WBA to order the (Scott) Quigg fight. He would like the (Leo) Santa Cruz fight, also, but the guy wants no part of him”

“Santa Cruz is a joke. I will not attend the show,” said Rigondeaux referring to Santa Cruz’s Janury 17 date against Jesus Ruiz  “I have no interest in watching him fighting another soft opponent”

There is so much high level talent here and around this division with Rigondeaux, Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg, Vasyl Lomachenko, Nicholas Walters, Abner Mares, that it would make sense to hold a tournament. That would be epic.