Ukrainian boxing star Vasyl Lomachenko bucked a slow start and knocked down Jose Pedraza twice en route to a unanimous decision win, which added the WBO lightweight championship to his WBA belt.
‘The Matrix’ made a successful return to the ring after being sidelined for almost seven months due to a shoulder injury as he overcame his Puerto Rican challenger in 12 nailbiting rounds to unify the two world titles.
Lomachenko Unifies The WBA and WBO Titles
Lomachenko squared off with also-lightweight champ Pedraza for the WBA and WBO unification bout, Saturday night, at the Madison Square Garden in New York. The three-weight world champion, who underwent a shoulder surgery this year, struggled to find his bearing early but managed to pull off a strong late surge to escape with a unanimous decision over the ‘Sniper.’
Two ring judges had it 117-109 in favour of Lomachenko while the third scored 119-107 for the Ukrainian star, which gave him his second major lightweight belt. Following a slow start, the 30-year old boxer stepped on the gas pedal in the succeeding rounds to take control of the match. With Lomachenko finally getting his groove, he managed to send his rival to the mat twice in the penultimate round.
“He did a very good job. I respect Pedraza, the Pedraza team — very good job. Everything is good — I’m healthy 100 per cent. I am happy I moved a little closer to my dream, to my goal (unifying all major lightweight titles). Two more belts, and maybe we can make in the next year a fight with Mikey Garcia.”
Watch the fight highlights below:
Lomachenko’s 42-Power Punch in the 11th Round
One of the best highlights of the fight was Lomachenko’s unanswered onslaught in the 11th round. The unified champion turned his challenger into a punching bag as he launched a flurry of punches and uppercuts like he never had a shoulder surgery.
Luckily, Pedraza survived the 42-punch attack but Lomachenko’s firepower was just too much that the Puerto Rican was floored twice going into the final round. Watch Lomachenko’s phenomenal 42-power punch below:
Lomachenko has been undefeated in the past 11 outings and since being defeated by Orlando Salido in 2014. Meanwhile, Pedraza was the first fighter to box with Ukrainian in 12 rounds since his WBO title defense against Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo also in 2014.
Check out the full results of the Lomachenko-Pedraza card below (via CBS Sports):
Vasiliy Lomachenko (c) def. Jose Pedraza (c) via unanimous decision (119-107, 117-109, 117-109)
Emanuel Navarrete (c) def. Isaac Dogboe via unanimous decision (116-112, 116-112, 115-113)
via first-round KO
Guido Vianello def. Luke Lyons via second-round stoppage
(Featured Image Source: YouTube/ESPN)