There’s a line from cult hit movie Scarface starring Al Pacino where a henchman asks his Tony Montana character, “What are we going to do now?” Response; “Do?… We going eat that Sosa for breakfast”.
Enter one Vasyl Lomachenko. The Ukrainian wunderkind made his second successful defense of his WBO Junior Lightweight title with a 9th round TKO of number two ranked Jason Sosa. The bout was contested at the MGM National Harbor in Washington D.C., which should have been a featherweight unification match. Sosa owned the WBA super featherweight version of title and made one successful defense before vacating in February.
The fascinating and energetic boxing prodigy upped his modest record to 8-1, 6 KO’s while hypnotizing the live gate and HBO viewing audience giving credence why he’s ranked with consideration on everyone’s mythical pound for pound list. The southpaw sensation entered ring in green robe sans his moniker of “Hi Tech” simply emblazing his birth name upon his robe. The boxing world has adopted the human Matrix with dignified “Loma,” and once again he didn’t disappoint.
A confident Jason Sosa entered ring with a 20-1-4, 15 KO’s record and believed his superior professional experience would hold sway against the 29 year old novice champion foolishly overlooking his amateur accomplishments that rank evenly with the greatest of all time, including 2 Olympic Gold Medals in ’08 and ’12. In his previous fight Sosa made the first defense of his super featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Stephen Smith. Loma was coming off his first title defense against dangerous and highly regarded Nicholas “Axman” Walters who vowed a kill or be killed performance but meekly surrendered a “no mas” epitaph and quietly surrendered to referee Tony Weeks at the bell starting round eight. The eyes of the boxing world were watching with keen interest.
Sosa entered ring looking confident wearing white robe with gold trim and unveiled a well chiseled physique as he was officially rehydrated to 142 lbs. having a three pound edge over the champion at first bell.
There is no need to break this bout down round by round in the same fashion that Loma broke down Sosa. I handicapped this one a week ago with clarity and predicted on the money a one sided stoppage. The champion won every single round and reduced his opponent to a glorified sparring partner who could not match a single skill set placed before him by Lomachenko. Every time the challenger elected to either box or brawl he was simply outdone by the master and literally undressed of his skills every round. Jason was never able to land more than 9 punches in any round.
I have stated before in previous articles that fighting Loma is like two repelling magnets. You can’t step to him inside the pocket, nor can you step away.
It was apparent as early as the third round when he was fighting with his mouth open that keeping up with the impossible angles was already wearing him out. The fourth round he sustained a three minute beating. He was reduced to throwing one punch at a time and winging Hail Mary grenades. By the opening of sixth round Loma was so far in control he playfully mocked his agitated adversary by pretending to hold an invisible cape like a matador to the useless bull rushes of the tormented challenger.
At the onset of eighth round Sosa was warned by his corner that they would stop the fight unless he truly got back into the flow of action and begged him for a knockout. The challenger summoned more guts and courage than previous opponent Walters and came out boxing on his toes and pivoting around ring for a minute and a half recollecting himself but wound up taking a hellacious beating second half of round. Here, even though he never went down or needed assistance of ropes to remain upright it could be easily argued Loma won the round by 10/8 margin.
Oddly, in the ninth round perhaps sensing his man was reduced to walking wounded the champion took mercy on him and toned down the volume of attack and the fury in which he unleashed his punches. Any chance he could he went downstairs rather than continue hitting his prey upon the temples and chin. At the bell the challengers corner asked referee to halt the one sided contest.
Post-fight: In ring through his interpreter Loma said he wanted to unify all the 130 pound belts and if no one was willing to make themselves available he looked forward to the outstanding match up of challenging Lightweight champion Mikey Garcia. Style wise the boxing world would be hard pressed to find a more interesting blend of talent contested at any weight. For his efforts tonight his only badge of honor was a thumb print sized abrasion under his right eye.
Televised undercard: WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk won a unanimous decision over Michael Hunter with three duplicate score cards of 117-110. The disparity in rounds won do not reflect the high energy see/saw 12 round battle.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk defeated Yunieski Gonzalez by TKO in third round of light heavyweight contest.
Around the Ring – Week In Review…
Britain’s Liam Smith beat Welch born Liam Williams in an attempt for vacant WBO interim light middleweight title in Manchester England. In a fan friendly spirited war Smith won by 9th round stoppage but was unable to secure belt having failed to make the 154 pound weight limit.
The much anticipated rematch of Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev has been signed for June 17 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for WBA, WBO, and IBF Light heavyweight titles. Last November Ward won a controversial unanimous on all three score cards of 114-113. Stevie Wonder, Andrea Bocelli, and Jose Feliciano could have done a better job of officiating the bout. The honorable and truly respected Virgil Hunter has issued a challenge to any writer to sit with him, side by side, and rewatch the fight and score it alongside him. I want that challenge, but I’d consider it an honor. Virgil speaks with clarity and honesty as well as insight when declaring most fans scored the bout for whoever they wanted to win.
Exactly. Yours truly gave the first six rounds to Kovalev, including a knockdown giving him a seven point lead advantage at the half way mark. I gave Ward rounds 7, 8, 9, and 11. Interestingly, Roy Jones, JR. who once ruled that division for years scored it the same way. The intangibles of handicapping rematch are truly perplexing. Biggest point of interest is that Ward has inserted rematch clause this time. Hunter said he will give Sergey full credit if he wins and went on to say, “Why not a trilogy”?
The bout is being billed as “No Excuses.” At press conference announcing fight Ward was quoted as saying: “I’m going to keep this short and sweet. You got what you asked for. Now you have to see me on June 17, this time leave your excuses at home.” Last time I checked Kovalev offered no excuses as he clearly believed he won the fight and was victim of hometown decision. Bout to be distributed by HBO PPV.
The WBC has mandated a rematch of Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai after Roman’s super flyweight belt changed hands after controversial decision on March 18. Both fighters have medical suspensions due to accidental head butts and the nature of hellacious pace of bout. In the meantime the organization has mandated an interim championship bout with its next two highest ranking contenders. Carlos Cuadras will verse Juan Francisco Estrada with the winner to face the victor in the afore mentioned rematch. Is all this necessary? Yes if you’re the WBC and wait on baited breath for every title fight sanctioning fees you need to invent as many sub and interim divisions as possible to keep the extortion money placated.
The WBA has mandated a rematch of featherweights Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. The two Mexican warriors first met in 2015 fighting for vacated super featherweight title which Santa Cruz won by majority decision. The two fight camps have one month to negotiate an agreement or it gets mandated to purse bids. Mares holds the WBA (regular) featherweight title he won from Jesus Cuellar by split decision last December. Cruz holds the (super) featherweight title he won back from Carl Frampton by majority decision in January.
In a spirited affair Edner Cherry raised his record to 36-7-2, 19 KO’s by unanimous decision over game Omar Douglas in a ten round main event promoted by Premier Boxing Champions. Douglas record dipped to 17-2, 12 KO’s.
Bob Arum has refused to confirm Manny Pacquiao’s oft delayed bout against Australian Jeff Horn this July 2 in Brisbane until the contracts are officially signed. With this bout having had so much trouble seeing the light of day there is no point in needless speculation of Amir Kahn match coming to fruition at years end. Pacquiao has confirmed fight is in place and will be signed shortly.
Pictures and video posts have surfaced all over the internet on boxing sites dispelling rumors that Julio Cesar Chavez, JR. is just going through the motions of training for his upcoming May 6 catch weight brawl with Canelo Alvarez and taking this bout the most serious contest in his career. Julio looks ripped, in shape and in beast mode.
Abel Sanchez has denied persistent rumors swirling around middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin that his fighter is injured. Promoter Frank Warren has publicly expressed concerns that an injury has indeed prevented the agreed upon unification between Golovkin who holds the WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO titles while Billy Joe Saunders wears the WBO belt.
As per Warren, Saunders name adorns agreed upon contract and his number one mandatory contender Avtandil Khurtsidze has been paid step aside money allowing bout to take president. Making matters more confusing the WBO has mandated an “interim” middleweight title fight between Khurtsidze and Tommy Langford of England. Add to the chaos Golden Boy Promotions does not want Golovkin to fight any fight before he first tackles Canelo Alvarez in September. Oscar De La Hoya cites that the bout needs a full three months to promote forgetting that the boxing public has demanded it for three years. His protégé Alvarez must first get by Julio Cesar Chavez, JR. first on May 6 in a catch weight bout designated at 164.5 lbs.
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