Vasiliy Lomachenko
Vasiliy Lomachenko proved himself again at top level | Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Vasiliy Lomachenko proved himself again at top level, and Fury vs Usyk fast approaches.

It felt as though Saturday night gave us a timely reminder of Vasiliy Lomachenko’s greatness, just as we were becoming numb to his exceptional career.

I guess that sense of taking the 36-year-old for granted is reflected in our combined pound-for-pound rankings, whereas as of April’s list, Loma hadn’t received a single vote for inclusion in the top 10. Is that an oversight, or simply a case of recency bias in a desire to include fresher faces?

Either way, Lomachenko showed glimpses of his former dominant “No-mas-chenko” moniker by stopping hometown favourite George Kambosos in the 11th round of a one-sided fight in Perth. He’s once again a titlist at 135 lbs, a division that he has been forced to spend six years competing in despite it being half-a-stone north of his natural weight.

It was a joy to see Loma willing to go through the gears in order to close the show Down Under rather than just cruising to another points victory. Perhaps his disputed loss to Devin Haney on questionable scorecards gave him that extra bit of spite and determination this time around, as he eyes future super-fights to round off his legendary career.

Watching Lomachenko in full flow is still one of the best sights to witness in a modern boxing ring. A modest 18-3 pro record would perhaps cause an outsider to flick past his resume, but on his day is still capable of being one of the star attractions in the sport.

Perhaps unfortunately, this trend seems set to continue as Gervonta “Tank” Davis’s name is beginning to get mentioned as Lomachenko’s next assignment at 135. Just as Orlando Salido came too early in the his pro career, “Tank” may prove to be too late and too big for a man that simply doesn’t say no.

The co-main event saw Andrew Moloney claim retirement following what he believes was a whiffy decision loss against Mexico’s Pedro Guevara. In our Friday betting preview, 9/5 was an obvious pick for the underdog in what was bound to be an all-action, high-output kind of fight — the one where form goes out of the window and rounds are hard to score.

Emotional in front of his home support, Moloney may come to regret his hot-headed post-fight reaction. Both he and his brother, Jason, just didn’t do enough across their back-to-back weekend losses, handing the initiative to the judges and their interpretations.

The British scene delivered a savage KO win for Denzel Bentley over Danny Dignum to win an international middleweight strap, Archie Sharp move to 24-0 at super featherweight, Lauren Price win world honours at welterweight against Jessica McCaskill and Rhys Edwards stay unbeaten in out-pointing Thomas Patrick Ward for the WBA inter-continental featherweight title. But all of this felt like a precursor to this week’s Fury-Usyk build-up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In typical John Fury fashion, the father of Tyson Fury made the Monday headlines by headbutting a member of Team Usyk, lighting the match on a day of chaos in the Kingdom.

The fighters themselves managed to shake off a majority of the distractions as they hone in on one of the most important and high-profile fights over the last few decades. Both men look focused, in-shape (as inishape as Fury ever looks) and the path looks clear to an undisputed heavyweight champion following years of ifs buts and maybes.

There is of course excitement ahead of this contest, but there are sobering realities to the life of Saudi nationals that will be ignored during such fanfare. I spoke with Wajeeh Lion — a gay Saudi exile — for the Guardian to underline some of the growing concerns of boxing’s involvement in Saudi’s sportswashing.

Author: Staff

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