Vasily Lomachenko to defend Ukraine from invasion

By Sean Jones: Vasily Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) will be helping defend his native Ukraine from the Russian invasion of his country. The former three-division world champion Lomachenko has joined the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Territorial Defense Battalion in Ukraine.

Lomachenko posted a Facebook photo of him wearing camouflage fatigues with a rifle slung over his shoulder last weekend.

It’s unclear at this point how much combat duty the 34-year-old Lomachenko will perform because he’s currently juggling a well-paying career as a professional boxer.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko and his promoters at Top Rank are negotiating a deal to challenge four-belt lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. for his straps on June 5th in a large stadium fight in Melbourne, Australia.

According to ESPN, Lomachenko has already agreed to the deal to face the 28-year-old Kambosos for “them beautiful belts” on June 4th. The fight will be shown on ESPN.

If Lomachenko is tied up with his soldiering duties in Ukraine in defending against the Russian invasion, it will open the door for WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney to face Kambosos Jr for the undisputed 135-lb championship.

Haney’s promoter Eddie Hearn and DAZN would be overjoyed at getting the fight with Kambosos, as they would have an excellent chance of beating him and gaining control of the four titles at lightweight.

It would be a disaster for ESPN and Top Rank to have Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) get his hands on the four lightweight titles because he could choose to swerve Lomachenko face other opposition.

At 34, Lomachenko isn’t a spring chicken and can’t afford to chase the younger 23-year-old Haney for years to get a title shot against him.

The ideal situation for Lomachenko is to take leave of his military duty in Ukraine and fly over to Melbourne, Australia, on June 4th to battle IBF/WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO lightweight champion Kambosos Jr. for his titles.

Most boxing fans feel that it’s a given that Lomachenko will rip the titles away from Kambosos, as he’s not viewed as a solid champion capable of holding onto his four belts matched carefully.

To his credit, Kambosos Jr isn’t looking to milk his titles the way some champions do, as he wants to fight the best.

In this day and age, with fighters like Canelo Alvarez taking on soft paper champions from England one after another, it’s admirable that Kambosos Jr. wants to fight Lomachenko and test himself against the best.

With that said, Kambosos isn’t being entirely selfless in his desire to face the best. Lomachenko’s promoters at Top Rank and the network he fights on, ESPN, are believed to be offering Kambosos top dollar for this title fight.

The money that Kambosos will be getting for the Lomachenko clash will likely set him up on easy street, allowing him to live like a king in his native Australia.

Even if Kambosos Jr. is ultimately obliterated by Lomachenko, as many expect, It’ll be all gravy from that point forward in his life due to the millions he’s expected to get from the fight.

Lomachenko lost his WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO lightweight titles to Teofimo Lopez by a close 12 round decision in October 2020.

Loma made the mistake of facing the much bigger 24-year-old Teofimo with an injured shoulder and was unable to dominate him the way he likely would have if he were healthy.

Shortly after the contest, Lomachenko had shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, which is now 100%.

Since the surgery, Lomachenko has looked as good as new, defeating Masayoshi Nakatani and Richard Commey.

In Loma’s last fight, he beat the former IBF 135-lb champion Commey by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision last December at Madison Square Garden in New York. That was a match in which Lomachenko urged Commey’s corner to stop the fight in the seventh round after he’d knocked him down.

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