Ukrainian amateur superstar Vasiliy Lomachenko made a successful step up to the pro ranks with a crushing knockout win over the experienced Jose Ramirez at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The 25 year-old, who won two Olympic gold medals before being snapped up by Bob Arum, took just four rounds of a scheduled ten to set up a world title fight in just his second fight in January of next year.
Lomachenko proved why there is so much hype surrounding him in the first session. The hot prospect dropped Ramirez, also 25, with a well-placed body shot.
It looked as though the fight could be over there and then.
Ramirez managed to get up at nine to continue. However, Lomachenko kept control of the contest over the next couple of rounds until a hurtful body shot in the fourth had the Mexican rolling around on the floor in pain.
Referee Russell Mora didn’t bother to reach the full count as it was a mere formality, and Lomachenko became the first fighter to stop Ramirez and inflict a fourth loss from 29 on the fringe WBO contender.
Picking up the WBO International featherweight belt with the victory, Lomachenko moves on to a potential full world title shot against the winner of Orlando Salido and Orlando Cruz. They fight on the same bill in Nevada for the vacant WBO belt at 126lbs.
On the undercard, Mikael Zewski and Trevor McCumby kept their unbeaten records intact with points wins, while Brad Soloman and Seanie Monaghan did the same with stoppages.