Amateur powerhouse Vasyl Lomachenko is ready to prove a solid career with a headguard is all that is needed to prepare a champion when the Ukrainian challenges WBO featherweight king Orlando Salido this weekend.
The 26 year-old, who reportedly lost just once in almost 400 amateur bouts, makes the step up to world title level on the back of a solitary professional contest in the chief support fight to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr v Bryan Vera II in Texas on Saturday night.
Lomachenko’s debut last October saw the California-based fighter stop experienced Jose Ramirez in just four rounds, which served to confirm to promoter Bob Arum that he was ready for an immediate challenge at Salido’s belt.
Salido, 33, holds a deceptive 40-12-2 record having been stopped five times in his lengthy career, with most of the Mexican’s losses coming early on when ‘Siri’ was without the focus and drive necessary to be a champion.
Fast-forward five years from his 1996 debut, which was predictably a defeat, and Salido had morphed himself into a top contender at the featheweight limit, having only suffered losses at world championship level since then.
Saturday’s fight certainly has the intrigue factor as Lomachenko heads into his first world title fight as the favourite in only his second pro outing, with Salido looking to make a third successful title defence in his third term holding a recognised title.
In the headlining contest, former world middleweight king Chavez Jr. is looking to fend off Bryan Vera for a second time having already scored a debatable victory in September and since been dogged into a return with the hardended Texan.
Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay for tweets of upcoming news on WBN