Ukrainian amateur superstar Vasyl Lomachenko has been handed a second chance to win the vacant WBO featherweight title less than a month after his failed attempt to defeat former champion Orlando Salido.
The 26 year-old, who went down via a split decision in his bid for the belt Salido lost on the scales, has been put forward as the WBO mandatory challenger due the closeness of his contest with the hardened Mexican.
Lomachenko is now set to fight undefeated American Gary Russell Jr. sometime in the summer if Top Rank and Golden Boy can agree on terms – for what looks an exciting clash on paper.
Russell, 25, has racked up 24 straight wins since turning professional in 2009 and recently knocked out Miguel Tamayo in four rounds to record his 14th stoppage of a promising career thus far.
The Washington southpaw was first in line to the title when Salido failed to hit the weight target, but now faces a fighter with a 1-1 C.V in the paid ranks in his own bid to win a first world title.
Some may argue that Lomachenko is yet to prove his worth to be handed the privilege, not once but twice, of fighting for a recognised belt so early on, although having such a big name from his days with the head guard has obviously helped him secure another chance.
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