Vasyl Lomachenko will defend his WBA and IBF lightweight belts against Anthony Crolla after both teams agreed to the fight for April 12 in Los Angeles.
Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the news, which has now been ratified by the World Boxing Association.
“Both gladiators are complying with the order issued by the WBA Championships Committee to carry out a battle between them and, thus, avoided the call to auction,” said a statement.
The formidable Lomachenko was scouting for an opponent for some time. Mandatory challenger Crolla always fit the bill.
Upon learning of his chance, Crolla faced unusual questioning on social media. Some sceptical fans believe he took the fight knowing he can’t win. A strange reaction, even from some British fans.
Crolla defended himself by saying: “I started getting punched on the nose for nights like this 23 years ago. I’m not an idiot and I know this is a huge challenge.
“But April 12th I’m gonna be in the best shape both physically and mentally and going to LA to shock the world! I can’t wait to do it,” added the Manchester man.
Lomachenko won the title in 2018 when he defeated Jorge Linares via stoppage. He subsequently unified the division against Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza via unanimous decision.
Crolla, himself a former WBA ruler, won the strap in 2015 against Darley Perez. He then defended his title against Ismael Barroso of Venezuela.
Two losses to Linares followed, and seem to be the reason some choose not to give Crolla the chance to win.
‘Million Dollar’ holds wins over Ricky Burns, Edson Ramirez, and Daud Yordan, though. He comes into the fight with great pedigree.
In a very short and stunning career, Lomachenko has a record of 12-1 with nine KO’s. Crolla is 34-6-4.
Over the next few days, teams are expected to send the contracts to the WBA for completion of the deal.
The fight is expected to be broadcast on ESPN in the US and Sky in the United Kingdom.
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