Vasyl Lomachenko took out seasoned former world champion Anthony Crolla in just four rounds to cement his place as the best around.
Lomachenko staked his claim as the pound-for-pound king by knocking out mandatory challenger Crolla to retain his WBA/WBO/Ring Magazine lightweight titles.
British star Crolla was game but never threatened Lomachenko. The Manchester man had high hopes of causing one of the biggest upsets in recent years prior to the contest.
After tough battles against Jorge Linares and Jose Pedraza in 2018, Lomachenko had an easier night at the office to begin his 2019 campaign in style.
Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) scored a knockdown at the end of the third round when referee Pat Russell ruled the ropes held Crolla up.
In the fourth, Loma came out on the attack, knocking Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) back to the ropes. Then, it happened. A right hook to the top of Crolla’s head put him down and out.
After the bout, Lomachenko out-lined his plans to add further titles to his haul.
“I want to fight with Mikey Garcia (WBC champion). But we’ll see. I don’t know,” Lomachenko said. “I stay at 135 as long as it’s possible, and I want to unify all titles.”
In the dressing room after the fight, Lomachenko showed his class by checking on Crolla, who was obviously disappointed.
Garcia seems to be the no-brainer fight for Lomachenko next, although TV channels could once again put an eagerly-anticipated clash in check.
‘Loma’ is with ESPN, whilst Garcia fights on Showtime and FOX with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
Making that unification a reality could prove tough as with plenty of other fights out there.
Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury and Terence Crawford v Errol Spence Jr. face the same roadblocks.
One thing is for sure, Lomachenko is not only the number one at 135 but undeniably the top boxer on the planet right now.