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Loma, Rigo - Some European Amateur Attitude

small1_Vasly_Lomachenko_Farina.jpg
small1_Vasly_Lomachenko_Farina.jpg

By Allan Cerf and John J. Raspanti


It’s High-Tech Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Miguel “The Scorpion” Marriaga, August 5 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

 

Background: At 29, with a short, brilliant professional career and a long backstory – his amateur days, Lomachenko must be very careful that events don’t overtake him.  Here’s the rub: He’s freaking good. This means that folks with no shot – like Marriaga, (16-1 underdog) will fight him and fighters that could possibly defeat him – Guillermo Rigondeaux – will as well. Lomachenko’s opponents?  Like a sandwich. The top slice of bread, that’s Rigo-and no disrespect, Marriaga, is the bottom slice. The ‘filling,’ the middle part, doesn’t offer much except Mikey Garcia who says he’s game at whatever weight. Lomachenko and Garcia have been taking shots at each other on social media. What folks in the USA always forget, is that Europeans don’t have the same absolute definitions of “the best” we use. Lomachenko was not your average amateur. Huge understatement:  396 wins, one loss, two Olympic golds, and.  a very substantial financial reward coming from a former ‘amateur’ system.  

 

To his credit, Loma did take on the U.S. system and it’s been roses all the way. However, the downside of the European boxing model is that so many enter professional boxing at an age when they should be winding down. Seemingly peaking at 29, Loma relies on ring smarts and unbelievable physical talent. He totally dismantled Nicholas Walters last year. One of the most anticipated fights wasn’t even competitive. Loma looked like a guy working out. He toyed with Walters, using his superior footwork and angles to demoralize the former champion. Loma peppered him anytime he wanted. After seven one-sided rounds, Walters called it a day. He was spent mentally and physically.   Perhaps Loma can whip Garcia and then take on Rigondeaux?

 

Scorecards: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Age, Stamina, Experience)

 

Vasyl Lomachenko: A, B+ A, B B+, A, A (Average of all) A-           

 

Miguel Marriaga: C+ B- C C C B B (Average of all) C+           

 


Reality Check: This is nothing but a stay busy fight for Loma and naysayers must understand even had he opted for Rigondeaux there wasn’t time to adequately promote the fight the instant the Cuban agreed.  However, he can’t continue to fight dudes like Marriaga without the public rightly beginning to grumble and start beating the stupid “Europeans aren’t real fighters,” drums. 

 

Marriaga,30, has two opponents in common with Loma, one professional, one amateur and lost both, whereas the Ukrainian won both. Marriaga (25-2, 16 KOs) is a solid pro and his left hook is potent and swift enough.  Marriaga is coming off a loss against Oscar Valdez. Obviously, he was very surprised when the call came to fight Loma. He believes that Loma might be a little overconfident going into their fight.

 

  “I think that he’s overlooking me a little because he’s talking about fighting other fighters, other champions,” Marriaga told Keith Idec of boxingscene.com. “I always say that you have to take care of what’s in front of you first because anything can happen in a fight and maybe he can be surprised this Saturday.”

 

True, but unlikely to happen on Saturday night.

 

Personal: Now a family man, the glamourous Lomachenko is sufficiently documented including by me.  Marriaga in translated interviews, seems polite and intelligent. 

 

Fight and prediction: It’s really just a question of time with regard to this fight and Lomachenko’s future career. His elite skills won’t last forever and Marriaga won’t last beyond round nine.

 

 



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