By John J. Raspanti
Vasyl Lomachenko’s (8-1, 6 KOs) fights are quickly becoming anticlimactic.
After knocking out former champions Ramon Martinez and Nicholas Walters last year, the WBO super featherweight champion put a hurtin on Jason Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs) Saturday night - stopping the game challenger in round nine at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD.
Lomachenko flashed his trademark speed and angles in the opening rounds.
He jabbed and fired combinations from the outside.
Sosa tried to counter but caught air. Lomachenko stunned Sosa with punches to the head and body.
Lomachenko used lateral movement in round three. His hand speed was paying dividends. Sosa landed a hard body shot. Lomachenko worked Sosa over on the ropes.
Sosa connected with a heavy right to the chin in round four. He paid for his impedance seconds later when Lomachenko tattooed him with multiple shots. Sosa walked into a hard left in round five that seemed to stun him. Lomachenko dug a wicked body shot that caused Sosa to wince. The gutsy former pizza maker fought back at the bell.
Lomachenko played matador in round six. He waved his invisible cap and popped Sosa with punches from all over the ring. In round seven he showed off his footwork. He eventually dug in another shot to Sosa’s body that had to hurt.
Sosa absorbed the blows and hung tough. Lomachenko worked Sosa over with more wicked shots from every angle in round eight.
The fight could have been stopped. Sosa hadn’t won a minute of any round. Sosa, told by his corner they’d stop the fight if they didn’t see more life out of him in round nine, came out punching.
Lomachenko fired potshots in return. He actually appeared to be holding back during the round.
He had hurt Sosa enough.
Sosa’s corner made the correct decision to stop the contest after their fighter staggered back to the corner.
“I came into the ring to do my job,” said Lomachenko. “I wanted to show high tech. I think I did my job very well.”
Where Lomachenko goes next could be very interesting. Matchups down the road with lightweight champions Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares are compelling - especially the Garcia fight.