Vasiliy Lomachenko looks to continue business as usual against Anthony Crolla.
WBA and WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9KOs) will look to defend his title against Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13KOs). The fight will air in ESPN+ Friday, April 12 at 11 PM ET.
On paper, this fight should provide a tuneup for the unified champion after a decisive but tough fight against Jose Pedraza.
Crolla is coming in on a three-fight winning streak, including impressive wins over former champion Ricky Burns and Daud Yordan. Lomachenko will be a heavy favorite since tactically almost every advantage favors him.
The former WBA champion will have his work cut out for him facing a champion who’s both, athletic and technically sound. To have any chance of winning, he will need to be opportunistic and disciplined.
Crolla’s Game Plan
First off, he’ll need to be active with his lead hand and back-foot. The UK challenger will need to incorporate a step-and-slide movement, as well as pivot on his back foot to keep his lead hand directed at the champion at all times.
If he can do this, it will force Lomachenko to have to deal with his offense as he attacks and it will allow him to place his jab while being in position to counter.
Crolla will also need to keep doing what’s been working for him as of late. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, he needs to be rough and physical anytime both fighters are in close quarters while digging deep to the body. If executed properly, as the bigger man, this should wear down the man called “Hi-Tech”.
Lomachenko is recovering from some lingering injuries so physicality must be a part of any game plan the challenger implements.
Lomachenko’s Game Plan
For the unified champion, his game plan is simple; utilize your footwork and speed advantages. He will look to turn Crolla with his footwork and by punching off angles.
He has a huge advantage in athleticism, so he simply needs to relax and capitalize on his opportunities.
I expect Lomachenko to get an early to mid rounds stoppage. He’s simply better in every way and has literally been on fire putting together great performances.
This is a showcase fight, so save your money for later as the betting odds and likelihood of an upset just aren’t there!
By: Corey Cunningham