Keeping it in perspective
At it’s core boxing is a violent sport. A combatant enters the squared circle fully aware that they not only may get hurt, but probably will. It’s how a fighter responds in these moments that sets them apart from their peers.
Pound for pound sensation Vasiliy Lomachenko recently experienced one such moment during his bout with Jorge Linares. While the Ukrainian superstar was knocked down for the first time in his professional career, the injury he suffered early in that fight with Linares was a lot harder to fight through than the knockdown.
“Yes, I hurt my shoulder in second round, I told my father after round. I couldn’t do what I wanted to like hook with front hand with no pain but I learn that jab and uppercut didn’t hurt (as bad). I still had a good arm so I had to win with that one.”
On a scale of 1-10, how bad did it hurt;
“Uh, maybe 8? Yeah an eight but some things didn’t hurt as bad. I can’t let my family down, the fans down or my team down. I can still win.”
Lomachenko suffered a torn labrum during that second round but not once did it enter his mind that he couldn’t continue. He simply doesn’t understand the mindset that allows a fighter to no longer want to continue.
Interesting perspective coming from the man who literally has made four of his last five opponents simply say they’ve had enough earning him the moniker ‘No-MasChenko’. Asked if he liked the name;
“No, not good. I understand why they quit but I don’t like it. Don’t like the name and no like them quitting. It’s not respect for boxing.”
Leading up to his fight against fellow two time gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux, Lomachenko was asked if he would be surprised if the Cuban superstar quit and he said “No”. Asked during this interview if he was surprised when Rigondeaux didn’t answer the bell for round seven in December;
“Who me? No, he was lost. Very good fighter but I bigger weight category and more skilled as boxer. Proved nothing to myself, maybe to fans, but to me? No, always easy win.”
Lomachenko doesn’t weigh his accomplishments in the sport like his supporters or detractors. He believes when his career is over and the pundits are able to look in the rearview mirror at his career they’ll understand that he avoided no challenge in the sport. He isn’t a fan of the professional ranks of the sport but does understand it’s a business unfortunately;
“Now, I am part of this business I understand it. I don’t like it at all but I understand it. It’s not like in Olympic (elite amateur) boxing. You fight the best no problem, no negotiation just you win, I win, we fight next. Simple but professional, no simple.”
Right now when you look at his accomplishments, it’s about arguably the most brilliant amateur career the sport has seen along with a supercharged boost to a professional career that one can only imagine has quite a few more “Matrix” style highlight videos in the future….
Part 3 (What’s ahead for Hi-tech) coming soon
By: Chris Henderson