Loma and The Sniper
WBA champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko returns to the Big Apple for a lightweight unification showdown with WBO champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza.
Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018
Time: 9 p.m. (ET)
Location: Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City
Where to watch: ESPN
The atmospheric tension is always on the rise when two world champions battle one another for divisional supremacy. Especially when both have seldom tasted defeat and losing the prestigious gold they covet isn’t a part of the plan.
Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1,9 KOs)
Known throughout boxing as “The Matrix,” Vasyl Lomachenko is one of the most gifted fighters in the sport today. Figuring out the best way to beat the three-division champion, is complicated. Should you box or brawl with him? Who knows? Undoubtedly, the process will take an individual who is just as determined as he is. What makes the Ukrainian so special is his unique fighting style. It’s a complex mixture of speed, rhythmic movement, and awkward punching angles.
With that said, he displayed all of his skillful traits against Jorge Linares back in May. The Venezuelan champion entered the bout as the bigger and more experienced fighter of the two. However, for Lomachenko, those advantages would only play a role for so long. The crafty southpaw meticulously broke his opponent down with well-placed body shots throughout the match. Additionally, Linares, showing his championship mettle, wouldn’t go down without a fight. A pinpoint right-cross would floor Lomachenko in the sixth round and shock the crowd of over 10,000. In spite of being a bit embarrassed, the Ukrainian challenger picked himself up and finished Linares in the tenth-round.
Advice to Lomachenko
: Don’t take Pedraza lightly. Stay focused and do what you do best.
Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs)
The twenty nine year-old champion’s style bears some similarities to that of his opponent. Sure, it isn’t as refined as the Ukrainian’s, but his abilities and talent are just as respectable.
In August, he battled rugged veteran and former WBO lightweight champion, Raymundo Beltran (35-7-1,21 KOs). The bout, an important stepping stone to facing Lomachenko, would prove just how dangerous a focused Jose Pedraza can be. Round after round, the Puerto Rican battered the former champion; knocking him down in the eleventh round with an uppercut. Beltran, known for his grit, would ultimately lose the affair by unanimous decision.
Advice to Pedraza
: Offset Loma’s rhythm with jabs and disrupt his timing with feints. A sustained body attack is your best bet to slow him down.
: Lomachenko wins by stoppage. Pedraza will try and make it competitive, but Loma’s skill will be too much.
By: Cessell Robinson