Photos: Lomachenko dominates Crolla

Vasiliy Lomachenko once again staked his claim as the pound-for-pound king, knocking out mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla in four rounds to retain his WBA/WBO/Ring Magazine lightweight titles.

Crolla, the former WBA lightweight champion, was game but never threatened Lomachenko. After tough battles against Jorge Linares and Jose Pedraza in 2018, he had an easier night at the office to begin his 2019 campaign.

“I want to fight with Mikey Garcia, but we’ll see. I don’t know,” Lomachenko said. “I stay at 135 as long as it’s possible, and I want to unify all {the} titles.”

Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) scored a knockdown at the end of the third round when referee Pat Russell ruled the ropes held Crolla up.

In the fourth, Loma came out on the attack, knocking Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) back to the ropes. Then, it happened. A right hook to the top of Crolla’s head put him down and out.

Photos/Courtesy: Top Rank/Mikey Williams:
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Anthony Crolla: ‘I want to shock the world’

Anthony Crolla says he wants to produce one of the ‘biggest upsets of all time’ when he challenges pound-for-pound superstar Vasyl Lomachenko for his WBA and WBO Lightweight World titles at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on April 12.

‘Million Dollar’ won the WBA crown with a fifth-round knockout of Columbia’s Darleys Perez on a hugely emotional evening at the Manchester Arena in November 2015 but surrendered his title to Venezuela’s Jorge Linares in 2016.

Despite the former champion winning his last three fights against Daud Yordan, Edson Ramirez, and Ricky Burns, Crolla accepts he is a huge underdog heading into the biggest fight of his career with Ukraine’s Lomachenko, but the Manchester hero is confident he can shock the World by dethroning ‘Hi-Tech.’

“I want to shock the world and beating him would be one of the biggest upsets of all time,” said Crolla. “He’s a unique fighter, and I’ve had to change up sparring to spar with different guys to cover everything he can throw at me. We’ve used top-class sparring partners like Jazza Dickens and Frankie Gavin, who was probably the best amateur this country has ever produced.

“There is less pressure on me, but I have my own expectations and want to give a great account of myself and cause one of the biggest upsets ever by a British fighter. But Lomachenko is mentally very tough; he makes fighters quit, I know that. I know I will have to put up with being frustrated by him.

“Go back through history and see how many fighters have had the movement he’s got. This is the fight I wanted, though. I wanted a big one, and I’ve got myself into mandatory position to face him. The money is great, but it’s about the challenge. I’ve got myself into this place, so I want to make the most of it.

“Training has gone really well. It’s been brutal at times, but you expect it to be. I’ve really been put through it in this camp. My life has just been gyms and motorways. But I’m fighting one of the best fighters on the planet, and I will be best prepared I can possibly be. I’m not going over there just for a holiday.”

Watch Lomachenko vs. Crolla in Los Angeles from 3 am this Saturday on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Action.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Loma: ‘I still want that fight, 100 percent, but it is up to Mikey(Garcia); can he cut the weight?’

WBA/WBO lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko felt right at home Tuesday at the Ukrainian Culture Center, site of Tuesday’s media workout. Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) won a pair of Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) for his native Ukraine.

For the first time as a professional, Lomachenko will headline a STAPLES Center card, a short drive from his United States training base in Ventura County.

Lomachenko will defend his world titles against the hard-charging Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs), while longtime WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (39-0, 25 KOs) will dip his toe in the light heavyweight waters versus veteran Tommy Karpency (29-6-1, 18 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature.

Lomachenko-Crolla and Ramirez-Karpency will stream exclusively Friday, April 12 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on ESPN+ — the leading multi-sport streaming service.

The undercard broadcast (ESPN+, 8 p.m. EST) will feature unbeaten 140-pound contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (20-0, 7 KOs) against former world champion Mike Alvarado (40-4, 28 KOs) in a 10-rounder and welterweight contender Alexander Besputin (12-0, 9 KOs) versus Alfredo Blanco (20-7, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder for Besputin’s USBA belt. Besputin is ranked No. 1 in the world by the WBA.

Three days before taking center stage at STAPLES Center, this is what Loma had to say:

On fighting Crolla:

“I anticipate a good and entertaining fight. I want to enjoy {myself} during the fight. All of my fights, I have enjoyed.”

“Before the fight, you’re nervous a little bit, but when you step in the ring, it’s your place. You step into your house, relax and enjoy the fight.”

On headlining in Los Angeles:

“On April 12, I am going to show my best style and give the fans a great show. I am excited to fight at STAPLES Center. The fans in Los Angeles are special and appreciate my boxing style.”

On a potential Mikey Garcia fight:

“I still want that fight, 100 percent, but it is up to Mikey. Can he cut the weight? I don’t know. But if he can make 135, I want to fight.”

“My goal is to unify all the titles. If it’s {IBF champion Richard} Commey later this year, that would be a great fight. Any champion, I would want to fight. I want IBF and WBC belts. I want to go down in history as a great champion.”

Loma: ‘If you have a belt, you can come in the ring, and I’ll fight with you’

WBA/WBO lightweight world champion Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko and WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez came to Fortune Gym in Hollywood on Monday for a media workout as they prepare for their respective bouts, April 12 at Staples Center.

Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound Picasso, will defend his world titles in the main event against the hard-charging Anthony “Million Dollar’ Crolla, while Ramirez will dip his toe in the light heavyweight waters versus veteran Tommy Karpency in the co-feature.

Lomachenko-Crolla and Ramirez-Karpency will stream exclusively April 12 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on ESPN+

In front of a packed media contingent, here is what Lomachenko had to say.

On his weight

Right now, I am a lightweight, but lightweight is not my ideal weight category. My goal now is to unify all four titles, and then, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll move back down to 130 pounds and win world titles there for a second time.

On Anthony Crolla as a fighter

“I don’t know too much about him. I know him from his two fights with Jorge Linares. I do know he is an aggressive fighter, and I like to fight guys who come forward.”

On preparing for Crolla

“I prepare like always. We are training hard. I’ve been training for a couple months already and will put on a great performance for my fans in Los Angeles and on ESPN+. I will show everyone my best style and hope everyone enjoys it.”

On future opponents

“I want to fight the best. But now, Crolla is the best choice. He is the mandatory challenger and wanted to fight me. That is why I accepted this fight.”

On whether he thinks he’ll dominate Crolla

“I don’t know. I can’t see in the future. It depends how he fights. We’ll see.”

On Teofimo Lopez

I’m ready for everyone. I need the belts. If you have a belt, you can come in the ring, and I’ll fight with you.”

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Lomachenko-Crolla set for April 12 in Los Angeles

After thrilling Big Apple audiences in his last three bouts, Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko is ready to bring his lightweight world titles to the City of Angels.

Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound Picasso and the WBA and WBO lightweight world champion, will defend his titles against former lightweight world champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla on Friday, April 12 at Staples Center. In the co-feature, longtime WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will make his light heavyweight debut against an opponent to be announced in a 10-rounder.

Lomachenko-Crolla and Ramirez’s fight will stream live and exclusively in the United States beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on ESPN+ —  the direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, which will mark its one-year anniversary since launching on the day of the fight. The entire undercard will also stream live on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing USA, tickets priced at $310.50, $207, $103.50, $77.65, and $51.75 (including facility fees) go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 12 p.m. PT. Lomachenko’s last headlining appearance in Los Angeles came in August 2017 at the Microsoft Theater when he defended his 130-pound world title against Miguel Marriaga via seventh-round TKO.

“Staples Center is the perfect venue to showcase one of boxing’s great fighters, Vasiliy Lomachenko, who will test himself against a top contender in Anthony Crolla of Great Britain,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.

“Los Angeles boxing fans are passionate and knowledgeable, and I look forward to putting on a spectacular show for them at Staples Center,” Lomachenko said. “Crolla is my mandatory challenger, and I like that he always comes to fight. He’s going to make the most of this opportunity.”

Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) entered the professional ranks following an amateur career that included a pair of Olympic gold medals for his native Ukraine and an unprecedented 396-1 record. He set a boxing record by winning world titles in three weight classes in 12 fights, shattering the previous mark of 20 set by Jeff Fenech 30 years prior. He was named 2017 Fighter of the Year by most boxing outlets after forcing all three of his opponents — Jason Sosa, Marriaga and fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux — to quit on their stools.

In May 2018, he moved up in weight and captured the WBA lightweight title when he rebounded from a torn labrum and a sixth-round knockdown to stop Jorge Linares at Madison Square Garden with a body shot in the 10th round. That December, in front of a sold-out Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden crowd, he scored a pair of knockdowns and won a wide unanimous decision over WBO lightweight champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza to unify titles.

Ramirez (39-0, 25 KOs) is ready to make his mark at light heavyweight after making five successful defenses of his WBO world title. The native of Mazatlán, Mexico, is a 10-year pro who won the world title in April 2016 with a shutout unanimous decision over two-weight world champion Arthur Abraham. In his last bout, Dec. 14 in Corpus Christi, Texas, he closed the show strong and defeated Jesse “Hollywood” Hart via majority decision. Ramirez, who has not ruled out returning to super middleweight to defend his title, also has his sights set on the light heavyweight division’s leading names.

“I am very motivated because of all the new things I have been doing to advance my career,” Ramirez said. “I am very excited to fight at Staples Center for the first time, as I consider Los Angeles my second home. I knew there will be many Latino fans supporting me. I want to become an idol of Mexican boxing, and nothing will stop me as I work to fulfill my dreams. I am also working with a new trainer, Julian Chua, who is pushing me to become the best fighter possible.”