Tank Davis: ‘Loma is not as good as everybody thinks'(VIDEO)

Vasyl Lomachenko is considered by many as one of the best, if not the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport of boxing, and recently, Lomachenko won a unification fight against Jose Pedraza. Now, in only 13 contests, Lomachenko(12-1, 9 KOs) is a three-division world champion and a unified champion at 135.

While many think Loma is special, WBA junior lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis is not impressed. In 2017, Davis stopped Pedraza in seven rounds, while Lomachenko went the distance with Pedraza, and according to Davis, Loma is not all that special.

“Listen, Pedraza lost to me and went up to 135 and beat a champ (Ray Beltran),” Davis said. “It showed that Pedraza can fight, and it showed that Loma is not as good as everybody thinks. He got 12(13)fights and he on the pound-for-pound(list); come on.”

Loma is special, but Tank Davis is a quality fighter as well. The eyes show you that Lomachenko is a great fighter, and the eyes show you that Davis is not too far behind. However, just like a lot of things in boxing, this is a fight we will probably have to wait on.

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Photos from Lomachenko’s victory over Pedraza

WBA lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko wanted to unify lightweight world titles. After 12 rounds, he got his wish, although WBO champion Jose Pedraza sure didn’t make it easy and halted Lomachenko‘s eight-bout knockout streak in the process.

Lomachenko (12-1 9 KOs,) defeated Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) via unanimous decision in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,312 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden to unify world titles for the first time in his illustrious career.

Scores were 119-107 and 117-109 2X.

“It was my dream to unify titles,” Lomachenko said. “It was my next goal. I can now focus on my next chapter.

“He’s a veteran. He did a very good job, and I respect Pedraza and his team.”

Said Pedraza: “I am happy with my performance tonight. I went 12 rounds with the best fighter in the world. I knew what we were going up against. I thought it was a close fight until the knockdowns. At the end of the day, I am proud of what I did.”

It was tactical fight, as Pedraza’s long arms kept Lomachenko at bay for much of the night. In the 11th round, Lomachenko, turned up the heat, scoring a pair of body shot knockdowns as Pedraza barely survived the round.

For Lomachenko, it’s on to the next challenge.

Photos/courtesy of Top Rank/Mikey Williams:

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Loma on Pacquiao: ‘I think his career is done’

Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring on January 19 against Adrien Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. For the 39-year-old Pacquiao, who recently signed with Al Haymon, it’s an opportunity to beat a very good fighter with name recognition. Also, it could be an opportunity to get a rumored rematch with Floyd Mayweather or a fight with other big name fighters who are signed to Haymon and PBC.

WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, who has a unification fight against WBO lightweight world champion Jose Pedraza at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, and who many thought would eventually fight Pacquiao at some point, believes Pacquiao’s best years are behind him and would have no desire to fight the Philippine legend.

“I’m not disrespecting Pacquiao, but I don’t want to make my name bigger because I beat an old legend,” Lomachenko said at a press conference today. “I have my own road. There are a lot of good fighters to fight who are comparable to me. He’s old. I think his career is done. I don’t want to become a legend in boxing because of him.”

In reality, now that Pacquiao is with Haymon, a fight Lomachenko would probably be difficult to make. Therefore, it probably won’t happen.

Pacquiao’s best years are behind him, but he still is a formidable opponent for anybody as we saw back in July when he stopped Lucas Matthysse, so I don’t think he’s done just yet. In fact, Pacquiao probably beats Broner in January.

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Jose Pedraza: ‘Lomachenko Has Never Faced a Fighter Like Me’

The ‘Sniper’ guarantees there will be a surprise on Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. WBO lightweight champion Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs) trained in front of the media of ‘The Island of Enchantment’ before departing for Las Vegas, where he will conclude training camp for his upcoming title unification bout against WBA champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs).

This is what Pedraza, a two-weight world champion, had to say during his media workout in Puerto Rico.

About his fight against Lomachenko

“Technically speaking, he has never faced a fighter like me.”

About fighting in New York

“I’m very excited for this fight and even more because the fight will be in New York where I will have the support of all the Puerto Ricans.”

On what fans can expect of him on December 8

“The fans can expect an even more focused and intelligent Jose Pedraza in the ring. On that night, I will show all my skills.”

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for Lomachenko-Pedraza are on sale now. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.

Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.

Loma: ‘After Pedraza, we can talk about fighting Mikey(Garcia)’

WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko was at home at the Boxing Laboratory as he prepared for his next challenge. Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs), who has won world titles in three weight classes in just 12 pro fights, will seek to unify titles for the first time as a pro when he takes on WBO champion Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs), Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET).
Lomachenko worked out for the media Tuesday, showing off his assortment of training tricks. This is what the pound-for-pound great had to say.

On the Pedraza fight

“I had a long rest {following shoulder surgery}. I am looking forward to seeing how I feel and taking on a tough opponent like Pedraza. I haven’t had much time to watch his fights.”

On potentially unifying the titles

“I can’t wait. After this fight, a lot of doors will be open. Title unification fights are good for the sport of boxing.”

On future opponents

“I love challenges. That’s what motivates me. I want all the top fighters. I’m open to anyone.”

On the Jorge Linares fight

“It was the first time I was knocked down as a pro. After the knockdown, I came back and finished the fight. It was a tough fight, but I showed the heart of a champion.”

On whether he’ll remain at lightweight

“I believe I’ll stay at 135 and focus on 135 because when I fought against Linares, I felt like he was bigger than me. So I’ll stay at 135 because I think 135 is not my {ideal} weight category right now. After one or two years, it will be my {ideal} weight.”

On a Mikey Garcia fight

“I hope {it will happen}. We can see in the future because my next fight is against Pedraza. After Pedraza, we can talk about fighting Mikey.”

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for Lomachenko-Pedraza are on sale now. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.

Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Loma: ‘My goal has always been to unify the titles, and Pedraza is standing in my way’

Vasiliy Lomachenko is ready to take another bite out of the Big Apple. Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound superstar and WBA lightweight world champion, will look to unify world titles for the first time as a professional when he clashes with WBO champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m. ET, live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. This marks Lomachenko’s fourth main event appearance at a Madison Square Garden venue.

Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.
Promoted by Top Rank, ticket and undercard information for this world championship event will be announced soon.

“Boxing fans are excited that Vasiliy Lomachenko will be back in action on Dec. 8,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. “He knows that in WBO champion Jose Pedraza, he faces a tough opponent with a style that may give him a lot of trouble.”

“I am ready to fight an excellent opponent like Jose Pedraza,” Lomachenko said. “My goal has always been to unify the titles, and Pedraza is standing in my way. There is something special about fighting in New York City and at Madison Square Garden. The fans in New York City are true boxing fans, and I can’t wait to put on another spectacular performance for them.”

“I am grateful to have this opportunity, since I didn’t get the chance to unify titles when I was champion in the junior lightweight division,” Pedraza said. “In this division, I will achieve my goal, and I will do it against one of the best boxers in the world. There will be a surprise on Dec. 8!”

“We are thrilled to bring fans one of the year’s marquee boxing events to ESPN,” said ESPN’s Burke Magnus, executive vice president, programming and scheduling. “Currently ranked as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Lomachenko is who fans want to watch. His historic victory last year on this night was a tremendous success, and we look forward to showcasing the world’s best once again.”

Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is widely considered to be the greatest amateur boxer in history, as he posted a 396-1 record with Olympic gold medals for his native Ukraine in 2008 and 2012. In the pro ranks, he has continued to etch his name in the history books. Lomachenko tied a boxing record by winning a world title in his third pro bout on June 21, 2014, a clear points win against Gary Russell Jr. to claim the vacant WBO featherweight title. He made three defenses of that title before moving up to 130 pounds. In his debut at 130 pounds, Lomachenko knocked out Roman Martinez with an uppercut-hook combination to win the WBO junior lightweight world title. Following the Martinez bout, Lomachenko began an unprecedented streak of four consecutive opponents – Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga, and Guillermo Rigondeaux – retiring on their stools. The Rigondeaux bout, which took place last December at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, was the first time in boxing history that a pair of two-time Olympic gold medalists fought as professionals. After six rounds, Rigondeaux quit on his stool.

With nothing left to prove at 130 pounds, Lomachenko moved up to lightweight and challenged WBA champion Jorge Linares. On May 12 at Madison Square Garden, Lomachenko suffered a labral tear of his right shoulder in the second round and was knocked down with a right hand in the sixth, only to come back and stop Linares with a left hand to the body in the 10th round. The Linares victory signified another milestone for Lomachenko. In becoming a three-weight world champion in 12 professional fights, he broke the previous record set by Jeff Fenech (20 fights) in 1988. Lomachenko has knocked out eight consecutive opponents dating back to his fourth professional bout in 2014.

Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto Rico, has climbed back to the top of the sport following a January 2017 TKO loss to Gervonta Davis that saw him relinquish his IBF junior lightweight world title. He returned 14 months later as a lightweight on March 17, shutting out Jose Luis Rodriguez over eight rounds at the Hulu Theater at Madison Garden. After a hard-fought 10-round unanimous decision against Antonio Moran on June 9, Pedraza traveled to Glendale, Ariz., on Aug. 25 to face WBO lightweight world champion Ray Beltran. He scored an 11th-round knockdown to seal the unanimous decision victory, becoming only the second male Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles at 130 and 135 pounds.

Beltran: ‘Hopefully, we have another big fight coming up against Lomachenko’

Ray Beltran scratched and clawed and spent nearly 19 years as a pro boxer before earning his first world title. He outpointed Paulus Moses on Feb. 16 in Reno, Nevada, to win the vacant WBO lightweight title, a lifelong dream finally fulfilled. A native of Los Mochis, Mexico, Beltran is now a proud resident of Phoenix, a short drive from where he will make his first title defense.

Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs) will defend his title against former 130-pound world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza as the headliner of an ESPN-televised card, Aug. 25 at the Gila River Area in Glendale, Arizona.

Beltran returned home Saturday for a full slate of media activities, including an open workout at Gent’s Boxing Club in Glendale and as a guest broadcaster for the second inning of the Arizona Diamondbacks Alumni Game.

This is what he had to say.

On his future: Hopefully, we have another big fight coming up against {Vasiliy} Lomachenko. I’m pretty happy when I fight the best. I’ve had no easy fights in my boxing career. We made our own way. We made our own name. We got a contract with Top Rank after 20-something fights. Nobody created our record. I have a lot of knockouts, but I have more power than it looks like on {my record}. All the losses that I have, four or five were robberies. I’m ready. Right now, I’m focused on Pedraza, but we dream big.”

On fighting for Phoenix and Mexico: “I feel like my heart is in half. I feel like a Phoenix fighter, but I’m also a Mexican fighter from my hometown. I can’t believe what I’ve come from. I come from nothing. I come from a place where nobody is supposed to make it. I think it’s important that the people where I came from know about it, so they get the message — whatever you want to do in life, if you work hard, you can make a change.”

On his opponent: “Pedraza is a former world champion. I believe he’s going to bring some heat. He’s going to come and fight hard to take the belt away from me. He bobs and moves around the ring a lot. He’s got good footwork, but we’ve been working at Wild Card with all different types of styles.”

PHOTO: Chas Wright

Loma would fight Gervonta Davis, but at 135

The last time we saw WBA lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko, he stopped Jorge Linares to capture a title in his third weight class back in May.

Now, the 30-year-old Lomachenko is expected to be out of commission until the end of 2018 due to surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn labrum.

When he returns, one guy that many would like to see Loma fight is WBA junior lightweight champion Gervonta Davis, but according to Loma, if the fight were to happen, it would have to be at 135.

If he goes to my next weight category(135), in my next weight category, shoot, why not? I’m ready,” Loma told TMZ Sports.

Davis is content to stay at 130, and wants to unify the division, so a Loma-Tank fight will probably not be happening anytime soon.

Photo: Top Rank

Lomachenko undergoes surgery to repair torn labrum

Vasiliy Lomachenko underwent arthroscopic surgery Wednesday morning at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder suffered during the second round of his May 12 bout against Jorge Linares. The surgery, performed by world-renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache, will preclude Lomachenko from fighting Aug. 25 as originally scheduled. Lomachenko will begin the recovery process immediately and is hopeful that he will defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) and Ring Magazine lightweight titles before the end of the year.

Said Dr. ElAttrache: “Vasiliy had the anticipated injuries in his right shoulder, resulting from a dislocation event that he sustained during his fight on May 12. In particular, he had an extensive labral tear, approximately 270 degrees with a small amount of cartilage damage and a bone impaction injury, all resulting in instability of the shoulder. He underwent an arthroscopic repair of the labrum as anticipated with no complications. Based on the result of the surgical repair, we are optimistic for an excellent prognosis and for him to return to competition at his previous level of performance.”

Loma on knockdown: ‘It was flash'(VIDEO)

Vasyl Lomachenko accomplished another milestone last night by winning a title in his third weight class, in just his 12th pro bout, when he stopped Jorge Linares in the 10th round last night at MSG.

It was not an easy night for Loma as he was dropped for the first time in his career in the sixth round by Linares, but Loma recovered, and would ultimately win.

After the fight, Loma talked about the knockdown and the scorecards, which had Loma winning on one (86-84), Linares winning on another (86-84), and the other scorecard was tied.(85-85) at the time of the stoppage.

Take a listen:

 

Photo: Top Rank