Teofimo Lopez is the new king of 135-pound division

We have a new king in the 135-pound division. On Saturday night, at the MGM Grand Conference Center, “The Takeover” Teofimo Lopez((16-0, 12 KOs) put on a masterful performance and defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko(14-2, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision. Lopez, and father/trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr., kept telling us for years that he was going to ‘Takeover” the 135-pound division, and he did it. 

Lopez won on all three scorecards, 119-109, 118-110, and 116-112). goforitradio.com scored the fight 116-112 for Lopez. The Brooklyn native was in complete control in the first half of the fight, and in the later rounds, Lomachenko, who did not do much in the early rounds, started to pick up the pace. Lomachenko was scoring late in the fight, but Lopez won the 12th round emphatically and closed the show. With the victory, the 23-year-old Lopez becomes the youngest four-belt world champion.

“I had to dig deep, man,” Lopez said after the fight. “I’m thankful. I’m grateful. And each and every day, I take that in. I thank God first because I couldn’t do it without him.

“I’m a fighter. I gotta dig in deep. I knew he was coming. I didn’t know if they had him up on the scorecards or not, and I love to fight. I can bang, too. I don’t care, man. I’ll take one to give one. That’s what a true champion does. I find a way to win.”

For Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs), who is a three-weight world champion, this was a case of too little, too late. It appeared that Lomachenko was wary of Lopez’s power and really did not have much activity. While Lomachenko won a bunch of belts at 135, it’s not his best weight. He gets touched up a little more at 135, including being knocked down by Jorge Linares back in 2018. So, it should be interesting to see what he does next.

Regarding Lopez, he’s a star at this point, and the only thing left for him to do at 135, is to fight WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney, which would be a great fight to make in 2021. However, there are other big fights at 135, including fights with Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia. Lopez, who is a big 135-pounder, could even move up to 140. However, no matter what he does next, it’s clear, a star was born on Saturday night.

Photo: Top Rank Boxing/Mikey Williams

 

Photos: Lomachenko-Lopez weigh-in

The fight we’ve been waiting for is now less than 24 hours away. On Friday, at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Conference Center, unified 135-pound champion Vasiliy Lomachenko(14-1, 10 KOs) and IBF 135-pound champion Teofimo Lopez(15-0, 12 KOs) stepped on the scale. 

Both fighters came in at 135 pounds on the nose, and now we have a fight. The ENTIRE card will air LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ on Saturday, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

Here are the weights for the main event and undercard:

  Vasiliy Lomachenko 135 pounds vs. Teofimo Lopez 135 pounds (Undisputed Lightweight World Title — 12 Rounds)

Judges: Steve Weisfeld, Julie Lederman and Tim Cheatham

Referee: Russell Mora

  • Alex Saucedo 140 pounds vs. Arnold Barboza Jr. 140 pounds 

(Junior Welterweight — 10 Rounds)

• Edgar Berlanga 169 pounds vs. Lanell Bellows 169 pounds 

(Super Middleweight — 8 Rounds)

After weighing in, Lomachencho and Lopez had a nice stare down.

Here are photos from the Lomachenko-Lopez weigh-in(Phots: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing):

Collard-LaVallais, Vargas-Castaneda headline Loma-Lopez undercard

The breakout star of the Bubble, “Cassius” Clay Collard, is back for more.

Collard, the MMA pro-turned contender for 2020 “Boxing Prospect of the Year,” will fight Quincy LaVallais in an eight-round middleweight bout on the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez undercard on Saturday, Oct. 17 from the MGM Grand Las Vegas Conference Center. It is a rematch of their June 2019 fight, which was ruled a draw.

Collard-LaVallais 2 and additional undercard bouts, including a 10-round junior welterweight clash between top prospect Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas and Kendo Castaneda, will stream live on ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Lomachenko-Lopez world championship main event, the 10-round junior welterweight battle between Alex Saucedo and Arnold Barboza Jr., and an eight-round super middleweight tilt featuring knockout king Edgar Berlanga against Lanell Bellows will be broadcast live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10 p.m. ET.

“A marquee main event deserves marquee supporting fights, and we have an incredible lineup in store underneath Lomachenko-Lopez,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Vargas can graduate to contender with a win over Castaneda, and Clay Collard is back to once again put on a show. Tune in early to ESPN+ to kick off an incredible night of boxing.”

Collard (9-2-3, 4 KOs), who is 5-0 with 3 knockouts in 2020, began the year with three victories over previously undefeated prospects. In January, he toppled the 9-0 Quashawn Toler by unanimous decision in Toler’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. The following month, he knocked out the 5-0 Raymond Guajardo in the second round of a bout that saw both men hit the canvas. He made his Bubble debut June 18 and battered the 6-0 David Kaminsky en route to a split decision nod. Collard has notched knockouts in his last two Bubble bouts and returns against LaVallais (9-0-1, 5 KOs), a native of Kenner, La. Collard and LaVallais fought in New Orleans, and LaVallais escaped with the draw. LaVallais has won two fights since, both by first-round stoppage.

“I’m a born fighter, and I’m grateful to be back on such a significant card,” Collard said. “When Quincy and I fought the first time, I knew I’d done enough to win, but we were in his hometown. We’re fighting on neutral ground this time.”

Vargas (17-1, 9 KOs), and his teeth, made an impression in his last bout. Vargas lost a veneer, but still managed to nearly shut out Salvador Briceno over 10 rounds in an ESPN-televised co-feature. He has won 11 consecutive fights and takes a step up against Castaneda (17-2, 8 KOs), a San Antonio-born boxer-puncher coming of a competitive decision loss in July to Jose “Chon” Zepeda.

In other undercard bouts scheduled for ESPN+:

Jose Enrique Vivas (19-1, 10 KOs) vs. John Vincent Moralde (23-3, 13 KOs)
8 Rounds, Featherweight

Vivas’ last fight was one of the best of 2020, a 10-round war against Carlos Jackson that took place July 2 inside the Bubble. Vivas and his hellacious body attack earned him the unanimous decision nod. Moralde, a top Filipino contender, is 3-1 since a September 2018 decision loss to Jamel Herring at junior lightweight.

Quinton Randall (6-0, 2 KOs) vs. Jan Carlos Rivera (4-0, 4 KOs)
6 Rounds, Welterweight

Former USA Boxing amateur star Randall takes a step up in class against Rivera, a Puerto Rican knockout puncher who has yet to see the third round as a professional. Randall, from Houston, Texas, defeated Clay Collard via unanimous decision in June 2019.

Jahi Tucker (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Charles Garner (1-0)
4 Rounds, Welterweight

The 17-year-old Tucker, who signed with Top Rank earlier this year, made his professional debut Sept. 19 and scored a first-round stoppage over Deandre Anderson.

Haney talks Teofimo Lopez, Tank Davis, Loma, Ryan Garcia, Jose Ramirez, more

Undefeated WBC Lightweight champion, Devin “The Dream” Haney (24-0, 15 KOs), sounds off, putting the big names surrounding his weight class on notice as he awaits the announcement of this next fight. Also, Haney gives his thoughts on his next fight during the COVID-19 pandemic and the mental and physical benefits of being quarantined.

I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Devin Haney. “This has been the longest time between fights in my career. My body received a well-deserved rest. I’m blessed.”

On working with and being compared to Floyd Mayweather:

“Lately, I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time with “TBE” Floyd Mayweather. Being compared to Mayweather is the ultimate compliment for any fighter in this era of boxing. I’m the most skilled fighter in the world right now, and I’m looking forward to an opponent I can make a statement against. I’m working diligently with Mauricio Sulaiman and the WBC to make the big fights happen. Every decision made by the WBC hasn’t went my way, but I have a genuine love and respect for the WBC family as a whole. I’m proud to represent the WBC organization.”

On Vasyl Lomachenko:

“Vasyl Lomachenko is a true professional and considered to be a top-five pound for pound champion. I challenged him for the WBC lightweight world title, and I didn’t get the big fight I wanted, but I got the belt I deserved by stopping Zaur Abdullaev and becoming Vasyl Lomachenko’s mandatory challenger to the lightweight world title. Ironically, the big fight never happened because Lomachenko and Top Rank petitioned the WBC not to fight me and award him the franchise title. I then petitioned the WBC to elevate me from interim champion to full world champion because Lomachenko chose not to fight me, and I had previously beat the highest-ranked fighter available. Let’s make this clear, you can’t win the franchise title, and you can’t challenge a franchise champion. I’m 21-years old, and I’m the WBC world lightweight champion, and I believe in fighting mandatory challengers. The 135 pounds unification runs through me. Enough said!

“At this point in my career, I don’t mind mandatories at all because it forces the best fighters in my division to get in the ring with me. They can run, but they can’t hide. Mandatory, for me, means mandatory cash. It’s good to be in a stacked division. If I can, I’m going to fight all of them. I hope Teofimo Lopez beats Loma and then fights me in a unification for all the belts like he promised Mauricio Sulaiman.”

On Ryan Garcia-Luke Campbell:

“To me, it looks like Luke Campbell is looking forward to the opportunity of getting beat up by me more than Ryan Garcia is looking forward to it. I’m guessing in Ryan’s defense, he’s never lost, so he’s moving a little different and trying to stay undefeated (lol), but I don’t think Eddie Reynosa and Golden Boy really don’t want him to fight me yet. Luke is accustomed to losing big fights. We know he’s come up short more than once. I think he has more of a… ‘I don’t give a damn attitude’ and I’m cool with that too!”

On Tank Davis:

“As far as Gervonta “Tank” Davis? I don’t like throwing water on a drowning man but leaving a stacked 135 pounds division, to take a fight at super featherweight kind of tells you where he’s at. It’s no secret I’m a problem at 135 pounds.”

On Jose Ramirez:

“I know Jose Ramirez ain’t sleeping good at night either, he got Haney at 140 pounds or Terence Crawford at 147 pounds problems to think about. I don’t wish that on anybody. Josh Taylor is an easier fight for Ramirez then me or Bud, but it’s still a tough 50/50 fight. Ramirez is out here looking like food on the low.”

On the COVID-19 Pandemic:

“This pandemic is something we’ve never seen,” Haney concluded. “It’s tough on everyone around the world. We’ve all been in quarantine for the last few months, including myself, and fortunately, staying at home is the best place to be. Similar in many ways to training camp. I pray to GOD things get back to normal soon. I’m anxious to get back in the ring as soon as the experts give the green light. I want all the smoke.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Loma talks Mayweather, Tank Davis, Haney, Lopez, more

Unified lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko is riding out the COVID-19 pandemic in his native Ukraine, but the three-weight kingpin is chomping at the bit to get his hands on the division’s leading names, including IBF world champion Teofimo Lopez, WBC world champion Devin Haney and Gervonta “Tank” Davis.

Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) has not fought since last August’s unanimous decision victory over Luke Campbell in London. He has sat back and taken notice of Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs), the Brooklyn-born prodigy who has been outspoken in his desire to fight the pound-for-pound Picasso.

This is what Lomachenko had to say in an exclusive interview with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher.

On the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ukraine

“The situation as of this moment is from Monday, there will be very limited time to go outside. You will have to be in your house. You can’t gather more than two or three people. The situation is like you can only take your dog out for a walk or go out for something very serious. Other than that, you have to sit at home. You can’t even walk with your kids outside. Everyone will be on lockdown. This will go on until April 24 starting on Monday.”

On staying in shape at home in Ukraine

“I have a gym {at my house}, and of course I’m still training because it’s my job. Nobody knows when we can start. I always have to be in shape. I have to be ready always.”

On his feelings when he found out the tentative date of May 30 for the Lopez fight was postponed

“Of course, I was disappointed a little bit, but everything that’s happening {with self-quarantines} is happening for the better. The most important thing is for all the people on this planet to get back and get healthy and everything will go back to normal.”

On whether he thinks Lopez is ready for the sport’s elite

“I really think he’s a good boxer. He’s a top fighter. He’s young, he’s hungry, he has big power, and I want this fight. He’s a world champion, and he holds my belt. It’s IBF title.”

On whether he sees the Lopez fight ending in a knockout

“Nobody knows. It’s very unpredictable. Nobody can predict what is going to happen, how it’s going to happen. And the people are talking about which round they are going to knock somebody out or stop somebody. I am getting very, very interested. Now, I want to see {the fight}.”

On what makes the Lopez matchup interesting

“The interesting thing for me, it will be to look into his eyes and his father’s eyes and see their reaction {after the fight}.”

On his most memorable moment from fighting Luke Campbell in London

“The most exciting moment I remember from my trip to the UK is probably when we went on the top of the O2 Arena, and I saw all of London. I could see it and then the very next day I was the champion of that arena. That was the most memorable moment for me.”

Word association when Lomachenko hears the following names:

Teofimo Lopez Sr.

“I can’t say that. It wouldn’t look good. I was raised differently.

“{He is a} good father.”

Oleksandr Usyk

“Best friend.”

Gervonta “Tank”  Davis

“Power.”

Floyd Mayweather

“Boxing IQ.”

Bob Arum

“Best promoter.”

Fan Questions

Any concern over the long layoff?

“Yes, of course. You have to be active all the time. You have to be training a lot in the downtime between fights. Right now, I am relaxing more. I will need to spend more time training. I will need to spar more and do more work.”

If you could fight any boxer from any era to give you the best fight, who would you want to fight?

“Of course I would like to fight somebody who is undefeated, who has a good history, who has a big name. I think the most interesting name for me to fight would be Floyd Mayweather.”

What do you think of Teofimo’s shoulder roll and catch-and-shoot counterpunching style?

“It is not an easy type of fighting. It is not an easy style. It is easier to fight attacking fighters who are coming forward. It’s much easier. This type of counterpuncher is more difficult to fight. The winner will be who has the better boxing IQ. But that style with the shoulder, I think I know what I have to do to win.”

Do you think that Gervonta Davis will fight you?

“Right now, I don’t think he’s going to fight me. He might want to fight me, but his promoters are not going to let him. Aside from him, that weight class is getting very interesting. We have a lot of good names in the weight class. Not {just} the champions, but they are in the rankings. So I think it’s a hard weight division.”

Do you want to stay at lightweight?

“It’s unpredictable. If we are going to be sitting here for one year longer, who is going to be coming out and in what weight class will they be?”

What about the Instagram back-and-forth with Devin Haney?

“Yes, DAZN posted something about Haney, and he said he would knock me out. So that is why I answered him, ‘Hey, listen, are you serious?’ He has not fought anybody and now he is saying he is going to knock me out? I said, ‘No problem, let’s do it.’ Then he answered me right away saying, ‘Yes, we can do it.’ I said, ‘OK, I am ready.’ He knows I am ready. I think he is ready, and we can give the fight for the fans that everybody wants. That is why I mentioned before that this is a very interesting weight class with big names and good names coming to the weight class.”

 

Photo: Top Rank Boxing

Berchelt: ‘Lomachenko is another fight I’d gladly accept’

Three days before they launch punches at Dignity Health Sports Park, WBC super featherweight world champion Miguel Berchelt and challenger Jason Sosa joined forces Wednesday afternoon for a WBC Cares event at The Rock Boxing Gym along with super lightweight contender Alex Saucedo.

A group of local children were in attendance, as the fighters showed them basic boxing techniques, signed autographs, and gave them each a ticket to Saturday’s event.

After the boxing exhibition, the fighters and the children participated in a special Día de Los Muertos celebration, where they each wrote the name of a loved one they wanted to memorialize on a giant boxing glove.

“I feel very happy,” Berchelt said. “It’s very nice for me to teach the kids how to be disciplined so they can go far in this sport.”

“It’s a great feeling to spend time with the kids and show them what we do,” Sosa said.

Said Saucedo: “A lot of them already knew how to fight, how to box. It’s awesome to come and work with them.”

Berchelt-Sosa will headline a world championship doubleheader (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), as Jerwin Ancajas will defend his IBF junior bantamweight world title against Jonathan Rodriguez in the co-feature. Saucedo will take on Rod Salka in an eight-rounder (ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET) in his first bout since being knocked out by Maurice Hooker in a bid for the WBO 140-pound world title last November.

As Berchelt prepare for Saturday’s outdoor fistic extravaganza, this is what he had to say:

“This will be the next classic in the Mexico versus Puerto Rico rivalry. We are two fighters who always bring excitement to the ring, and this Saturday will be no different. There are many great fights for me in the future, but I know I need 100 percent focus to beat a great former world champion like Sosa.”

“The fans who watch this fight will be the winners. When you have two warriors in the ring, great things happen. I refuse to disappoint the fans. I fight for them.”

“I had a great training camp in Hermosillo, Mexico, with my trainer, Alfredo Caballero. We prepared to fight the very best version of Jason Sosa. After the fight, we can discuss the future.”

“It is no secret that Oscar Valdez is a fight I want. He is at 130 pounds now, and if we both win our next fights, let’s make it happen. There is no hesitation on my end. Lomachenko is another fight I’d gladly accept. I’m a fighter, and I want to fight the very best.”

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

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.”

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.

Listen below:

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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