The most interesting fight this Saturday night at the Stub Hub Center has to be Vasyl Lomachenko (1-1) versus Gary Russell Jr (24-0) for the vacant WBO featherweight title. In boxing, styles make fights. As far as Lomachenko and Russell, both are fortunate enough to have styles that translated from amateur to pro very well. However, for all the things they have in common, their careers paths couldn’t be more different.
For Lomachenko it was the fast track. His promoter Top Rank got him a title shot in only his second professional fight. This will be his third fight and yet again, he will be fighting for a world title. On the other hand, Russell’s career has gone at a turtle’s pace. Most of his recent fights were scheduled against opponents that were still to be determined. When the name of the opponent was announced it usually was a no name fighter and not really a step forward for Russell’s career. Not to mention in July 2013 team Russell turned down a title shot against the then champion Daniel Ponce De Leon.
One of the main factors in this fight will be experience. Both fighters have extensive and decorated amateur careers but neither has a professional resumé that is worthy of a title shot. However, I think we have learned more about Lomachenko in only 2 pro bouts than we have in Russell’s 24 fight resumé. We know Lomachenko can take a punch and can dish out his own. He had a very close fight with Orlando Salido in which Lomachenko had Salido hurt badly late in the fight and we all know Salido throws rock solid shots. Look at what Salido has done to Juanma Lopez twice. On the flip side, Russell has yet to face a dangerous opponent that could hurt him. Moreover, let us not forget Russell has one of, if not THE fastest hands in the world. If the saying “Speed is kills,” is true, then Russell has the capability to hurt anyone he steps into the ring with, including the lavished amateur, Lomachenko.
The question now, is Russell’s speed going to be too much for Lomachenko to handle or will Lomachenko be able to time and counter him? We will find out on Saturday. Who do you fans having winning this one? Drop us a line below, thanks for reading and being a fan of the sweet science.