Vasiliy Lomachenko is still trying to wrap his head around his latest defeat.
Losing the second fight of his career to Orlando Salido was a learning experience. His defeat against Teofimo Lopez was humbling but coming up short against Devin Haney is something that the 35-year-old simply refuses to accept.
There’s something about becoming an undisputed world champion that Lomachenko loves. In a sport filled with secondary titlists, winning all four major world titles puts the debate to bed in terms of who’s the man in a given division. Haney, 24, wiped the floor with George Kambosos Jr. to defend his undisputed throne. Lomachenko, shortly after, was given his chance.
It was 12 hard-fought rounds of subtle chess moves and Mano e Mano brawling. The Ukrainian, by and large, believed that he had done enough to usurp Haney. That is, until he heard the final decision from the judges sitting ringside.
Incredulous over a clash that he believes he clearly won, Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) is still holding out hope that Haney will grant him an immediate rematch...unlikely.
One dream might be officially over with, but that doesn’t mean Lomachenko doesn’t have a ton of options. Frank Martin, after taking care of business against Artem Harutyunyan a few weeks ago, is another highly-ranked contender with Lomachenko on his mind.
His war wounds are a bit more noticeable than before. Age, after all, is creeping on the former two-time Olympic gold medalist, but he’s shown that he isn’t eschewing anyone while continuing to compete at the highest level.
It might come across as perplexing, but Lomachenko doesn’t view his tattered record as imperfect. In his mind, he’s beaten every fighter that’s faced him in the ring, despite three defeats. All of those shortcomings were close decisions but for Martin, he doesn’t believe that Lomachenko will be allowed to live in his own fictitious world if they fought. The power of Lomachenko's opponents has never been pertinent or played an overwhelming role in how he performs. With that said, Martin is fully convinced that if Lomachenko met him on the dance floor, he’d be wheeled out of the ring on a stretcher.
“Knockout,” Martin told ESNEWS when asked how a matchup between himself and Lomachenko plays out. “Me knocking him out.”