Former two division world champion Ricky Hatton believes Vasiliy Lomachenko is back in full force.
Last Saturday night in Las Vegas, Lomachenko bounced back with a dominating stoppage win over the usually durable Masayoshi Nakatani.
It was Lomachenko's first bout since losing a twelve round unanimous decision back in October of 2020, when he faced Teofimo Lopez in their lightweight unification.
Hatton feels Lomachenko may have overlooked Lopez a little bit - which contributed to his lackluster start in that fight.
Lomachenko gave away the better part of the first six rounds before he picked up the pace in the second half of the contest.
Hatton views the twice-beaten boxer as the undeniable dark horse of a loaded lightweight division.
"I think Vasiliy Lomachenko is still very much the force he once was. He was winning these fights with absolute ease and I think when Teofimo Lopez came along, I think he just took his eye off the ball and took it a little bit too lightly because he had been winning his previous fights so comfortably," Hatton told Metro.co.uk.
"He finished the fight strongly against Lopez, I think he started in the first few rounds like he had just got out of bed. He found himself realizing, ‘Jesus, this guy is better than I thought’. And when he decided to put his foot down it was too late. Let’s have it right, he was a three-weight world champion after 12 fights and he was winning fights with such ease he just took Lopez lightly. And that would have hurt him. He was regarded by so many as the best pound-for-pound fighter around. I think he will come back better than ever.
"Because he got beat by Lopez, people have forgotten about him a bit. You look at how many fights he lost as an amateur – just one that he went onto avenge – and how many titles he won after just a handful of fights. Can we really blame him, with the success he’s had, for just taking his eye off the ball? Of course we can’t. I think he is the dark horse of the division. Everyone is talking about Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney but I think Loma is still the one to watch."