Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla - Preview & Prediction
AT A GLANCE
When is Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla? Saturday 13th April, 2019 - 04:00 (UK)
Where is Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla? Staples Center, Los Angeles
What channel is Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla? Sky Sports Main Event
Where can I stream Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the fight via Sky Go
Are tickets still available for Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla?
Anthony Crolla steps up to take on the phenom and current pound-for-pound king, Vasyl Lomachenko, with the WBA, WBO and The Ring lightweight titles on the line. The Mancunian heads to Los Angeles for the biggest fight of his career, but in order to snatch the titles, he will have to pull off one of the biggest upsets in recent times.
Lomachenko only has a blossoming record of 12-1 after making his debut in 2013 but he entered the scene as an incredibly decorated world champion. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist with a plethora of other World and European gold medals and in under five years he became the fastest boxer to become a three-division champion when he defeated Jorge Linares back in May last year.
Linares was in fact the man who dethroned Crolla, earning a unanimous decision to snatch his WBA title and repeated the feat in their rematch. Brushing himself off, Crolla went on to earn three straight decision wins against Ricky Burns, Edson Ramirez and Daud Yordan to set up this fight with Lomachenko but many feel he is simply being led to slaughter with odds as low as 1/100 for a Lomachenko win.
Let’s break down the stats and analyse why the Ukrainian is so heavily favoured and how he has become the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Crolla has amassed 43 professional fights and is the former WBO and WBA lightweight champion, but what you can’t see here is Lomachenko’s wealth of experience. Although Lomachenko has only 13 fights to his name, he was thrown in at the deep end and has fought top contenders. Let’s take a look at their last ten fights:
Lomachenko suffered his first loss in his second professional fight which was against Orlando Salido for the vacant WBO featherweight title. This was a great learning experience and an important lesson in the professional game and since, he has gone on to win every fight in dominant fashion.
Crolla on the other hand has only won six of his last ten, and he suffered the fifth and sixth defeats of his career against Jorge Linares. He lost his WBA and The Ring lightweight titles in the process but Linares is an exceptional and experienced fighter in his prime and also gave Lomachenko his only real test since his loss.
Crolla has been at the top of the game for years and Lomachenko has only had 13 professional fights, but what makes his record so impressive is the calibre of fighters he has faced. Let’s compare all his opponents with Crolla’s last 13:
As you can see, they have both fought very experienced fighters with impressive records, which should be a given when fighting for titles. Crolla has fought slightly more experienced fighters but Lomachenko has fought fighters with an average win percentage of 91%, meaning every opponent he has faced has had very few/no losses on their record before fighting him.
Lomachenko has not just become the pound-for-pound king by beating the top contenders in the division, it is how he has beaten them. He appears to operate on a different frame-rate with near flawless technique and movement. You can see by his total punch stats in his last five fights just how dominant he has been:
The Ukrainian has out-struck and outclassed all of these top contenders with Jorge Linares being the only fighter to cause him any trouble. The former champion put up one hell of a fight and even knocked Lomachenko down in the sixth round but ‘Hi-Tech’ dusted himself off to finish the Venezuelan in the tenth round.
What has made Lomachenko so imperious is not just his attack but his defence as illustrated in the stats of his last five fights. Besides Linares, his opposition struggled to land anything meaningful. They throw a lot but Lomachenko’s fluid and effortless movement has made him incredibly hard to hit which Crolla will be well aware of.
Along with Lomachenko and Linares, Crolla is at the top of the pile but he will have to pull out something special to bridge the gap. Winning a decision is extremely unlikely so you would think ‘Million Dolla’ needs to put Lomachenko away. The Ukrainian’s defence is so good it is hard to see him getting caught but Crolla is renowned for his body shots and if he can land one to the liver, it could change the direction of the fight or at least make Lomachenko lower his hands to defend and leave his jaw exposed.
That said, Lomachenko is the best for a reason and as good as Crolla is, it would be a shock to see him pull off the upset. So, is Lomachenko going to cruise to a decision or can he finish Crolla?
Below is the average fight time of their last 13 fights:
Crolla has only been finished once in his career and that was all the way back in 2012 against Derry Matthews. He is incredibly durable but he has to be aggressive and attempt to put Lomachenko on the back foot. He cannot afford to let his foe get comfortable but over 12 rounds it will be a case of how much damage he absorbs.
Crolla will hang in there with the champion but is likely to taste the difference in class as the rounds fall but ‘Million Dolla’ has enough class to make it to the bell.
Prediction: Lomachenko via Decision