Now that a fight against Nicholas Walters is off the table, WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko is moving on.
As confirmed by Promoter Bob Arum, Lomachenko will move up in weight to challenge WBO Super Featherweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez on June 11th at the Theater in Madison Square Garden, New York. The bout will headline a Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend championship card put up by Arum’s Top Rank Boxing Promotions.
Lomachenko’s move comes after negotiations for a potential mega-buck showdown with former WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walter fell off the shelve after the latter reportedly kept on asking more money to sign the contract. It was even reported that Lomachenko wanted to fight Walters so badly that he offered his opponent an extra $300,000 from his fight purse. Still, that didn’t make Walters put the pen on the paper and so Loma is moving on from that.
With no big fight left at featherweight, moving up in weight was logical for the Ukrainian amateur boxing legend. His opponent is three time world champion Martinez who is coming off a pair of exciting bouts with Orlando Salido. It can be recalled that it was Salido who spoiled Lomachenko’s first attempt at a professional world title when the former beat Lomachenko by split decision on March 1st, 2014. Lomachenko was then only fighting in his second professional fight ( although the bout was for the WBO featherweight belt which Lomachenko later won against Gary Russell Jr. in his third pro bout.
The Greatest Amateur
Lomachenko is regarded as the greatest amateur boxer of all-time, having finished with an amateur record of 396-1. His only defeat was to Albert Selimov at the gold medal match of the 2007 World Championships. Lomachenko has since avenged the defeat by beating Selimov twice. Lomachenko won gold in the 2009 and 2011 World Championship plus the gold medal during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Since winning the WBO featherweight title, Loma has made three successful title defenses, 2 by KO.
Martinez meanwhile lost the WBO Super Featherweight title twice, to Ricky Burns and Mikey Garcia but he’s won it back against different opponents. He is coming off a split draw against Orlando Salido last September in a bout that was a rematch of their April of 2014 contest where Martinez won the WBO Super Featherweight title a third time in his career.