Vasyl Lomachenko ( 8-1, 6 KOs ) will defend the WBO Super Featherweight title against Miguel Marriaga ( 25-2, 21 KOs ) of Colombia on August 5th, 2017 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California USA.

Pound for Pound Recognition

Since losing to Orlando Salido in his second professional bout, Vasyl Lomachenko has been a dominant force. In his last three bouts, he’s made former champions Roman Martinez, Nicholas Walters and Jason Sosa look like beginners. Loma was looking forward to a rematch with Salido but when negotiations fell off, they settled with Marriaga because they couldn’t find a taker.

The 29-year old Lomachenko is a southpaw who stands at 5-6 and has a reach of 65 inches. Lomachenko has won his last five bouts by stoppage and he will be fighting in California, his adopted hometown. This is his third title defense since November and he’s still looking for that pound for pound recognition.

Tough and Aggressive

Miguel Marriaga is coming off a loss to Oscar Valdez and he also lost to Nicholas Walters in the past. Despite that, the Colombian is a tough customer whose aggressive style can give Lomachenko some troubles. Remember that Lomachenko was bullied by a very aggressive Salido during the former’s only pro defeat. If Marriaga can duplicate that attack, he may catch Loma off guard.

Marriaga has not lost back to back fights before and he is hoping to avoid that. He throws with a purpose and he is fundamentally sound. He’s got a good chin, as he withstood 12 rounds with Walters and Oscar Valdez. He’s won seven of his last nine fights by knockout and he’s looking to add the biggest name to his resume. However, he’s facing serious odds against Lomachenko.

A Longshot

Lomachenko is a -10000 favorite here while Marriaga is a +1600 underdog. Many fans are calling this a mismatch, but don’t sleep on Marriaga despite him being a longshot. The Columbian has a two inch height and three inches reach advantage over the two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko. So don’t expect Loma to get into a slugfest with Marriaga.

Meanwhile, Miguel Marriaga will use his aggressive style to try and push Lomachenko back to the ropes and put him on the defensive. While he may have more punching power than Lomachenko, there is no way Marriaga can win this if Lomachenko gets into offensive groove.

The Prediction

Marriaga must fire first and must set a frenetic pace. If he does both, he will put himself in a position where he can pull off this major upset. That’s easier said than done, though. We know what Lomachenko can do inside the ring. We know his ring IQ, intelligence, footwork and hand speed.

Given Marriaga’s reputation, this is guaranteed to be an entertaining fight. Marriaga has everything to gain and nothing to lose. But beating Lomachenko in this weight class at this stage in time is almost impossible. If he won’t be fooled into a brawl, he’s going to make this look like a boxing clinic. We’re picking Vasyl Lomachenko to win on points. A knockout can’t be ruled out if Marriaga becomes desperate and starts throwing caution to the wind.

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