Lomachenko Media Workout Interview!
By Kid Hersh (WBA)
Vasyl “High Tech” Lomachenko (10-1, 8KO’s) will be challenging World Boxing Association (WBA) World Lightweight Champion Jorge “Niño de Oro” Linares (44-3, 27KO’s) at Madison Square Garden on May 12th. The fight is one of the best matchups in boxing and is highly anticipated by the fans who eagerly await the ESPN+ broadcast.
Vasyl Lomachenko held a media workout day from the Boxing Laboratory gym in his home base of Oxnard, California, where he sat down with members of the press to field questions alongside his manager (and interpreter) Egis Klimas.
Lomachenko is coming off of his best victory to date, handing Guillermo Rigondeaux his first defeat as a professional. Lomachenko dominated the fight for six rounds and caused Rigondeaux to retire before the start of the seventh round, coining the nickname “No Mas Chenko” for the Ukrainian that has caused an inordinate amount of fighters to retire rather than continue in the ring.
When he was asked about his “No Mas Chenko” nickname and if he planned on making Linares quit, Lomachenko said he “Really doesn’t think about that,” but that “he does everything he can to win the fight,” additionally adding that “A win is a win.”
Lomachenko fully understands the gravity of the fight before him, where he could potentially nab his third world title in a third weight class in what figures to be his toughest test and most important fight to date.
“In my eleventh professional fight I am fighting for a third world title,” Lomachenko said with pride, adding “I may be the only person to have ever done that.”
When Lomachenko spoke of his accolades both amateur and professional he spoke with a tinge of pride in his voice. Everyone knows that he has always aimed for the top level in the sport but he claims that he never had a specific role model he attached himself to, only saying that he understood the top level fighters and knew what he had to do to achieve that level.
“I asked my father when I was six years old what the best was; Olympic Champion or World Champion,” said Lomachenko, with his father Anatoly responding to his young and ambitious son that Olympic Champion was the best in the world. To which Vasyl simply responded, “I will train for that.”
How high can Lomachenko go in weight classes is a hot topic and he curbed the talk of him going to welterweight or even super lightweight, saying that 135lbs or a 137lb catchweight was likely his best fighting weight with anything above that being too much.
The final pressing media question of note was of course on the future for him and which fighters he would like to face whether it be Manny Pacquiao or Mikey Garcia. Lomchenko particularly perked up to the mention of Garcia, saying “I like this fight, I want this fight in the future.”
Linares vs. Lomachenko and Adames vs. Barrera will be televised live and exclusively at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and undercard bouts will stream live on the ESPN App beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Golden Boy Promotions, Teiken Promotions, and Madison Square Garden, tickets for the Linares vs. Lomachenko world championship card are ON SALE NOW. Priced at $506, $406, $306, $206, $106, and $56, including facility fees, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.
Rising Stars and Olympians Headline
Linares vs. Lomachenko Undercard
May 12th at Madison Square Garden!
(April 16th) On a night where VASILIY ‘Hi-Tech’ LOMACHENKO will challenge WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight champion JORGE ‘El Niño de Oro’ LINARES for division supremacy, a slew of prospects and contenders will look to steal the show May 12 at Madison Square Garden.
Welterweight contender Carlos ‘Caballo Bronco’ Adames (13-0, 11 KOs) will make his Top Rank debut in the 10-round, ESPN-televised co-feature against Alejandro Barrera (27-4, 17 KOs); Irish sensation Michael Conlan (6-0, 5 KOs) will see action in an eight-round featherweight contest against Ibon Larrinaga (10-1, 2 KOs); Jamel Herring (16-2, 9 KOs) takes on the durable Juan Pablo Sanchez (29-15, 14 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight bout; top lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez (8-0, 6 KOs) faces veteran Vitor Freitas (13-1, 7 KOs) of Salvador, Brazil, in a scheduled eight-rounder; female boxing sensation Mikaela Mayer (4-0, 3 KOs) will face Baby Nansen (6-2-1, 0 KOs) of Auckland, New Zealand, in a six-round lightweight fight; and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Fazliddin ‘Fayzi’ Gaibnazarov (3-0, 1 KO) returns in a scheduled eight-rounder against Jesus Silveyra (8-5-2, 3 KOs) of Monterrey, Mexico.
Adames, from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, carries a big punch in his 5-foot-11-inch frame. After a lengthy amateur career, Adames turned pro on July 24, 2015 and knocked out 10 of his first 11 opponents. He stopped 2004 Venezuelan Olympian Patrick Lopez in the fourth round in April 2016, and in February 2017, he scored a second-round TKO over 2004 Venezuelan Olympian Jean Carlos Prada.
His most impressive pro win to date was his near-shutout 11-round unanimous decision over former International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior middleweight world champion Carlos Molina on July 26, 2017.
“I have a message for all the boxing fans: Set your alarms and mark your calendars for May 12 because I am going for the knockout,” Adames said. “I am very happy to be debuting with Top Rank. This will be a great step in my career, and on May 12, I will put the welterweight division on notice.”
Conlan, a 2016 Irish Olympian, returns to his home away from home. The Belfast native will be making his fourth appearance in New York as a pro, and his debut at the big arena at Madison Square Garden. He last fought on St. Patrick’s Day, helping pack nearly 5,000 fans into the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Conlan used a sustained body attack to knock out David Berna in the second round.
“It felt great to be in there against Berna,” Conlan said. “The fans turned out and the atmosphere was simply amazing. I wish the fight had gone on longer, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Herring, from Coram, N.Y., will be making his Madison Square Garden debut. A former U.S. Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq as a field electrician, he captained the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team and turned pro later that year. Herring won his first 15 pro bouts before suffering a 10th-round TKO to Denis Shafikov on July 2, 2016. Following a third-round TKO win over Art Hovhannisyan, he dropped a close unanimous decision against Ladarius Miller on Aug. 22, 2017. Since the Miller defeat, Herring has changed his team, signing with Top Rank and Brian ‘Bomac’ McIntyre’s B&B Boxing. Trained by McIntyre, Esau Dieguez, and Red Spikes, Herring has recently served as a sparring partner for pound-for-pound elite TERENCE ‘Bud’ CRAWFORD.
“I’m happy to be coming back home because I haven’t fought in New York since 2013. To be on a great card like this, it’s a huge honor,” Herring said. “With my new trainers and Bud, it’s a blessing. Bud wants to see me do better and succeed. He criticizes me as a lot, but I take it as constructive criticism. It’s a great feeling being around somebody with that much experience who also wants to see you succeed.”
López burst onto the professional scene following an illustrious amateur career that saw him compete for his parents’ birthplace, Honduras, at the 2016 Olympics. He made his professional debut on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas undercard on Nov. 5, 2016 and went 6-0 with five knockouts in 2017. In his last bout, on Feb. 3, he overcame a cut over his left eye to defeat Juan Pablo Sanchez via six-round unanimous decision.
The last time López fought at Madison Square Garden, on May 20, 2017, he knocked out Ronald Rivas in the second round with a single left hook.
“What better way to come back in 2018 than on a card like this,” López said. “We all know what happened last time I fought at The Garden, and I look forward to doing it again. I know what the atmosphere is going to be like, and I’m just excited to display my skills on a big platform.”
Mayer, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, last fought March 10 on the Oscar Valdez vs. Scott Quigg undercard, scoring a knockout in 35 seconds over Maria Semertzoglou. The Los Angeles native will be making her second New York appearance, having fought at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden last Dec. 9.
“I’m looking forward to competing in the Mecca of Boxing again and alongside my fellow Olympians,” Mayer said. “I plan on giving the fans another exciting knockout. See you in New York City!”
Gaibnazarov, a two-time Olympian, captured a gold medal for Uzbekistan at the 2016 Olympics (141 pounds). Gaibnazarov turned pro in April of last year and immediately began fighting in scheduled eight-rounders. In his last ring appearance, on Sept. 22, 2017, he won an eight-round decision over Victor Rosas.
Lightweight Supremacy Is On the Line
When Linares and Lomachenko Square Off
On Top Rank on ESPN Madison Square Garden May 12th!
(March 21st) In a battle of two of the world’s pound-for-pound best, JORGE “El Niño de Oro” LINARES will defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) and Ring Magazine Lightweight titles against VASILIY “Hi-Tech” LOMACHENKO on Saturday, May 12, at “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, Madison Square Garden. Linares vs. Lomachenko will be televised live and exclusively at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Golden Boy Promotions, Teiken Promotions, and Madison Square Garden, tickets will go on sale to the general public at 12 p.m. EST on Friday, March 23. Priced at $506, $406, $306, $206, $106, and $56, including facility fees, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.
“Jorge has established himself as the world’s best lightweight by taking on any and all comers over his storied career, but a win on May 12 would put him on an entirely different level,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “We fully understand that Lomachenko is universally seen as the best fighter on the planet, but he’s never faced anyone with the size and skill of Jorge, and I am confident that he will retain his WBA and Ring Magazine world championships. As this fight makes clear, I’m 100 percent committed to giving fans the fights they want to see and will work with anyone to accomplish that goal.”
“This is the fight that boxing fans wanted. This will be a super fight between two of the best champions,” Linares said. “Not only will I demonstrate why I’m the best lightweight in the world, but also that I’m one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I have the speed, skill and power to win this battle. This May 12, Vasiliy Lomachenko will bow down to ‘King’ Jorge.”
“This fight marks a significant step forward for one of the greatest fighters we’ve seen, Vasiliy Lomachenko, as he goes up in weight once again to fight the best lightweight in the world, Jorge Linares,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank. “I want to thank everyone involved for making this happen, particularly Peter Nelson of HBO and the Golden Boy team, whose cooperation made this fight possible. This demonstrates that promoters and networks, when they work together for the good of everyone, can accomplish so very much.”
“We are very excited about the fight. It should be a great one. Fans from around the world have been waiting for Jorge and me to fight,” Lomachenko said. “We appreciate the work Top Rank did to put this fight together, and thanks to the television networks that helped make it happen. I am looking forward to May 12 in New York to make my debut in the big arena at Madison Square Garden.”
“Linares and Lomachenko are two of the world’s best fighters,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN’s Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling. “This is a prime example of the highest quality fights that will air exclusively on ESPN’s platforms through the combination of Top Rank and ESPN.”
Linares (44-3, 27 KOs), a 15-year pro from Barinas, Venezuela, is a three-weight world champion who is riding a 13-bout unbeaten streak dating back to 2012. He captured his first world title in 2007, when he scored a 10th-round stoppage over Oscar Larios to win the vacant WBC Featherweight crown. He defended that title once before moving up in weight, winning the vacant WBA Super Featherweight title on November 28, 2008, with a fifth-round TKO over Whyber Garcia.
Three stoppage defeats from 2009-2012 halted Linares’ momentum, but he has since re-established his place among the sport’s very best. He is a boxing globetrotter, as he won the WBC Lightweight world title in 2014 against Javier Prieto in Japan, and defended it against Kevin Mitchell in England and Ivan Cano in Venezuela.
After vacating the WBC Lightweight title due to injury, Linares snatched the WBA Lightweight title by traveling to enemy territory in Manchester, England, and earning a unanimous decision over Anthony Crolla on September 24, 2016. Six months later, he returned to Manchester and won a near-shutout decision over Crolla in their rematch. He last fought on January 27, scoring a wide unanimous decision win over Mercito Gesta at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
Lomachenko has already conquered the featherweight and super featherweight divisions as a professional. Now, the two-time Olympic gold medalist is ready to put the lightweight division on notice. From Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, Lomachenko has won seven consecutive fights by stoppage, including four consecutive corner stoppages. Last December, he forced fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux to bow out following the sixth round. After the fight, Lomachenko quipped that his new nickname should be ‘No Mas-chenko.’ The Rigondeaux fight capped a 2017 in which Lomachenko earned ‘Fighter of the Year’ honors from ESPN and the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). He also scored TKO victories over Jason Sosa and Miguel Marriaga that year, forcing corner stoppages in fights he was dominating.
The ‘No Mas-chenko’ legend began on November 26, 2016, when the previously unbeaten Nicholas Walters stayed on his stool following the seventh round. Lomachenko captured the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super Featherweight title earlier that year with a one-punch, fifth-round knockout of Roman Martinez.
Lomachenko, who went an astonishing 396-1 in the amateur ranks, tied a boxing record by winning a world title in his third pro bout. On June 21, 2014, he defeated Gary Russell, Jr. for the vacant WBO Featherweight title, equaling the mark set by Thailand’s Saensak Muangsurin, who won the WBC Super Lightweight crown on July 15, 1975, with a third-round knockout of Spain’s Perico Fernandez.
Lomachenko vs Linares
Set for May 12th Madison Square Garden!
(March 12th) RIt's done! Oxnard, California, based Russian World Boxing Organization World Super Featherweight Champion Vasyl “HI Tech” Lomachenko move up to challenge Tokyo, Japan, based Venezuelan World Boxing Association World Lightweight Titlist, Jorge “Golden Boy” Linares, May 12th LIVE on ESPN from Madison Square Garden in New York!
The 30-year-old Lomachenko, 10-1, 8Ko’s a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist sporting a superb amateur record of 396-1 unsuccessfully challenging then former IBF and WBO Featherweight Champion Orlando “Siri” Salido for the vacant World Boxing Organization World Featherweight Title in just his second pro fight.
Lomachenko capturing the WBO strap in his second attempt June 21st, 2014 scoring a majority decision over then unbeaten Gary Russell Jr. (24-0) with Salido having come in overweight, versus Lomachenko three months earlier.
Making eight straight title defenses over the likes of Suriya Tatakhun, Gamalier Rodriguez, Romulo Koasicha, Roman Martinez, Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa and Miguel Marriaga the common top three “Pound for Pound” champion Lomachenko facing his possibly toughest test to date comes in off a one sided six round breakdown of Cuba’s highly touted Guillermo Rigondeaux his last time out December 9th in his second appearance at Madison Square Garden.
The 32-year-old veteran Linares, 443-, 27Ko’s reconstructing his career after 2011-12 back to back TKO losses to Antonio DeMarco and Sergio Thompson respectively has out together a seven-bout victory run including wins over Hector Velazquez, David Rodela, Berman Sanchez, Francisco Contreras, Nihito Arakawa and Ira Terry before claiming the vacant World Boxing Council World Lightweight Title with a fourth-round knockout of Javier Prieto December 30th, 2014.
Recording title defenses over Kevin Mitchell and Ivan Cano Linares banking back to back 2016 – 17 defense wins over UK’s Anthony Crolla, a tough fought split decision title holder over Britain’s Luke Campbell, Linares enters of his sixth title defense a one-sided unanimous decision over Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta, January 27th at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
The done the official announcement for the Top Rank / Golden Boy co-promotion, undercard and ticket information is expected to be announced soon.
The Linares / Lomachenko, ESPN LIVE broadcast is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm ET - 5:00pm PT as to not run against Golden Boy Promotions replay of Canelo / Golovkin on HBO starting at 10:00pm ET - 7:00pm PT.