The career-defining moments of Vasyl Lomachenko's boxing career

Widely considered one of the best of his generation Vasiliy Lomachenko will look to become the undisputed world champion, something that has alluded him his career as faces Devin Haney on ESPN+ pay-per-view, on May 20th, from the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Lomachenko did a lot of the heavy lifting in unifying the belts for Teofimo Lopez, George Kambosos Jnr., and Devin Haney to reap the benefits as Lomachenko won three of the four major world titles before losing to Lopez, who had captured the IBF lightweight title. Now comes Lomachenko’s final act. The aging legend, who won a world title in three professional fights, who no somehow is 35 years old, will enter the first fight of his professional career as a betting underdog. 

As we get ready for this weekend’s major fight, let’s look back at some of the career-defining moments of Lomachenko’s career.

Salido Fight

After winning two gold medals in back-to-back Olympic classes, Vasiliy Lomachenko challenged for Orlando Salido’s WBO featherweight world title in only his second fight. Salido came in two pounds overweight at 128 lbs., and used every veteran tactic to gain an advantage including a liberal discretion of low blows which Salido used to his advantage. 

Despite a late rally from Lomachenko, who nearly stopped Salido in the 12th round, Lomachenko was unable to capture a world title in his second professional fight, yet the belt was vacated as Salido failed to make weight despite being a champion. 

Gary Russell Jr.

Gary Russell Jr. was one of the most promising boxers of his era, but never seemingly could fight enough to get the respect he deserved. Russell Jr took a very slow road to the top of the division, the opposite of Lomachenko entirely. Lomachenko crossed promotional lines as he voyaged to Showtime and a card promoted by Golden Boy Promotions to fight on the undercard of Robert Guerrero versus Yoshihiro Kamegai.

Despite the accolades of Lomachenko’s career, Lomachenko entered the fight with a record of 1-1, 1 KO against one of the best featherweights of the era, putting his career on the line for a world title in only his third fight. With the vacant WBO featherweight world title on the line, it was Lomachenko’s foot speed that gave him a narrow edge in a very underrated fight of this time period. 

The “No-Mas”Chenko Era

Lomachenko riffled off a slew of stoppages during his prime that saw opponents refuse to answer the bell. This run of four straight corner stoppages began when Nicholas Walters refused to answer the bell for the eighth round. 

Walters was a fearsome puncher from Jamaica, who had one of the most intimidating media workouts ever in the build-up to his KO win over Nonito Donaire. Walters was at an all-time high and this bout felt like a mega-fight at the time, yet Lomachenko dominated Walters to the point, Walters didn’t want to continue. 

Seven years later, Walters has only fought once and it was in March of this year. Lomachenko would then stop Jason Sosa, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Miguel Marriaga in the corner as well during the stretch. The Rigondeaux was especially impressive given both were two-time Olympic gold medalists. 


Lomachenko made history again in 2018 when he defeated Jorge Linares to become the fastest fighter to become a three-division world champion. He defeated WBA lightweight world champion Jorge Linares in front of 10,429 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. With the win, Lomachenko won a world title in three different divisions in only twelve professional fights. 

The fight saw Lomachenko have to get off the deck when he was dropped by a right hand by Jorge Linares in the sixth round, only to rally back and stop Linares with a body shot in round ten. The fight was split on the cards at the time of the stoppage with one judge having it for Linares, one having it for Lomachenko, and one having it a draw. 

This is Lomachenko’s most iconic performance so far as a professional.


Spiritual opposites. Teofimo Lopez is loud and willing to call his shot, and Lomachenko is very stoic and never engages in word fighting. The two were built for each other. Teofimo Lopez entered the pro ranks calling for two fights, Teofimo Lopez, and his amateur rival, Karlos Balderas. As Balderas’ profile began to lessen the focus was strictly Lomachenko. On a Lomachenko undercard in New York City, New York, Lopez announced that he was here to “takeover”, this was a change from his previous moniker of ‘against all odds’. 

Lomachenko seemed annoyed by his lack of humility of Lopez as the tension between the two seemed real, and in a post-COVID-19 world, this was the first real big fight - as the fight was contested in the Top Rank Bubble, a quarantined ballroom in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

What we saw was the drama we all had hoped for. Lopez was the bigger man, and won the early rounds, when Lomachenko felt comfortable Lomachenko started winning round after round until Lopez valiantly fought back and won the final round. In the end, Teofimo Lopez became a star of his victory over Lomachenko.

Lomachenko has since won four fights but has been looking to regain his spot he somewhat lost when being defeated by Teofimo Lopez.

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