By Jake Swinburn @SwinburnJake
It is now the case that when Vasyl Lomachenko fights, we are not looking to see whether or not he wins, we are looking to see how he wins. This was even the case when ‘Loma’ took on the incredible talent of Jorge Linares.
L[inares presented more than a credible challenge to Lomachenko, and yet before the fight there were few who seriously backed ‘King Jorge’ to go home the victor.
So I will get this out of the way early, I do not believe that Pedraza represents a challenge to Lomachenko. I expect Loma to deal with him – in fact, I expect him to deal with him comfortably and in style.
This is no way a slight on Pedraza’s ability. He is a superb competitor, he is a title holder, he is strong and has mixed it at a good level. Nobody is expecting him to win though, in fact I would wager that most people do not expect him to go the distance.
This win may do a hell of a lot for Lomachenko’s career
The fact that a title holder with only one loss on his record should be discounted so easily may seem strange to some, but the fact of the matter is that he was dealt with relatively easily by Gervonta Davis, who himself is a top-class fighter – and most people would say Lomachenko has an ever greater arsenal at his disposal than has Davis.
Comparisons between Lomachenko and Davis are likely after this fight, with many feeling that the two are on a collision course to meet at some point in the near future – when Gervonta sorts his ongoing issues out, sharpens his tools and feels that he is back to his very best.
Anyway, I am not here to preview Lomachenko vs Davis, or at least, not yet anyway. So, how do I see Lomachenko vs Pedraza going?
In short, I can see it being a one-sided, relatively brutal display of dominance from Lomachenko. Pedraza seems to me to be the perfect opponent for Lomachenko to display his awe-inspiring skillset on.
I expect the speed, power and above all, movement of Lomachenko to bamboozle his man, as it has so many times before.
I can see Lomachenko landing clean to the body and head early in the contest, breaking Pedraza down round-by-round, and ultimately winning in the middle rounds.
If I was a betting man, although I do not openly advocate such things, I would put my money on Lomachenko to win in rounds 4-6.
Having predicted such a one-sided fight, it seems strange to follow up with this comment, but this win may do a hell of a lot for Lomachenko’s career.
Although Pedraza may be something of a step down from Linares, Lomachenko’s last opponent, in terms of both stature and ability, the fact that Lomachenko wants his belt cannot be underestimated.
In recent interviews, he has addressed a number of questions about his brand, if you will. That is to say, he has addressed the fact that he does not feel he is well known outside of hardcore boxing fans.
I am not too sure whether or not that is actually the case. However, numbers impress casual fans and the more belts that Lomachenko can collect, the bigger his fanbase will be and the more money that he will make when he enters another ‘mega-fight’, be that the fight with Davis, as previously mentioned – or someone else.
The winner of Lomachenko vs Pedraza will then be the WBA/WBO lightweight champion. Which should, in theory, line them up for a contest with the WBC/IBF champion Mikey Garcia. Although Garcia appears to be keen on taking a different route.
To summarise, I have no idea what will be next for the victor and at this moment I do not really care. I am however sure about one thing, the victor will be Lomachenko. I expect Lomachenko to look good, as always, and finish his man inside the distance – granted this is not the boldest prediction that I have ever made.