Boxing: Lomachenko Captures First Title in Third Fight
By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | June 23, 2014 4:05 PM EST
Vasyl Lomachenko garnered the WBO featherweight title in an impressive majority decision over Gary Russell in just the third fight of his professional career.
Yahoo! Sports reports that the win matched the fastest ever to reach the feat which was accomplished by Thailand's Saensak Muangsurin. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was able to reach the feat after failing in his previous bid, losing a split decision to Orlando Salido in San Antonio, Texas last March 1.
This time around he was not to be denied of glory. He used an Lomachenko an array of angles and punches, speed and solid defense in an impressive performance against Russell, who many considered to be a future star of the sport.
"I'm very, very happy, very excited to be a world champion," said Lomachenko (2-1), who moved on from the amateurs after amassing a record of 392-1 and two Olympic gold medals.
Russell was aggressive early but most of his attacks were thwarted by a fundamentally sound Ukranian who dominated the later rounds with serious blows and showing great strength and resolve to pin the opposition before the final bell.
Judges Max DeLuca and Pat Russell scored the fight 116-112 for Lomachenko, but Lisa Giampa saw a 114-114 draw. The Associated Press scored it 118-110 for Lomachenko.
Russell (24-1) mapped out a sound plan which he has used since turning professional but his lack of experience against heavily talented fighters showed against the Ukranian where he landed a dismal 10% of his total 806 punches, showing his inaccuracy and inability to handle the power and size of Lomachecko. The eventual champion, on the other hand landed 31 percent of his punches, including 43 percent of his power shots. He connected with 57 power shots to the body, according to CompuBox.
"I thought it was a fair decision," said Russell, who tasted his first defeat in 25 outings including 14 knockouts. "I didn't stick to my game plan like I should have."
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