Anthony Crolla Looking for Epic Upset Against Vasiliy Lomachenko in L.A.
Pound-for-pound boxing king Vasiliy Lomachenko will defend his titles against massive underdog Anthony Crolla this Friday in Los Angeles.
Updated: April 10, 2019 • 4:36 PM ET
Vasiliy Lomachenko is looking to add to his impressive resume this weekend.
Pound-for-pound boxing king Vasiliy Lomachenko will return to the ring this Friday to defend his WBA and WBO lightweight titles against Anthony Crolla at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Lomachenko is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jose Pedraza in December, during which he retained the WBA title and gained the WBO belt. The fight completely went Lomachenko’s way, as he handed Pedraza his first loss and continued his dominant reign as the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer, according to The Ring and ESPN.
The 31-year-old Ukrainian fighter is 12-1 in his pro career, and his only loss was by split decision in 2014 to Orlando Salido in just his second pro fight, which was for a major title. After the loss, Lomachenko won nine straight bouts en route to challenging Jorge Linares for the WBA lightweight title last May. For six rounds, Lomachenko looked like he had in his previous nine fights until Linares caught him flush in the sixth round, dropping Lomachenko for the first time in his career.
For the first time in his pro career, Lomachenko looked human, but he proved to everyone that not only can he outwork his opponents, but he can work through adversity as well. He shook off the knockdown and went on to defeat Linares by 10th-round TKO to become a three-weight world champion in just his 12th fight.
Meanwhile, Crolla (34-6-3) will ride three straight victories into Friday’s fight since losing two in a row to Linares in 2016 and 2017. He knows what he’ll be up against in Lomachenko on Friday.
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“I think his greatest assets are his movement, his angles; a very, very unique fighter and you can see what all the praise is about,” Crolla said via Sky Sports Boxing. “He was one of the best amateurs that’s ever lived, and he’s took that into the professional ranks; a three-weight champion inside 13, 14 fights. It’s pretty unbelievable.”
Despite the respect he has for the champion, Crolla will fight to win on Friday.
“I’m going in there April 12 to give my best and shock the world,” he said.
Crolla also doesn’t care about the opinions that he’s no match for the champion.
“That doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.”
He continued, “I’ve earned the shot; it’s not been given to me.”
The 32-year-old Crolla is 34-6-3 with 13 knockouts in his career. The United Kingdom native has notable title victories over Darleys Perez and Ismael Barroso, but he’ll make his first trip to the United States to fight Lomachenko. Crolla, though, doesn’t think the voyage will impact his performance.
“I won’t be in awe going over there whatsoever,” Crolla said. “I’ve put myself through it in this camp and worked far too hard to let that happen, so I’m going over there confident that I can do that.”
• The fight can be seen this Friday on ESPN+ at 11 p.m. The undercard will air at 8 p.m, also on ESPN+.