Loma wants Garcia unification fight next
WBA 'Super' and WBO lightweight king Vasyl Lomachenko (13-1) crushed Anthony Crolla (34-7-3) in four rounds then called for WBC champion Mikey Garcia next.
Anthony Crolla's courageous bid to dethrone WBA and WBO lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko was ended in four rounds at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on April 12 by the Ukrainian pound-for-pound superstar.
Pre-fight, Crolla promised to 'shock the world' and claimed to know what to expect, but the mandatory challenger was overwhelmed and out of his depth, and eventually suffered a crushing knockout in a one-sided fight in the early hours of Saturday morning for UK fight fans.
A cagey opener saw the 31-year-old defending champion take the centre of the ring and dominate behind his jab, using his excellent footwork to move in and out of range.
The three-weight world champion stepped up the pace in the second stanza behind his southpaw jab and cornered Crolla before landing powerful left hands to head and body, signalling the start of the end.
After catching the Mancunian with a heavy straight left and uppercut in the third, Lomachenko pinned his man to the ropes and unleashed a flurry of unanswered punches, prompting referee Jack Reiss to step in. The confused champion started to celebrate and security even entered the ring only for Reiss to begin a standing eight-count shortly before the bell sounded for the end of the round, saving Crolla's chances, although it would have been better if it had ended there.
Lomachenko resumed his relentless assault in the fourth and hunted his prey down assiduously. Crolla withdrew, moved his feet, backed away, tucked up, tried to fire back on occasions, but he was a marked man and it was all pointless as you could tell that no amount of preparation is ever the same as the the real experience and he was on borrowed time. Loma continued his attack, never allowing his opponent a moments rest until a heavy right hook landed to the temple, sending the 32-year-old Brit crashing face first to the canvas, where he lay motionless.
Official Reiss began counting again but quickly abandoned the idea and called for the doctor. The Manchester hero, trained by Joe Gallagher, eventually made it back to his feet, although very unsteadily.
Many critics and fans have since said the mismatch should never have taken place and questioned promoter Eddie Hearn's matchmaking. Others have taken another view and said that boxers should dare to be great and that it's a promoter's job to deliver the biggest fights.
The outstanding Ukrainian is already a three-weight world champion and has broken countless records, but wants to remain at lightweight for the foreseeable future to add the WBC belt to his collection by facing Mikey Garcia in a unification fight.
"Of course I will stay at 135lbs as long as possible and I want to unify all titles," Hi-Tech declared post-fight.
Garcia is coming off the first defeat of his professional career, having stepped up to welterweight to challenge Errol Spence for his IBF strap in March. The California-born fighter was outclassed by Spence, who won every round of their contest, so a return to lightweight is a real possibility for Garcia.
Lomachencko lives and trains in California, so another LA-based world title event could be a possibility.
Fallen hero, Crolla, is now expected to retire following his latest failed bid to become a two-time world champion.
He posted this statement on Twitter: Just a thank to those who’ve tweeted their well wishes. Honest I’m fine health wise just pride is hurting. Honestly felt in the best shape of my life going into the fight and so gutted to go out like that. An honour to share the ring with @VasylLomachenko who was even better than I thought. The knockout was a great shot he told me after it he broke his hand with that punch. He was a gentleman. I’m just gonna have a bit of time out before deciding what’s next. I’ve had a crazy career and walking out in the Staples Centre against many peoples p4p #1. Hearing the travelling support is something I’ll never forget. I’m gonna have a bit of time out before deciding if there’s another night in us or not. Thanks again for all the well wishes I just simply got knocked out off a truly great fighter. No regrets.