Pound-for-pound superstar Vasyl Lomachenko (12-1, 9KO) defends his WBA ‘Super’ and WBO world lightweight titles to Mancunian hero Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13KO), who forced the fight with his WBA No.1 ranking and mandatory status.
The former WBA world lightweight champion knows it is a herculean task, but he has fully prepared for everything that Loma can bring, including being frustrated by the Ukrainian.
'Million Dollar' wats to shock the world but can he pull off 'Mission Impossible' and cause one of the greatest upsets in boxing history? BBN asked their panel of experts if there is any hope for the Briton, who is currently a 33/1 underdog with some sites:
Welsh Area super-lightweight champion
"I think Loma wins hands down, however if his shoulder hasn’t healed as well as he’d liked and if Anthony can impose some physicality on to him, then he might stand a chance of ruining his gameplan."
Three-time Southern Area champion
"I think it’s a massive, massive task, but it’s already been proven that Loma can be beat.
Crolla has a fantastic engine, a tight guard and always finds a way when he needs it most. He punches well to the body and has proved that at the top level, I just really hope he can pull it off tomorrow night. He has been great for the sport of boxing and fantastic for British boxing he’s a quality bloke and I’d love to see him do this almost impossible task. If anyone deserves it it’s Ant.
Prediction, my heart says Ant catches him to the body during a flurry and puts him down and we get a huge shock and a great win for a deserved Brit, but my head say Loma will break him down bit by bit with his ring intelligence, skill, speed, movement and matrix-like ability to be four steps ahead at all times and get a stoppage between rounds 6-10... but we can all cross our fingers! COME ON CROLLA!"
Boxing Matchmaker / PR
"The only way Crolla wins this fight is if Lomachenko has an injury or cut a that stops the fight. I don’t think he even has a puncher's chance. It’s a backwards step for Lomachenko, without being disrespectful to Crolla, it’s a keep busy fight. Pressure is on Lomachenko though because it would be a disappointing performance if he doesn’t win decisively and get a stoppage.
But I think will he will stop Crolla though in rounds 5-8."
Former British super-bantamweight champion
"I like Anthony Crolla, but he is out of his depth with Lomachenko.
Lomachenko is my favourite fighter, I think he wins within six rounds; sorry Anthony and I hope you prove me wrong."
Former English light-heavyweight champion
"Anthony Crolla boxed my cousin many moons ago in the ABAs and we’ve stayed pals, I guess you could say, since.
As much as I’d love him to pull off the impossible, I think it’s more than a mountain to climb. Loma is exceptional and will go down as one of the best ever, in my opinion.
I hope Ant can hear the final bell."
"Similar to the Eggington v Smith fight , I really like Crolla but do not like the fight for him. I understand the money is too good to turn down but cannot see how he can win, just hope his trainer does not leave him in longer than needs to."
Former professional lightweight boxer from Belfast
"Crolla is one of my favourite UK fighters, very underated, but can't see him beating Loma.
He's very tough, but hopefully it's only a points loss. Can't write him off though, his body shots are key and using double jabs with a lot of feints. He will have to counter and always be pushing Loma back, which is his style, so if breaks Loma's body, slow him up a bit, he could maybe get to him."
Commonwealth & WBA International lightweight champion
"Vasyl Lomachenko possesses graceful footwork, knockout power and devastating accuracy. The southpaw champion is considered by most as the world's best pound-for-pound boxer, so it's no wonder Manchester's Anthony Crolla goes into this fight as the bookies' underdog.
Crolla is an excellent boxer and a fella who'll get stuck in, always giving it his all. However, he has lost bouts against fighters with far less talent and skill than his forthcoming opponent, Lomachenko.
At this point in his career, the "Hi-Tech" pugilist is firing on all cylinders and come Friday, April 12, the Ukranian will be looking to shatter Crolla's Cinderella man fairy-tale by deploying his speed, power and precision, all within a timely fashion.
I wish Anthony Crolla all the best for this fight - I sincerely hope he causes a big upset against the lightweight champ. But, my head tells me Lomenchenko wins by stoppage with a sharp shot to the liver."
"Lomachenko is going to win via unanimous points decision."
"I would like to see Crolla make this a competitve fight for the first few rounds by being sharp and effective with his work. I think, as the fight goes on, that Loma will get stronger and start to pull away with his class and high output, which will give Crolla plenty to think about. That mental toughness and frustration and not being able to land whilst constantly getting tagged is what causes so many of 'NoMasChenko's' opponents to quit, but Crolla has said he's prepared for that.
Fingers crossed, that Ant's preparation will see him in the shape of his life, mentally strong, and will give a very good account of himself, which I'm confident he will, but I see either a late stoppage or one-sided points win for Lomachenko. I really hope that Ant can get to hear the final bell and make us all proud."
Director of buymyfight.com
"It’s no surprise that 99% of people will be backing Lomachenko for the win in prediction terms, but that’s not because we won’t be supporting Crolla to cause an upset.
Lomachenko, as most would agree, is a different level. There’s world level, which I do think Crolla deserves to be classed amongst, but then there’s World Champion level, with Lomachenko in a league of his own above that.
How can Crolla cause an upset? I really think he’s got his work cut out with a near impossible task here, but I can only see his chance is by going for a KO. There’s no way on earth he’ll out box him, and given Lomachenko’s slick footwork, it’s also going to be hard to catch him so, I think Crolla has to tie him up in momentary segments before releasing with a counter attack. Much like what Hatton wanted to do vs Mayweather but was prevented by Joe Cortez. Hold-release-Hit and move.
It’s not going to pretty but that’s what I’d do, along with getting his autograph. Good luck Crolla!"
"Lomachenko is the clear favourite and has so no glaring weaknesses. However, one caveat that has stung great fighters throughout history is the threat of complacency.
Can Lomachenko maintain motivation and focus against a man that he is so superior to in all facets of the sport? If the Ukrainian overlooks Crolla and significantly drops his performance level then he could be in for a tougher night than he expected. The Manchester man is a good body puncher, with a decent engine - he is strong and has heart, so will give everything he has.
I wish Crolla all the best but he has never been a huge puncher and he is not a stylistically awkward opponent. So unless Lomachenko has drastically under-prepared or a freak incident occurs, I expect him to stop the usually robust Crolla by the late rounds."
"Lomachenko should win this fight and I believe he will stop him in the later rounds.
He’s too good technically and skilfully that I think he will make Crolla quit and break him down mentally as well as physically.
I think Loma is the best P4P fighter on the planet and has many big fights to come like the Gervonta Davis and Mikey Garcia fights.
Crolla will have to try to counter punch as Lomachenko can be open sometimes with his high output and goes forward a lot so Crolla will have to make sure he can look for the opportunity to throw a big punch like Linares managed to land to knock Loma down with."