It’s probably not fair to feel impatient with a boxer who has had just nine professional bouts. But when the fighter is a talent as rare as Vasyl Lomochenko, fans can be forgiven. Lomo looks like he could enter the company of the true elite.
As such, we want to see him tested against opponents worthy of his gifts. And Lomochenko’s opponent for this weekend, Miguel Marriaga, is unlikely to prove himself a foe of that caliber. The Colombian is good. But no better than the general run of what the Ukrainian star has faced to date.
In fact, Marriaga lost a one-sided decision to Nicholas Walters in June 2015. Lomochenko so thoroughly out-classed Walters he made him quit out of discouragement when they fought in November 2016.
Marriaga is coming off from a loss to WBO featherweight title holder Oscar Valdez. Lomochenko vs. Valdez would actually be a fight I might be able to get excited for. Valdez is 22-0 with 19 KOs. His amateur record is obviously not nearly as prestigious as Lomochenko’s, but he did represent Mexico twice in the Olympics.
Still, it would probably be a bad idea to match Valdez against Lomochenko at this point.
And there is no obvious super-fight opponent for Lomochenko at this time. Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux has ultimately declined to move up in weight for Lomochenko. Lomochenko would have to move up to 135 pounds for Mikey Garcia, and 140 for Terence Crawford.
Eventually I think Lomochencko will fight at least one of those three–possibly all of them. I won’t be shocked if he manages to be at least be competitive with top talent at welterweight. He has that sort of pound-for-pound potential.
For now, he is trying to stay active and keep building enthusiasm with the boxing public. Marriaga will provide him more highlight reel footage, and leave the true boxing heads asking for a more interesting matchup the next time around.