Report- Lomachenko Will Return In June
Formerly one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport, Vasiliy Lomachenko has kept a low profile since his upset defeat to now Undisputed Lightweight champ, Teofimo Lopez. However, a report over the weekend says that Loma will be coming back in June against exciting big punching Japanese star, Masayoshi Nakatani.
ESPN Insider Mark Kriegel reported during the broadcast of Top Rank’s Saturday night card in Kissimmee, FL, that Lomachenko and Nakatani will battle on June 26th at the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas with likely some fans present,
The Matrix… Reloaded.
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) April 24, 2021
The Ukrainian Lomachenko, 14-2, is still “licking his wounds” off Lopez’s tremendous performance over 12 rounds last October. The former Olympic Gold Medalist and holder of the WBC, WBO and WBA World Lightweight titles was clearly not himself last October.
It was later revealed that he had a right shoulder injury leading into the fight and that required immediate surgery after his defeat. Compubox punch stats showed Lopez threw approximately 300 more punches than the usually busy Lomachenko over the 12 rounds.
The surgeon Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache said the week after the fight in a statement released to Yahoo’s Boxing insider Kevin Iole,
“When he (Loma) came in from the Ukraine for his last stages of preparation for the fight, he was having some difficulty with the shoulder,” ElAttrache told Yahoo Sports. “It turns out he had badly bruised the rotator cuff and chipped a piece of cartilage, which we didn’t realize at the time. But we knew he’d badly bruised the rotator cuff and badly bruised the bone where the rotator cuff attaches to the shoulder.
That was roughly six weeks before the fight and we got him to where he was comfortable enough to train. He said he was able to train OK, but it continued to cause him pain during the fight.”
“the things we did for him after the first surgery made him pain-free and his shoulder stable enough that he could go and win a couple of championships after that surgery,” ElAttrache said. “I wouldn’t expect he’d have any limitation after this one for what we were able to do. Not all repeat surgeries have a worse prognosis.”
So, Lomachenko has obviously been given clearance to resume training and has the date set to return against the Japanese fighter, who scored a thrilling come from behind December KO himself scoring a 9th round stoppage of Felix Verdejo. Trailing significantly on all the cards headed into the late rounds, Nakatani had been knocked down twice earlier in the fight, but dropped Verdejo twice in the 9th to get the TKO win and improve to 19-1.
It’s still unclear if the fight will be at Lightweight or if, as Lomachenko has hinted, he would try to move back down to 130 lb., where he ruled that division as Unified Champ for over two years?