Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko , the WBA and WBO lightweight world champion, will defend his titles against mandatory opponent Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla on Friday, April 12 at Staples Center.
Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) the 2017 Fighter of the Year by most boxing pundits has quickly been been a force in the lightweight division .In May 2018, moved up in weight and captured the WBA lightweight title after coming back from a torn labrum and a sixth-round knockout to Jorge Linares at Madison Square Garden. Last December also at Madison Square Garden, he scored a pair of knockdowns and won a wide unanimous decision over WBO lightweight champ Jose “Sniper” Pedraza to unify both titles.
“Los Angeles boxing fans are passionate and knowledgeable, and I look forward to putting on a spectacular show for them at Staples Center,” Lomachenko said to the media. “Crolla is my mandatory challenger, and I like that he always comes to fight. He’s going to make the most of this opportunity.”
The stars are coming back out to Los Angeles. #LomaCrolla
April 12 | Staples Center | ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/i1hKX6gqWj
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) February 25, 2019
Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs), is a former lightweight champion and is the mandatory opponent for the title. He originally won the WBA lightweight title with a knockout over Darleys Perez in November 2015. Crolla defended the belt with a seventh-round knockout win against Ismael Barroso,. He lost the title by unanimous decision to Jorge Linares in September 2016, then the subsequent rematch by unanimous decision the following March. Crolla earned this world title shot by winning three straight, the latest over Daud Youdan last November.
“I cannot wait for this. These are the fights you are in the sport for,” Crolla said to the media. “People will say that I have got nothing to lose, but I am genuinely going over to LA to shock the world. I will concentrate on me. Firstly, I have to make sure the best Anthony Crolla turns up that night. I’m not worried about that. Preparing for Lomachenko is hard because he’s so unorthodox. He’s that good that when he does something wrong he gets away with it. You wouldn’t teach some of the things that he does. He’s so unique in that respect.”