Lomachenko and Garcia: Lightning and Thunder

Irish legend and former featherweight king Barry McGuigan takes it as far as you can go: “Lomachenko is one of the greatest fighters we have seen or ever will see,” he wrote in his regular weekly column in the (London) Mirror.

He adds, “There is a kind of machine-like quality that stands in marked contrast to the American tradition of great showmen. You look at Sugar Rays Robinson and Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather – all different, yet connected by a flashy brilliance and sound technique. This glitzy element is completely absent in Lomachenko and Golovkin, who simply go after opponents with clinical savagery.”

Vasyl Lomachenko 11-1 (8) compiled a 396-1 record as an amateur and won two Olympic gold medals. After just seven professional fights, he was a two-weight division titlist. With his thrilling win over Jorge Linares on May 12 at Madison Square Garden, he has now won a third title in a third different division!

The Style

Perhaps the 30-year-old really doesn’t have a style we have seen before though Hector Camacho (pre-Edwin Rosario) resonates. Lomachenko’s uncanny ability to fight from changing angles and circle his opponent delivering volleys of punishing punches and then continue the assault without letup is amazing. His ability to pivot and get his opponent confused is remarkable and he seldom gets hit though he can get marked up when he does. As for power, Roman Martinez and Jorge Linares were victimized differently but still victimized.

Also, the symbiosis between Loma and his father (a legendary coach in the Ukraine) is scary. At times, they seem to communicate by subtle facial expressions such as raised eyebrows. The results speak for themselves and, remember, we may be talking about the greatest amateur boxer who ever lived. Enjoy him while you can.

TSS writer Frank Lotierzo nails it: “What makes him [Loma] special is he has a fighting style along with great athleticism and a high boxing IQ that allows him to match up with most styles. He also has the best footwork in boxing and can pivot on a dime while standing in front of his opponents and make them miss, forcing them to punch from their blind side, leaving them open to his counters and flurries. And unlike most flashy boxers with great speed, instead of making you have to look for him, he comes to you and presents a target that appears to be right there – and most fighters will let their hands go when the target is that inviting…”

Garcia

If Loma is lightning, Garcia is thunder.

At 38-0, Mikey Garcia fights differently than Loma, but is just as effective. Garcia is a living, breathing boxing clinic and his fights should be shown in boxing gyms throughout the world as an example of how to blend fundamentals and execution. Whether it’s finding the right separation, timing, using his jab to set up combos, footwork, a solid defense, high ring IQ,  and enough power to render opponents unconscious (e.g., Dejan Zlaticanin), he is as close to perfect as you can get. And like Loma, he breaks his opponents down with the same clinical savagery mentioned by Barry McGuigan. This humble 30-year-old Californian and WBC world Lightweight champion does just about everything right in the ring. Boxing is in his blood and it shows.

What’s Next?

Bob Arum says Lomachenko vs. Garcia would be a blockbuster on par with Mayweather-Pacquiao. But Arum has no interest in making the fight happen anytime soon.

Garcia will reportedly risk his belt against IBF world lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. (21-0) on July 28 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Showtime. Lomachenko will reportedly fight Raymundo Beltran (35-7-1), the current WBO world lightweight champion, on Aug. 25 at the Inglewood Forum on ESPN. But these matches aren’t cast in concrete who knows how they will play out (although the outcome of the Loma-Beltran fight looks pretty clear)? A Linares vs. Garcia fight should not be ruled out and even Manny Pacquiao might find his way into the mix if he survives Lucas Matthysse.

One curious thing is now that the Ukrainian was exposed as being human by being knocked down by a visibly bigger Linares, many fickle fans are saying that Garcia will do the same and keep him down.

Don’t bet on it.

Ted Sares is one of the oldest active full power lifters in the world and is a four-time winner of the EPF’s Grand Master championship. A member of Ring 4’s Boxing Hall of Fame, he was recently cited by Hannibal Boxing as one of three “Must-Read” boxing writers.

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