By Ian S Palmer
Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine will be defending his WBO Super Featherweight Championship against former WBA champ Jason Sosa of Camden, New Jersey at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland this Saturday, April 8th. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on HBO while fans in the UK can catch the action live on BoxNation. Lomachenko’s last fight took place in November when he stopped Nicholas Walters after the seventh round. Sosa also fought in November and beat Stephen Smith by a 12-round unanimous decision.
Lomachenko won the WBO title against Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez of Puerto Rico via a fifth-round stoppage last June and is also a former WBO Featherweight Champion. He’s 29 years old and has a pro record of just 7-1 with 5 Kos, but Lomachenko is considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. As for Sosa, the WBA stripped him of the title for taking this bout against Lomachenko.
The 29-year-old Sosa enters the bout with an impressive record of 20-1-4 with 15 Kos. He stands 5-fee-5-inches tall with a wingspan of 67 inches. Sosa has pretty good power with a current knockout percentage of 60 per cent and he’s boxed 118 rounds since turning pro back in 2009. His lone defeat came to Treysean Wiggins by first-round TKO in 2010 while his draws were against Jose Ortiz in 2010, against Angel Luis Ocasio twice in 2012 and against Nicholas Walters in December of 2015.
Sosa, who was named the Philly Fighter of the Year for 2016, has 14 knockouts in his last 15 wins and is undefeated in his last 20 outings. He won the WBA title by stopping Javier Fortuna in the seventh round in China last June and has defended it once against Smith. Sosa’s a fan-friendly aggressive fighter who has so far passed his tests when stepping up in class. But Lomachenko may be in a class of his own at this stage of his career.
Lomachenko’s is a southpaw whose lone loss came at the hands of Orlando Salido by a controversial split decision in March of 2014 in his second pro fight. Lomachenko turned pro in 2013 after winning two Olympic gold medals for his homeland in 2008 and 2012. He had an excellent and extensive amateur career and then won the WBO Featherweight crown against Gary Russell Jr. via a majority decision in June of 2014 and defended it against Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Gamalier Rodriguez, and Romulo Koasicha.
The champion possesses fantastic footwork, speed, and accuracy, but may be lacking slightly when it comes to power. However, that’s debatable after the way he stopped Martinez and took care of former champ Walters. In general though, Lomachenko breaks his opponents down with solid combinations and body and head shots. Lomachenko stands 5-feet-6-inches tall and has a wingspan of 65.5 inches so has a slight height advantage and slight reach disadvantage. He’s fought 71 rounds since turning pro with a current knockout ratio of 63 per cent.
Sosa has a lot of heart and will give his best effort on Saturday, but unfortunately it probably won’t be enough as he’s in against an elite boxer in Lomachenko. It may go several rounds, but look for Lomachenko to retain his title with a relatively comfortable decision or stoppage.