By Ian S Palmer
WBO Super Featherweight Champion Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine will be defending his title against Miguel Marriaga Colombia this Saturday, August 5th at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the U.S. on ESPN and British fans can catch the action on BoxNation. Marriaga’s last fight was in April when he lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Oscar Valdez. Lomachenko also fought in April and beat Jason Sosa when the fight was halted after the ninth round. Lomachenko won the WBO title against Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez of Puerto Rico via a fifth-round stoppage in June, 2016 and is also a former WBO Featherweight Champion.
The 29-year-old Lomachenko has a pro record of just 8-1 with 6 Kos, but he’s considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world at the moment. He’s 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.
He and defended it against Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Gamalier Rodriguez, and Romulo Koasicha before moving up in weight. The champion possesses fantastic footwork, speed, and accuracy with good, but not great power. However, that’s debatable after the way he stopped Martinez and took care of former champ Nicholas Walters. In general though, Lomachenko breaks his opponents down with solid combinations and body and head shots. He stands 5-feet-6-inches tall and has a wingspan of 65.5 inches. Lomachenko’s fought 80 rounds since turning pro with a current knockout ratio of 67 per cent.
The 30-year-old Marriaga has an impressive record of 25-2 with 21 Kos. His defeats have been to Valdez and then-WBA Featherweight Champ Nicholas Walters by unanimous decision in June of 2015. Marriaga has a bit of a height and reach advantage on Lomachenko as he’s 5-foot-7 and with a 67-inch reach. He has 138 rounds under his belt since turning pro in 2009. He has some dynamite in his fists with a knockout ratio of 78 percent. However, Marriaga has gone the distance four times in his last seven bouts and has lost two of them.
Marriaga likes to initiate the action in the ring while moving forward by throwing power shots to the head and body. He doesn’t use his jab all that well and that could cost him here. His power means he’s never really out of a fight though. However, when he’s fought upper-class opponents such as Walters and Valdez he’s fallen short. He’ll be taking on an even better boxer on Saturday night in Lomachenko so things don’t really look too bright for him.
It’s going to be very difficult to outbox Lomachenko so it appears that Marriaga’s only hope is his power. But too be honest, he’s going to have to throw the perfect punch or combination to win this fight. Look for Lomachenko to retain his belt.