Seat next to the ring – Vasily Lomachenko has something to prove; Mario Barrios is ‘just as dangerous’ as Gervonta Davis


LAS VEGAS – One fight can change a lot in boxing, a sport in which fights are not uncommon only twice a year. In the case of Vasily Lomachenko, as many as six rounds can change a lot.

Seven months ago, Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) was the only lightweight champion and universal basic boxer lists pound for pound. This weekend, as he prepares to face Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) in a fight without a single belt on the Las Vegas line, he faces the question of whether he is still the same at 33 years old.

If tomorrow was – miraculously impossible – a four-man tournament that would determine the best lightweight category in the world, it is possible that Lomachenko would not have received an invitation. He recently lost such ground to his undefeated teammates Teofim Lopez, Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney.

Lomachenko from Ukraine lost his status in the division back in October at the hands of 23-year-old Lopez – but as is often the case in boxing, the result is small. Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) won in a fair fight, but the first six rounds were confusing to say the least.

Lomachenko had an extremely low performance in the first half of that fight. According to Compubox, Lomachenko threw the following number of shots in the first six frames: 4, 12, 11, 9, 9, 13. In the last six rounds, he threw the following: 22, 38, 38, 44, 62, 59.

After Lopez’s victory, which drove him to a lucrative earning day against George Cambosos Jr., the Triller promotion, which is now tentatively scheduled for Aug. 14, Lomachenko’s team discovered that the fighter entered the competition with an injured shoulder – The culprit for his unusually low number of strokes early. Not surprisingly, Lopez dismissed that explanation as a stance and basically said he would never approve of Lomachenko’s rematch because the former champion had not given him enough respect before the first encounter.

All this means a lot on the Lomachenko line on Saturday. If he is impressive against Nakatani, it lays the groundwork for a rematch at Lopez. A second fight between them would be big for both, as well as for Top Rank. Lomachenko’s injured shoulder casts doubt on the first result. However, the thorn in the side of this story is that Lopez, who relented and the result came into question in the 12th round, was the one who jumped in and put an exclamation point on his victory.

A second fight would have drama, history and a real impact on any future negotiations with other big names in the lightweight category. But to ensure any of that, Lomachenko must come out on Saturday and prove he still exists Loma. If he doesn’t, his account of what happened in October will sound more like an excuse than an explanation. – Okamoto

What can Lomachenko learn from the fight against Nakatani?

Vasily Lomachenko is returning to the ring for the first time since then losing his fight to unite the world title in the lightweight category Teofim Lopez in October 2020. It seems that he intends to be sent back to the return match with Lopez, even if Lopez has stated that he is not interested in such a fight.

So what can Lomachenko expect from Masayoshi Nakatani? And can he find a way to make Lopez change his mind about the rematch?

Read here the complete breakdown of Lomachenko-Nakatani by Timothy Bradley, the prospects for his future and predictions for the fight.

By numbers


Full map

  • Vasily Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) vs. Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs), 12 rounds, lightweight

  • Rob Brant (26-2, 18 KOs) vs. Janibek Alimkhanuly (9-0, 5 KOs), 10 rounds, middleweight

  • Giovani Santillan (26-0, 15 KOs) vs. Cecila McCalle (23-4, 10 KOs), 8 or 10 rounds, welterweight

  • Robert Rodriguez (9-0-1, 5 KOs) vs. Luis Fernando Saavedra (8-6, 3 KOs), 6 rounds, bantamweights

  • Floyd Diaz (1-0, 0 KOs) vs. Jaime Jasso (2-0, 0 KOs), 4 rounds, bantamweights

  • Guido Vianello (7-0-1, 7 KOs) vs. Marlon Williams (6-1, 3 KOs), 4 rounds, heavyweights

  • Subaru Murata (professional debut) against Keven Monroy (1-1, 1 KO), 4 rounds, junior fins

  • DeMichael Harris (3-0, 3 KOs) vs. Jonathan Hernan Godoy (5-8, 0 KOs), 4 rounds, lightweight

Gervonta Davis ‘sitting alone’

Gervonta Davis was going through the suggestions during an interview in May when the phrase caught his attention.

Davis is one of the young rising boxing stars in the lightweight category. When it was suggested to him that he had not achieved the best achievement among a group of impressive youngsters of 135 pounds, including Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney, Davis stopped looking down, raised his head and interjected.

“I am the top [feature] those groups, “Davis told ESPN.” They are in their own small group. I’m sitting alone. “

You can read the full story of Davis by Ben Baby here.

Barrios ready to ruin Davis’ plans

Entering the biggest fight of his career, Mario Barrios has no predictions.

The undefeated WBC welterweight junior title holder certainly predicts success for himself against hard-hit Gervont “Tank” Davis, but he’s not sure exactly how it will play out Saturday in Atlanta.

“I know we’re both going in there with bad intentions,” Barrios told ESPN. “We know he’s explosive. I only have one fight at 140 that has gone the entire distance, and even in that fight I put my opponent on the canvas twice and I’m just as dangerous from the hitter as he is.”

Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) has a 4½ inch height advantage against Davis, who from his last fight jumps into two weight categories to compete for the welterweight junior title. Barrios, a native of San Antonio, Texas, has held the WBA “regular” junior light heavyweight title since September 2019.

Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) made a sharp knockout over the uppercut over Leo Santa Cruz in the last match in October, but this next step could be his biggest challenge.

“I want to ruin plans 100 percent,” Barrios said. “At the end of the day, he fights there for what’s mine, for what I’ve worked for so much, and he has a very difficult task ahead of him when he confronts me. That’s why I do everything I can make sure I’m ready. And he works also, which is why there is no way to predict this fight. I just know it will be fireworks. “ – Woodyard

By numbers


Full map

  • Fight title: Mario Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs) vs. Gervonte Davis (24-0, 23 KOs), 12 rounds, for Barrios WBA “regular” junior light heavyweight title

  • Erickson Lubin (23-1, 16 KOs) vs. Jeison Rosari (20-2-1, 14 KOs), 12 rounds, WBC junior middleweight title eliminator

  • Batyr Ahmedov (8-1, 7 KOs) vs. Algenis Mendez (25-6-3, 12 KOs), 12 rounds, junior welterweight

  • Carlos Adames (19-1, 15 KOs) vs. Alexis Salazar (23-3, 9 KOs), 10 rounds, junior middleweight

  • Leduan Barthelemy (16-1-1, 8 KOs) vs. Viktor Slavinski (12-0-1, 6 KOs), 8 rounds, junior lightweights

  • Andres Gutierrez (38-2-1, 25 KOs) vs. Angel Hernandez (17-16-2, 11 KOs), 8 rounds, junior welterweight

  • Dalton Bodie (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Trever Bradshaw (1-0, 1 KO), 4 rounds, super medium weight

  • Stacey Selby (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. William Parra Smith (3-6-1, 3 KOs), 4 rounds, junior welterweight


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