By: Dallas Orysiuk (@Chargers204)
After countless delays because of the NFL Hall of Fame ceremony, the televised portion of the Lomachenko-Mariagga got under way about two hours late. The co-main event featured Ray Beltran who looked to keep his knockout streak going and continue to impress on his quest for a green card as he faced Bryan Vasquez.
The fight failed to live up to expectations, although the two hour delay didn’t help, leaving fans around the world restless. The fight started off close, with Vasquez being a crafty fighter and displaying his movement, while Beltran played the role of the aggressor. Beltran’s size proved too much as the smaller Vasquez landed but couldn’t put a dent on him.
Vasquez continued to move throughout the fight and Beltran continued to pursue, being the busier of the two and landing the harder punches. Towards the end of the fight, the restless fans, began to boo. In the twelfth and final round the blood above Beltran’s face, caused by an accident but, began to affect his vision and Vasquez was able to stagger him a little too late in the closing seconds of the bout. The fight put an end to his four fight KO streak; but with scores that were too close, Beltran improved to 34-7-1, 21 KOs by way of majority decision and will hopefully take another step closer towards his quest for a title and a green card.
Over three hours into the fight card, the main event showcased Vasyl Lomachenko, who took on the smaller Miguel Mariagga. That’s pretty much all it was, a showcase fight; from the opening bell Mariagga looked to be fighting scared, backing up and fighting from a high guard. Lomachenko was the aggressor, stalking Mariagga and landing between and around the guard.
In the third round Mariagga began to open up and the fight got heated with both men taunting each other. But Lomachenko made him pay with a straight left while he was backing up. Following the knockdown, Vasyl backed in the corner and continued to taunt Miguel, urging him to come and fight.
In what may have been the only difficult moment in the fight, an accident clash of heads opened a cut over Lomachenkos left eye. In the sixth round Lomachenko began to turn up the pressure, hurting Mariagga with a body shot and looked to have him hurt. Finally in the seventh , Lomachenko put an end to the clinic when he sent Mariagga to the canvas for a second time, causing his corner to stop the fight following the round.
Despite being bored in the fight and resorting to taunting and playing with his opponent, it was a clinical performance from Lomachenko, who improved to 9-1, 7 KOs. Each fight he continues to impress, showcasing all of his many talents in the ring. Not only can he move like none other, but Lomachenko is so smart, crisp and accurate with his punches that it’s scary. He shows that it’s possible to display beautiful boxing skills and still entertain the fans. When he moves, Lomachenko doesn’t run around the ring like many others, he moves as little as he needs to get the perfect angle to make you miss and pay.
With so much skill, the fans can only hope that Lomachenko’s talent can be put to the test and put on display for the world against a real test like Mikey Garcia or Guillermo Rigondeaux. There are also many other talented names like Miguel Berchelt, Gervonta Davis, an Orlando Salido rematch, or even a showdown with Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton or even Oscar Valdez who are all in or around his weight class. The options are plentiful and hopefully boxing fans will continue to witness Vasyl Lomachenko’s ascent in the sport against top opposition.by