Lomachenko Turns in a Vintage Performance; Stops Kambosos in the 11th


By Arne K. Lang

The third time was a charm for Vasyl Lomachenko who captured the vacant IBF world lightweight title mid-day Sunday (Saturday night in the U.S.) in the Western Australian city of Perth, winning the belt that had eluded his grasp in matches with Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney. “Loma,” who had held other versions of the 135-pound crown, acquired the IBF bauble by defeating former unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr, who was in over his head against the 36-year-old Ukrainian “Matrix.”

When the end finally came in round 11, Kambosos’ face had the look of raw hamburger. The deciding blows were body punches, the first of which was a left hook to the liver that forced Kambosos to his knees. He beat the count but was a cooked goose, unable to withstand another assault. The referee waived the fight off just as Kambosos’ father entered the ring with the white towel of surrender.

Prior to the stoppage, it appeared that Loma won every round. To no great surprise, Kambosos, who declined to 21-3, was out-classed.

A two-time Olympic gold medalist who was purportedly 396-1 as an amateur (90-2 per boxrec), Lomachenko improved to 18-3 (12 KOs) in the paid ranks. There is talk that his next fight will come against the winner of this coming Saturday’s clash in San Diego between Emanuel Navarrete and Denys Berinchyk. That’s assuming that Navarrete wins, as expected. Berinchyk, in common with Lomachenko, is a 36-year-old Ukrainian and a fight between them, especially on American soil, would be a hard sell.


Cherneka Johnson dropped down in weight after losing her 122-pound world title to Ellie Scotney and picked up a title in a second weight class, dethroning WBA bantamweight title-holder Nina Hughes via a majority decision. The dyslexic ring announcer initially read the scores favoring Johnson wrong (98-92 and 96-94), but the correction was made before the combatants left the ring.

The Melbourne-based Johnson, whose tattoos pay homage to her Maori heritage, improved to 16-2. Hughes, a 41-year-old mother of two and four-time English amateur champion who returned to boxing at age 39, lost for the first time in seven pro fights.


In the ESPN opener for an interim 115-pound title belt, Mexico’s Pedro Guevara scored a mild-upset with a split decision over Andrew Moloney. Two of the judges favored the Mexican by 115-113 tallies with the dissenter scoring it for the Aussie by 116-113.

The 34-year-old Guevera (42-4-1) became a two-division champion. Twelve years ago, he held a world title at 108 pounds. Moloney lost for first time in an Australian ring while suffering his fourth loss in 30 starts.

The decision seemed fair to those turning in on ESPN, but not in the eyes of Moloney who blasted the decision as corrupt and said he was through with the sport. He would eventually waffle, conceding he might come back for a rematch.

It’s been a rough month for the Moloney twins. Not quite a week ago, Jason Moloney lost his WBO world bantamweight title to Yoshiki Takei on the undercard of Naoya Inoue vs. Luis Nery.

Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank