Lomachenko destroys Crolla in four

1142064541.jpg.0 - Lomachenko destroys Crolla in four

Vasiliy Lomachenko took Anthony Crolla apart and knocked him out in the ESPN+ main event.

Vasiliy Lomachenko was the massive favorite for his fight tonight with Anthony Crolla at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, and he proved why, brutally knocking Crolla out early in the fourth round to retain his WBO and WBA lightweight titles.

Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KO) just absolutely took the always-game but desperately overmatched Crolla apart in this one, which wasn’t unexpected or anything, but knowing it on paper and seeing it play out are two very different things.

Lomachenko started at a middling tempo in the first round, but turned things up a bit in the second, and then in the third, started looking to finish things. He had a really big final minute, with referee Jack Reiss giving Crolla a standing eight count against the ropes at one point. Lomachenko thought the fight was over there, but when it was clear that Reiss had not stopped the bout, he was eager to get right back at Crolla and seal the deal.

The round ended, though, which pushed things rather unnecessarily into the fourth frame. Lomachenko attacked immediately, just completely overwhelming Crolla with his movement, punch combinations, and slickness. There was just nothing that Crolla could do to stop him, and then Lomachenko landed a wicked right hook, which sent Crolla crumbling face-first to the canvas.

Reiss started a count, but it was quickly clear that the fight was over as Crolla remained face-down on the mat, and the fight was stopped there, at 58 seconds of the fourth round.

Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KO) was pretty obviously badly concussed after the fight, as he was woozy and unsteady on his feet even minutes after the knockdown. Hopefully, he’ll be OK. He’s one of the more genuinely likable people in boxing, but he was just leagues out of his depth tonight.

Lomachenko was asked by Crystina Poncher after the fight if he has an opponent he wants to face next, and he said again that he wants a fight with Mikey Garcia, who technically still holds the WBC lightweight title, although that’s a bit up in the air right now. The WBC is giving Garcia time to make his decision about that belt, but it might be a big stretch for him to move back down to 135 after fighting at 147 last time out in his loss to Errol Spence Jr.

If he doesn’t get that, there’s a chance Lomachenko could be matched up with IBF titleholder Richard Commey, who probably would’ve been the opponent tonight if Commey hadn’t injured his hand in February. As Lomachenko has said repeatedly, he wants to unify all four lightweight titles, which puts Commey on his radar, too.

CompuBox saw Lomachenko land 72 of 249 (29%) total punches, and 58 of 137 (42%) of his power shots. Crolla landed a mere 12 of 96 (13%) total punches, and just 7 of 51 (14%) power shots.

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