In the boxing world, Lomachenko needs no introduction, as most will know ‘Hi Tech‘ is arguably pound for pound in most people’s top 3 boxers today.
Having had 396 wins in his amateur career and won world titles in three-weight division in 15 professional fights. It makes a very hard argument for you not to consider that the little Ukrainian is the best in the world right now or even one of the best to ever lace them up.
The thing that makes Lomachenko so special is of course his insane offensive boxing style which I will try to dissect in this blog. Boxing fans nicknamed him “The Matrix” and it’s no wonder when you start to take a deeper look at what Loma does in the ring. I’ll be looking at who he is, his achievement to date, and of course a look at his ‘Matrix’ boxing style.
Who is Lomachenko
Vasyl Anatoliyovych Lomachenko was born in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine, starting boxing at a very young age. Interestingly before Loma got into boxing his father and current trainer Anatoly Lomachenko, made sure he took up traditional Ukrainian dance classes. When you look at his footwork in the ring today it’s no surprise this must of helped him from a very young age before eventually transitioning over to boxing.
Loma’s amateur career is regarded as one of the best ever with an incredible record of 396 wins and only 1 defeat, a loss he would go onto avenge twice. The Ukrainian truly was unstoppable at the amateur level picking up seven golds and one silver (see further below) in major tournaments, including 2 Olympic golds which were always his aim as a child growing up.
After winning gold at the London Olympics in 2012, Loma decided to go pro signing with Top Rank, but with the original aim of winning a world title with his first professional fight. This wasn’t to be but made an impressive debut at featherweight in 2013. For his second professional fight he would get that chance against veteran Orlando Salido, however lost in a controversial split decision.
However, this would not stop Loma as he would go on to dominate every boxer he’s come up against since. First, he won the WBO featherweight title in his next fight against the highly-rated Gary Russel Jr becoming a world champion in three fights. Lomachenko would go on to defend his Featherweight title with little to no challenge, before moving up to junior-lightweight defeating the likes of Nicolas Walters, Roman Martinez, Jason Sosa, and fellow Olympic gold medallist Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Once again Loma has continued to challenge himself moving up to lightweight defeating more former world champions comfortably including Jorge Linares, Luke Campbell, and Anthony Crolla.
Lomachenko’s however ended up in defeat against the highly-rated Teófimo López to become an undisputed lightweight champion. Since this loss, Lomachenko has bounced back with two impressive wins over Nakatani and Commey! It will be interesting to see if he will get another shot at a world title soon.
As mentioned above Lomachenko was one of the most successful amateur boxers of all time and he certainly has the medals to back this up. Not only that he is the fastest male three-weight world champion. Just see for yourself below:
- WBO Featherweight Title
- WBO Junior-Lightweight Title
- The Ring Magazine Lightweight Title
- WBO Lightweight Title
- (Super)WBA Lightweight Title
- WBC Lightweight Title
- 2012 – Gold at London Olympics – Lightweight
- 2008 – Gold at Bejing Olympics – Featherweight
- 2009 – Gold at Milan World Championships – Featherweight
- 2011 – Gold at Baku World Championships – Lightweight
- 2007 – Silver at Chicago World Championships – Featherweight
- 2008 – Gold at Liverpool European Championships – Featherweight
- 2006 – Gold at Agadir Junior World Championships – Flyweight
- 2004 – Gold at Saratov Cadet European Championships – Atomweight
Loma’s Matrix Boxing Style
When you think about a boxer who has the best hand speed, accuracy, creativity, defense, footwork, timing, and athleticism – that is Lomachenko! He is someone who simply has it all in his arsenal, having perfected his skills during his tremendous amateur career. Loma has simply carried this over to the pro game, making top world champions look like amateur boxers just starting. It is incredible to be living in the era of Lomachenko as I’m sure we will look back and truly appreciate just how good he was!
Lomachenko’s boxing style is incredibly offensive with the main aim of applying pressure and breaking down his opponent round after round if that’s what it takes. Below I will go into the elements within his boxing style, by analyzing what Loma likes to do – which is just about everything!
Every trick in the book…
Loma will use light punches when looking for openings and as range, finder when first in there with his opponent. Here are a few reasons for him doing this:
1. It helps him to conserve energy
2. Gives the impression of pressure with the volume of punches he’s throwing
3. Helps to occupy his opponent’s guard
The Ukrainian will very intelligently use feints with both hands and also with his footwork, moving in and out constantly. Sometimes he will attack the guard, next time he’ll feint, then will move back out and will then attack the body next time around. Overall the constant feinting tactic by Loma is used for a couple of reasons:
1. To confuse his opponent and keep them guessing
2. To see how they will react to his feints so he knows their reactions before he attacks
See Loma doing this against Anthony Crolla below.
Similar to his feinting tricks, Loma will use constant head and upper body movement. He’ll also create gaps in his guard to encourage his opponent into throwing a punch only for them to be smacked by a counter punch! Watch the video below of Loma drawing a jab out from Martinez before countering.
Loma will use this trick against opponents who are using a tighter and compact guard where openings are harder to get. The Ukrainian will use this trick by applying pressure by throwing a flurry of lighter punches (as mentioned above). He will then simply slap down on the guard followed up with a hook. This then forces them to create openings due to the danger of getting hit at any angle.
Grappling and wrestling
Most will not consider Loma to be a top inside fighter, but why would you when you grapple and control the fight for your benefit. Much like Floyd Mayweather used to do when up close, Loma will use his glove or forearm on his opponent’s head to steer them in the direction and location he wants. It’s very much like how Matador will control a bull, Loma will use this tactic to frustrate, set up his next attack and take back the center of the ring.
Now if you haven’t watched Lee Wylie’s video on YouTube The Tricks, he goes into far more detail on each of the above. Make sure to watch below as it truly is a brilliant piece of work that demonstrates all these incredible tricks which Lomachenko looks and does so effortlessly.
Footwork and Angles
Lomachenko as a southpaw has typically come up against orthodox fighters, Loma will therefore aim to go on the outside foot of his opponent moving off-angle around front to hit them with a power shot with his left hand to the body or head. He uses these techniques so intelligently by usually occupying the opponent guard first before doing this. See the example below:
The other reason he likes to do this move is the opponent usually puts them in a position where they are unable to hit back, making them extremely vulnerable to get hit before they can reset again. The great boxing trainer Cus D’Amato once said the following which signifies what Loma is trying to do here:
“Remember, it is always good to throw the punch where you can hit him and can’t hit you. That’s what the science of boxing is all about.”.
Southpaw vs Southpaw
Lomachenko is a southpaw and for most orthodox fighters this can be an unusual stance to come up against all the time. The Ukrainian has probably mastered this fighting stance but has proven to be just as proficient against fellow southpaws.
If you watch his fights against fellow Olympic gold medalists Guillermo Rigondeaux and Luke Campbell (Both Southpaws) you will see how successful he is against this stance. In the case of Rigo, a very awkward defensive counter puncher to penetrate – Loma used feints, angles, and footwork to move around the Cuban making him unable to defend himself.
For Campbell, it was more use of intelligent pressure moving in and out while using upper body head movement against a bigger and rangy opponent. (Watch video further above to see this move-in action)
Check out this other great short video by Lee Wylie below in how Loma dismantled and outfoxed ‘The Jackal’ Guillermo Rigondeaux.
For me, Lomachenko is arguably one of the most complete boxers today, if not of all time. His ability to make boxing look so elegant and simple is a huge compliment to himself. It just shows how hard he has worked to be where he is today as one of the very best.
At his current weight, I can’t see many beating him until age catches up. However, I could see him struggle if he moves up to super-lightweight in the future where bigger opponents could cause him problems, but no doubt he would still make it a close fight somehow.
If you are a boxer looking to improve your skillset or add a trick or two up your sleeve, Loma is a boxer you must make sure to watch and learn from. I recommend you check out my blog on how to train like Lomachenko here.
Hope you enjoyed this boxing style review and make sure to let me know if there are any more boxer styles you would like me to feature in the comments below.
Check out my other boxer style analysis features here, including the likes of Usyk, Canelo, and many more.
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