Vasyl Lomachenko’s speedy, highly effective arms and impeccable footwork are a sight to behold — apart from his opponent.
Saturday night time at Microsoft Theater, Ukraine’s Lomachenko produced his newest masterpiece when World Boxing Group tremendous-featherweight title contender Miguel Marriaga did not reply the bell for the eighth spherical.
In retaining his WBO belt, Lomachenko (9-1, seven knockouts) knocked down Marriaga (25-three) late within the seventh with a punch to the top after a spherical-lengthy onslaught of blows on the Colombian.
Marriaga is not any slouch. In April, he gave WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez all he might deal with in a slender loss at StubHub Middle.
On this night time, Marriaga was first knocked down within the third spherical and shortly reverted to protecting mode as Lomachenko continued to pursue him relentlessly.
“It’s very exhausting in boxing when your opponent is all about protection,” stated Lomachenko, a former two-time Olympic champion. “It was onerous to open his protection. He all the time stayed on this [covered] place.”
There wasn’t a lot selection contemplating Lomachenko’s versatility and skill to unleash a punishing flurry at any time. The primary knockdown, as an example, was preceded by a mixture and a left uppercut, then a proper uppercut, then a tough left to the top as Marriaga fell backward to the canvas.
Lomachenko’s elusiveness had the double advantage of irritating Marriaga together with his swings and misses whereas the contender was left uncovered to scoring blows that Lomachenko landed to the physique.
Lomachenko shrugged off a minimize over the left eye from a fourth-spherical head butt, and landed blows together with a mixture whereas Marriaga was backed to the ropes by repeated proper palms to the kidneys within the sixth.
“He dominated the battle. He principally overwhelmed me with strain,” Marriaga stated.
Lomachenko chased Marriaga alongside the ropes within the seventh, then slugged him to the physique, faking a windup, then throwing the decisive punch seconds earlier than Marriaga’s nook determined their fighter had suffered sufficient.
“I’ve by no means seen something like this,” stated Lomachenko promoter Bob Arum, who has additionally dealt with the careers of Muhammad Ali and Manny Pacquiao. “Not solely does he have the information, he has the talent set, the quick reflexes.”
Arum stated he’s eyeing a Dec. 9 struggle for Lomachenko, probably in New York, towards both tremendous-bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, former featherweight champion Orlando Salido or World Boxing Council tremendous-featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt.
“Doesn’t matter,” Lomachenko stated when requested who he needs subsequent. “Anyone.”
Within the co-important occasion, Mexico’s Ray Beltran gained a struggle and a greater probability to completely stay in the USA, defeating Costa Rica’s Bryan Vasquez by majority choice.
Former junior-welterweight title contender Beltran (34-7-1) claimed a majority choice victory by scores of ninety five-ninety five, ninety six-ninety four, ninety six-ninety four.
Beltran wanted the victory to reinforce his bid to stay within the U.S. as a result of his non-immigrant visa is nearing expiration.
He’ll submit a petition quickly to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Providers for everlasting residency as somebody with “extraordinary means in skilled boxing,” based on Beltran’s lawyer.
“I put no strain on myself,” over the state of affairs, Beltran stated.
“I’m very motivated. I’m simply right here to battle.”
Comply with Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire