The World Boxing Association (WBA) Classifications Committee announced its rankings for May, which includes the 15 best boxers in the 17 weight divisions. Only these boxers have the possibility of aspiring to a world title fight within their respective divisions.
The “Boxer of the Month” distinction was awarded to Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, who beat Jorge Linares via tenth round technical knockout to be crowned the WBA Lightweight Champion.
The fight itself was a very good one, with Lomachenko getting off to a quick start as he was “plugging into the matrix” as the fans call it, when Lomachenko uses his quick footwork and hand speed to dart in and out on opponents and try to turn around them laterally.
Linares was making the rounds close, however, and seemed just on the verge of taking control as the ring general at times as he was hitting Lomachenko to the body and lining him up for straight right hands that were getting parried or just missing the mark.
The excitement came in the sixth round when Linares landed a right hand to the chin that floored Lomachenko for the first time in his professional career. Lomachenko rose off the canvas and circled the ring to burn the remaining time in the sixth round. He then came out cautious in the seventh round, with Linares doing a good job of landing the clean and straight blows to maintain the momentum he had gained with the knockdown.
Lomachenko ramped up the pressure in the eighth round and was slowly building his momentum back over the coming rounds until the end came abruptly at the 2:08 mark of the tenth round when Lomachenko landed a left hook to the liver that crumpled Linares to the canvas.
Linares rose off the canvas, beating the ten count, but referee Ricky Gonzalez called a halt to the bout when he deemed Linares unable to continue as he was still in pain from the body shot.
Lomachenko, who turned 30 this year, went 3-0 in 2017 while making Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga, and Guillermo Rigondeaux all quit on their stools – earning him the additional nickname “No Mas Chenko”.
Vasyl is regarded by many in the boxing media, as well as fans, as the best pound for pound fighter in the world after beating Linares to capture his third divisional world title.
Congratulations to Vasyl Lomachenko on winning the WBA World Lightweight Championship and boxer of the month.
The honorable mention for boxer of the month is Naoya Inoue. “The Monster”, as he is aptly nicknamed, had a big first round knockout victory over Jamie McDonnell, who held the WBA Bantamweight World Championship for nearly four years.