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Need for Speed: What makes Lomachenko special?

Author : Yaron Muravyov

The style of Ukrainian boxer Vasyl Lomachenko in detail
15:30, 7 December 2018

The New WBA/The Ring LIghtweight King Vasyl Lomachenko
Official website of Vasyl Lomachenko

Lomachenko's style in detail

On December 8, Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza will fight against Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko in the ring of New York’s Hulu Theatre. Many experts and professionals consider Lomachenko the best boxer of this age. What skills of two time Olympics champion impressed the boxing world? The American boxing promoter Bob Arum says:

“I’ve never seen anything like this. He is phenomenal. Vasyl Lomachenko is technically the best fighter that I have seen since the early Muhammad Ali”

Speed, reaction, skills… It is clear: Lomachenko can fight like no other and he is so fast, no one can catch him. But what is it that has to be done to fight differently? How to use your advantage in speed? We want to highlight several elements Vasyl Lomachenko loves to use in the rink to make his opponent very uncomfortable.

Before you continue to read, check out who is Jose Pedraza and what he has to offer in the upcoming fight.

Footwork

Have you noticed how Lomachenko could suddenly appear at the opponent’s side or back and at once land one or several hits? Ukrainian is right-handed boxer trained to be a southpaw. His pivoting step starts from a few jabs to opponent’s head to make him raise hands. Next, Vasia side steps to the right behind the lead leg popping out at the opponent’s left flank. The latter looks through the gloves but the Ukrainian is nowhere to be found. Thus, he has to open up and change the stance and receives a punch from the left. And if he did not loosen defense, he would get a hit in the neck or a liver shot.

Ukrainian boxer Vasyl Lomachenko
Open source

Lomachenko is not the first one to actively use pivoting and side-stepping. Mike Tyson’s technique taught to him by the famous Cus D'Amato, was based on constant changes of attack angles. Mike’s strategy was set to “destroy” the opponent and together with the boxer’s talent, it made a great KO artist put of him. Loma might not have the punching power of Tyson, but if you take a few hits like that, you struggle to make it to next round.

Feints

Another great American boxing trainer Freddie Roach thought of a training technique that enhances your spatial intelligence and hand coordination.

Many boxing elements are aimed to provoke the opponent, make him act in a certain way. Lomachenko uses feints to make the opponent open up for the hit from another hand.

It is worth mentioning that the Ukrainian starts to use them only in case the opponent tightens defense, not even trying to attack anymore. The boxer’s instinct reacts to Loma’s hand moves and makes him dash in the opposite direction. And there he is met with the prepared punch by Lomachenko. It turns out flashy and pretty effective when the opponent is disoriented.

Fast combinations

Another effective tool in Lomachenko's arsenal is his avalanche of blows to the body, which winds up with a blow to the head. During one of his training sessions, the Ukrainian scored 80 hits per eight seconds. Neither the eye nor the conventional video camera can capture that kind of speed.

Everybody finds it tough to hold out against such hail of blows. But what's actually the coolest thing about this combo is that this entire 'smashing the torso' stuff is merely a prelude for the surprise punch to the head. It could also be the combo to the head, with subsequent return to the torso. And so on.

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Triple shots

Pendulum-like movements, when the body moves from side to side are among the basics of the defense in boxing. It is harder for the attacker to hit the moving target. Lomachenko has been great in the use of this element. With his speed and reaction time, he can evade the opponent's blows, even in an uncomfortable situation.

Ukrainian boxer Vasyl Lomachenko
Open source

Apart from that, Lomachenko boasts an effective countermeasure to this kind of defense. As the combo often goes, the right punch follows the left, which makes perfect sense. Lomacheko's combos of double or triple shots to the same spot always wreck the opponent's own rhythm, and he ends up not knowing what to expect from the Ukrainian.

A great example was observed in the bout against Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, where Lomachenko got his left arm injured; he only used his right for several rounds in a row. But even with that unpleasant turn, he managed to tie his blows into combos.

Fast thinking and ease in the ring

In his bout against Sosa, the Ukrainian acted like a toreador. During the fight with Koasichi, he twisted his arms like Popeye The Sailor. At that moment, his face reveals very true emotions; he's happy, he's excited, he plays with his opponent. And whenever you do things with such ease, it always looks light-heartedly.

Ukrainian boxer Vasyl Lomachenko
Open source

Vasyl Lomachenko is the world's versatile boxer of our time. With his way of thinking, he uses his own experience to show an endless number of combinations, every single of them being a piece of his own style. And with every next fight, that style will be replenished by the new decision, tricks and developments. Some of these we will see in New York on December 8.

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