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Boxer Vasyl Lomachenko wins world title in just third pro fight – SportsUntapped.com
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Added June 22nd, 2014 by Ian

Boxer Vasyl Lomachenko wins world title in just third pro fight
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Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine beat American Gary Russell Jr. for the vacant WBO Featherweight Title at the StubHub Center in Carson, California by a majority decision on June 21. Seeing a 26-year-old winning a world title isn’t anything new tough, but Lomachenko’s accomplishment was a bit extraordinary considering it came in just his third professional fight.

This achievement ties the world record for winning a world crown in the fewest number of pro encounters. Saensak Muangsurin of Thailand originally set the mark back in July of 1975 as a 25-year-old when he won the WBC Junior Welterweight Championship by an eighth-round TKO in his third pro outing. Incredibly, Lomachenko could have won the belt in just his second pro bout as he also fought for the WBO featherweight championship earlier this year.

Lomachenko met champion Orlando Solis for the title back in March but lost a close split decision in a fight many ringside observers felt he won. The Mexican veteran Solis came in over weight for that bout and the WBO stripped the title from him. He had about a 20 lb advantage over Lomachenko by the time the bout started and barely hung on for the win.

Lomachenko is now 2-1 as a pro with one knockout to his name. He earned the win against the previously unbeaten Russell (24-1, 14 Kos) by scores of 116-112, 116-112, and 114-114. The Associated Press had it for Lomachenko at 118-110. However, while it was just Lomachenko’s third pro bout, he has plenty of boxing experience.

The Ukrainian won Olympic gold medals for his homeland in both the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games and reportedly had a record of 396-1 as an amateur. The 26-year-old Russell also had a stellar amateur career and earned a spot on the 2008 American Olympic team. However, he couldn’t make weight once the Games got underway and he never fought.

Since turning pro in 2009, Russell has been cautious in his career path by taking on less-skilled opponents. Russell has plenty of speed, but lacks power with most of his shots being arm punches. He threw 806 punches against the new champion, but managed to land just 10 per cent of them. Russell admitted that he lost the fight and said the decision was fair.

Meanwhile, Lomachenko’s connect percentage was 31 per cent and he also landed 43 per cent of his power punches with close to 60 of them being to Russell’s body. Lomachenko managed to stagger Russell on a couple of occasions, but the American’s excellent athleticism and conditioning kept him upright. But as the fight wore on Russell was visibly beaten and tired, especially in the 12th and final round when it looked like he was about to be stopped before being saved by the bell.

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