Loma on BM P4P crown: 'An honour words cannot properly express'

Boxing Monthly
12/01/2018 4:15pm

Ukrainian superstar Vasyl Lomachenko has reacted with delight after being recognised by Boxing Monthly online as the top pound for pound boxer in the world. The 29-year-old WBO super featherweight champion succeeds the retired Andre Ward as the ten-man BM panel's pick as the best boxer in the world, regardless of weight class.

"To be voted Boxing Monthly's No, 1 pound for pound fighter is an honour words cannot properly express," the 29-year-old Lomachenko said. "I have so much more that I want to accomplish as a boxer and this will serve as an inspiration for me to continue my journey toward becoming a symbol of my era, a fighter who sought out the toughest challenges and fought the best, because that is the truest measure of a man and of a real champion. That was was my goal as an amateur and it is my goal as a professional."

After a glittering amateur career, which saw him win two Olympic gold medals and accumulate a staggering record of 396-1, Lomachenko turned professional in 2013 and has since accumulated a record of 10-1 (8 KOs).

At first glance this ledger may not appear to be pound for pound material, but it is worth noting that the sole reverse on the Ukrainian's record occurred in his second pro start and was a controversial points defeat against the highly experienced Orlando Salido, whose foul-filled tactics and failure to make weight ahead of the duo's WBO featherweight title clash left many feeling that Lomachenko had been hard done by.

Since that setback, Lomachenko has barely put a foot wrong, annexing titles at feather and super feather while also removing the unbeaten records of quality operators Gary Russell Jr and Nicholas Walters in just his third and eighth paid fights respectively.

In 2017 Lomachenko's ability to conjure hurtful shots from unusual angles and dazzle with his footwork and movement saw all three of his dispirited opponents retire in their respective contests with the Ukrainian. In December fellow pound for pound claimant and hitherto unbeaten Cuban master boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux was the latest pugilist to find 'The Matrix' to ne an impossible proposition. This remarkable run of form saw the Ukrainian wittily anoint himself 'NoMasChenko'.

"My victory over Guillermo Rigondeaux may have been a bigger fight for boxing than it was for me," Lomachenko told Boxing Monthly. "I give Guillermo a lot of credit for moving up in weight to challenge me.  I wish the other champions in my weight class had the same courage and confidence as Guillermo.  There is more to being a world champion than just wearing a belt. True world champions have a responsibility to making or accepting the toughest challenges.  Accepting or avoiding those challenges are what define them. I choose to meet the biggest challenges."

Now that he has ascended to the top of our pound for pound ratings, it will be fascinating to see what challenges Lomachenko embraces in 2017. The BM team congratulate him on his achievement and look forward to seeing how his career progresses.

The full Boxing Monthly online P4P top ten is as follows:
1. Vasyl Lomachenko - 92 points
2. Gennady Golovkin - 87 points
3. Terence Crawford - 70 points
4. Saul Alvarez - 72 points
5. Mikey Garcia - 46 points
6. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai - 39 points
7. Naoya Inoue - 38 points
8. Sergey Kovalev - 23 points
9. Keith Thurman - 22 points
10. Oleksandr Usyk - 22 points

NB: Voting panel for the BM online P4P rankings were: Mark Butcher, Luke Byron, Luke G. Williams, Andrew Harrison, Paul Zanon, James Oddy, Chris Williamson, Callum Rudge, Michael Montero and Shaun Brown.
Each panellist ranked their top ten in order, with the boxer placed first receiving ten points, second nine points, third eight points and so on. Boxers were then ranked by the overall number of points accrued. If scores are equal then the boxer with the highest individual rating from a judge is ranked higher (as was the case when Oleksandr Usyk and Keith Thurman tied on 22 points). If boxers are still equal they are then ranked equal. If there is a tie for first place then the boxer with the most first-place votes is given preference. If boxers are still equal they are then ranked equal.