Vasiliy Lomachenko made his pitch for a lightweight title shot with a masterclass performance that showed why for years he was regarded as boxing’s pound-for-pound best.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-weight champion from Ukraine won nearly every round against Richard Commey on Saturday night, dropping the hard-hitting Ghanian in the seventh before cruising to a unanimous-decision win before a crowd of 8,555 at Madison Square Garden.
Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs) raced out to an early lead as the gulf in hand speed, footwork and overall ringcraft between the fighters was apparent early on.
Commey (30-4, 27 KOs), a former lightweight titleholder, used the jab to keep his opponent’s attacks at bay, but the volume of Lomachenko’s punches were taking their toll by the middle rounds.
After he sent Commey crashing to the canvas in the seventh with a concussive hook, Lomachenko twice urged his opponent’s corner to stop the fight. They did not comply and the Ghanian made it it to the final ball on sheer grit and not much else.
Lomachenko is looking to fight his way back into the lightweight championship picture after last year’s uncontroversial points defeat to Teófimo López.
López’s reign proved short-lived as the 24-year-old Brooklyn native lost the IBF, WBA and WBO titles he captured from Lomachenko in a major upset to Australia’s George Kambosos Jr last month.
After Saturday’s fight, Lomachenko said he would happily travel to Australia if it meant another shot at his titles.
“I will go anywhere I need to go to fight him,” Lomachenko said. “I need this chance. And if God gives me this chance I’ll take it.”
More to follow.