Vasyl Lomachenko retained his WBO featherweight title tonight on HBO, taking apart Mexican challenger Romulo Koasicha with surgical precision in a fight that may not have thrilled, but more or less was as anticipated. Lomachenko won every round, then finally dropped Koasicha on body shots in the 10th round, scoring the knockout at 2:35.
Lomachenko (5-1, 3 KO) dominated throughout, starting cautiously and gradually becoming slightly more active as the fight went on. The one-way action was obvious to anyone watching the fight, but the punch stats tell the tale with numbers, and everyone knows about numbers. Lomachenko landed 334 of 717 punches (47%), compared to a paltry 75 of 607 (12%) for Koasicha, who was thought to be drastically overmatched when the fight was signed, and proved none of the naysayers wrong with this performance, though it could be described as "gutty" or "brave," since he did indeed go in there and get beaten up by an obviously superior fighter.
Koasicha (25-5, 15 KO) was never any threat to Lomachenko, which made for a total lack of intrigue in what amounted to a stay-busy fight for Lomachenko, dressed up as a "world championship" bout because it's easy to do that nowadays. The idea that Koasicha was the best fighter who was willing to face Lomachenko is questionable, perhaps, but the featherweight division isn't exactly bursting with top name talent. Nicholas Walters has moved up to 130, which means that the best in-house option at Top Rank was a no-go.
But this level of opponent won't placate the public for much longer, especially with the overwhelming hyperbolic praise from the HBO commentary team, who have fallen in love with Lomachenko. That's fine, and to their credit they pushed fairly hard during the fight for a potential matchup with Guillermo Rigondeaux in 2016, but if Lomachenko doesn't face anyone who can challenge him, the narrative for fans is going to shift from "what a great talent" to "he's not beating anyone." Whether that would be fair or not isn't even the question.
All that aside, though, Lomachenko did what he was supposed to do tonight. You might have liked to have seen an earlier knockout, or Lomachenko step on the gas a bit more since it was very clear even in the first few rounds that Koasicha had nothing for him, but he got the win, dominated, and closed the show early. What did you think of his performance?