Vasyl Lomachenko moves up in weight tonight to try and become a two-division world titleholder in just his seventh pro fight, as he faces Roman "Rocky" Martinez in the HBO main event. The show starts at 10 p.m. ET, and we’ll be here with round by round updates and coverage.
Lomachenko (5-1, 3 KO) won the WBO featherweight title in 2014, and has defended three times. He’ll now look to take the WBO super featherweight title from Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KO), who won it last year from Orlando Salido. Lomachenko is regarded as one of the most skilled fighters in the world, but Martinez is a good veteran who is a three-time titleholder at 130.
In the co-feature, top lightweight prospect Felix Verdejo (21-0, 14 KO) will face Juan Jose Martinez (25-2, 17 KO) in what is expected to be little more than a stepping stone bout. The hope is that Verdejo will impress more than he did in his HBO debut in February.
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Vasyl Lomachenko def. Roman Martinez by KO (1:09 of round 5)
Felix Verdejo def. Juan Jose Martinez by TKO (2:40 of round 5)
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ROMAN MARTINEZ vs VASYL LOMACHENKO
Round 1: Lomachenko using his footwork to take the fight where he wants it early. Martinez trying to find openings. Lomachenko showing his class and skills early, poking some jabs in. Martinez not able to find anything to do yet, but it was a feeling out round. Lomachenko 10-9
Round 2: Lomachenko with a straight left early in the round. That's been working so far. Right to the body, then another left down the middle. Martinez is trying but he's having a terrible time landing anything clean. Lomachenko's speed is a massive advantage. Wicked hook from Lomachenko. He's not a big puncher, really, but he's got such great timing. Three hooks from Lomachenko. Lomachenko 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Lomachenko still doing what he does. Martinez does land a couple of decent shots this round, good right hand that gets in, a hook late, and Vasyl pops him with a good shot to close the round. Lomachenko 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Lomachenko's jab working. Mixing up his punches, throwing straight lefts, right hooks, combinations. As Roy says, he has no pattern. body shots here and there, too. Good straight left from Lomachenko snaps Martinez's head back. Martinez no match for his skills so far. He's a good fighter, but he's being outclassed. Lomachenko 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Lomachenko firing away and HOLY SHIT A HUGE RIGHT HOOK AND MARTINEZ IS DOWN! THIS FIGHT IS OVER! MASSIVE! Lomachenko KO-5
FELIX VERDEJO vs JUAN JOSE MARTINEZ
Round 1: Verdejo hurts Martinez with a jab. Felix is saying he's going to show more tonight. Verdejo unleashes a quick counter combo, nothing lands clean. Pretty easy work here for Verdejo, clear round for him. Verdejo 10-9
Round 2: Counter right from Felix. Verdejo throwing heavy shots, not landing clean a lot yet, or not totally flush anyway. Good hook from Verdejo. Good body shots. Martinez is way overmatched but he's doing his best, I suppose. Verdejo 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Harold's one-night replacement Greg Sirb calls him "Verjedo" twice. Great stuff. Martinez upping his offense this round. Not doing a ton with it, but he's trying. Verdejo cracks him with a good right. Body shot from Verdejo. Martinez cut pretty badly outside of his right eye. Verdejo 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: Verdejo looking much like he has in his other recent fights. He's doing well, but he also misses a lot, doesn't commit to the body as much as he could (which could open up shots he misses up top, too), and there's just a bit missing, but it's only because of the expectations. He's not Trinidad or Cotto. Time to put that to bed. Not fair to him. He's just not them. Verdejo 10-9, 40-36
Round 5: Verdejo bouncing around, moving constantly, doesn't sit down on many punches as a result. Verdejo with a good left hook. Big right from Verdejo hurts Martinez, now Verdejo storming for the finish and missing lots of shots. Referee taking a close look and stops it. Verdejo TKO-5