Vasiliy Lomachenko is on the hunt to regain his lost lightweight gold, and the superlative Ukrainian returns to Madison Square Garden in New York this Saturday night for the first time since 2018, when he takes on Richard Commey over twelve rounds on a Top Rank promoted card that can be seen in the UK on Sky Sports, and ESPN in the USA.
Lomachenko (15-2, KO11) was well on the way to multi-weight dominance until October last year, when he dropped his WBA (Super) and WBO belts in a shock defeat to IBF king Teofimo Lopez. Lomachenko gave away nearly the whole of the first half of the fight, and left himself way too much to do in a stunning points loss. He returned to action in June, stopping Masayoshi Nakatani in nine rounds in Las Vegas, and, with Lopez being upset himself by George Kambosos Jr last month, ‘Loma’ will be focused on getting back into the mix with a win here. Commey (30-3, KO27) though, will be a tricky nights’ work for Lomachenko, and the Ghanaian has previously held the IBF lightweight title himself, before surrendering the belt in two rounds to Lopez in December 2019. He returned in February with a sixth round knockout of Jackson Marines.
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Prediction: Lomachenko knows what is needed here, and he won’t be in any mood for slip-ups. Commey is a tough operator, but if Loma is anywhere near his best, he can dazzle in the middle rounds, and eventually grind the underdog to defeat in the later sessions.
American heavyweight hope Jared Anderson (10-0, KO10) takes part in a scheduled eight rounder against Oleksandr Teslenko (17-1, KO13), but I don’t envisaging the contest lasting that long. Anderson has stopped all ten opponents that he has faced so far, with the last a second round stoppage of Vladimir Tereshkin in October. Teslenko was halted in five by Shawndell Winters in September 2019, and returned in June this year with a knockout win.
Prediction: Anderson should win this within a few frames.
19-year-old Puerto Rican Xander Zayas (11-0, KO8) can remain unbeaten with another early win against Alessio Mastronunzio (9-1, KO3), while son of the greatest, Nico Ali Walsh (2-0, KO2) can do the same against Reyes Sanchez (6-0, KO2). Super lightweight prospect John Bauza (15-0, KO6) takes on fellow unbeaten, Michael Williams Jr (19-0, KO12), and it’s a match that Bauza can edge on the cards. James Wilkins (9-2, KO6) should have enough to see off Juan Tapia (10-3, KO3) on points.
Keyshawn Davis (3-0, KO2) sees action, and ‘The Businessman’ can take a points win against Mexico’s Jose Zaragoza (8-3-1, KO2) at lightweight, while New York’s Pablo Valdez (5-0, KO4) can secure an early win against Julio Cesar Sanchez (11-3, KO6). Another New Yorker is Kelvin Davis (2-0, KO1), now based in Virginia, and he can take a stoppage victory against Bryan Emmanuel Ramirez (1-1-1, KO1). Ireland’s Joe Ward (5-1, KO2) could be set for an early win against Britton Norwood (10-3-1, KO7).