You gotta love Vasyl Lomachenko. You just have to. This is why the decorated amateur star was our 2013 Prospect of the Year after just one pro fight.
On March 1, he’s challenging Orlando Salido for a featherweight title strap in just his second professional bout. Lomachenko isn’t pussyfooting around his pro career, now is he?
Compare that to the 4- or 5- year apprenticeships that most American Olympic boxers undergo before they are taking on truly high level competition, and it makes you realize, even more so, how ridiculous the whole system is.
While Deontay Wilder’s competition has been skewered, at least he was coming off an almost non-existent amateur run which featured a surprising medal due to his crazy athleticism.
But then look at somebody like Demetrius Andrade. He fought for his first title, a vacant belt against a fellow former US Olympian in Vanes Martirosyan, five years after he turned pro, with little in the form of quality opposition before that. Even Andre Ward’s rise was excruciatingly slow. Until the Super Six, he had done little in his career, and step ups were few and far between. He beat Mikkel Kessler five years after his first pro fight.
Clearly his journey worked out well for him, but you’re telling me he couldn’t have stepped up after two years or three years as a pro? This was an Olympic gold medalist who hadn’t lost an amateur bout since he was a pre-teen, after all.
If the whole defense of the US Olympic boxing system is that hey, we may not produce medalists much these days, but at least we produce quality professional fighters, then why are these guys taking half a decade to advance in that system, while Lomachenko is coming right in to kick ass and take names, as opposed to bide time and pad records?
Kudos to Lomachenko, somebody fight fans just gotta love. It’s refreshing, isn’t it?