Lomachenko: While Lomachenko evokes 'No Mas-Chenko,' what's next for Kamboso...

Liam Paro: Boxing...
Published Time: 12.05.2024 - 10:13:46 Modified Time: 12.05.2024 - 10:13:46

"He's a legend of the sport," Kambosos said. " ... He's one of the best fighters in history." Lomachenko, lomachenko vs kambosos

Vasiliy Lomachenko throws an onslaught of punches to the body of George Kambosos Jr. that forces the referee to stop the fight in the 11th round. (1:39)

Lomachenko became the first fighter to finish the Australian and did so in fashion. He broke down Kambosos with a string of sharp lefts, bloodying the right eye. Lomachneko finally floored him with a left hand to the body, followed by a flurry that forced the corner to toss in the towel.

"He's a legend of the sport," Kambosos said. " ... He's one of the best fighters in history."

That's not hyperbole, of course. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is a future Hall of Famer, and coming off the disappointment of his disputed decision loss to Haney one year ago, Lomachenko is building momentum once more.

He could find his next opponent in a week. On Saturday, Emanuel Navarrete meets Denys Berinchyk for the vacant WBO lightweight title in San Diego.

Navarrete is a sizable favorite to become a four-division champion, and Top Rank is looking to match the Mexican with Lomachenko later this year. It's a fascinating clash of styles. Navarrete is a whirlwind at 5-foot-7 with a 72-inch reach.

Lomachenko proved Sunday he still possesses the reflexes to fire through openings when they present themselves. He can still elicit memories of No Mas-Chenko, the man who made opponent after opponent quit on the stool during his time as the pound-for-pound king. And with a title back around his waist, he seems primed for one final run at the top of the sport.

-- Coppinger

George Kambosos, down on the canvas, had nothing for Vasiliy Lomachenko's footwork and activity throughout the fight. Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Kambosos was fully aware of the monumental stakes at play when he stepped into the ring to fight pound-for-pound superstar Lomachenko.

He knew victory would cement his legacy as an Australian boxing icon, a world champion who would have produced not one, but two of the most stunning upsets of the era, against a pair of generational fighters. Kambosos argued ad nauseam such achievement would be enough to see him secure a place in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, an honor only bestowed on five of his countrymen. Victory would have also opened the door to further championship fights at 135 pounds.

But Kambosos also knew that a loss to Lomachenko would signal the end of the road for his international boxing career. And on Sunday afternoon, after being humiliated on home soil for 11 rounds, Kambosos cut a dejected figure as he left the ring, knowing his career now hangs by a thread.

For Kambosos, Sunday's loss to Lomachenko will see him plummet down the lightweight pecking order, sitting dangerously on the precipice of irrelevance, not just in the division but the boxing world. It's unlikely Kambosos will fight for another world title, but he has no regrets taking the fight.

Kambosos' promoter Lou DiBella spoke earlier in the week the possibility of his man stepping up to junior welterweight for a rematch against Lopez. The one caveat was that he had to show that he remains a world-class fighter. His performance against Lomachenko did nothing of the sort. Kambosos was outclassed from the opening bell until Lomachenko landed a flurry of punches to force his corner to wave the white flag.