Get a preview and prediction here as Vasyl Lomachenko enters the ring to face Jason Sosa this Saturday on HBO.
This Saturday, HBO presents a triple-header headlined by one of the world’s true elite strikers as Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1; 5 KO) faces Jason Sosa (20-1-4; 15 KO). This 130 pound fight is for the WBO Super Featherweight title held by Lomachenko. The champion is ranked at #1 in the division by Ring Magazine, with Sosa at #10. HBO World Championship Boxing Lomachenko vs. Sosa airs this Saturday, April 8 on HBO with a fight time of 10:00 p.m. ET. Also included on the broadcast is Oleksandr Usyk vs. Michael Hunter and Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Yunieski Gonzalez.
How do these two stack up?
Lomachenko: 29 years old | 5’6” | 65.5″ reach | southpaw stance
Sosa: 29 years old | 5’5″ | 67″ reach | orthodox stance
What have these two done recently?
Lomachenko: W – Nicholas Walters (RTD) | W – Roman Martinez (KO) | W – Romulo Koasicha (KO)
Sosa: W – Stephen Smith (UD) | W – Javier Fortuna (TKO) | D – Nicholas Walters (MD)
How did these two get here?
Vasyl Lomachenko is a phenom, plain and simple. With an amateur record of 396-1, plus two Olympic gold medals, he was primed for success when he turned pro in 2013. Many decorated amateurs have struggled with that transition – not Lomachenko. He has lost once, when he went for a world title against an opponent with over 50 pro fights to his name in just his second fight. But since then, he’s looked just better and better. He’s a two division world champion who wants to fight the very best in the world. Last time out, he did just that, taking on the dangerous power puncher Walters. And he smoked him, making Walters look a league below him. For my money, he’s the #1 pound for pound fighter in boxing today – and he’s hit that mark 8 fights into his career. Like I said, a phenom.
Jason Sosa is a perfectly serviceable opponent. He’s ranked in the top 10 and his only loss came way back in 2010 in just his 5th pro fight. He had a bit of a breakout fight in 2015 when he fought common opponent Walters to a draw (though most scored it for Walters), then had an excellent 2016 with a pair of quite good wins outside the US. Sosa is a tough Jersey fighter with a good punch. He’ll also be the bigger man here, with a size and power advantage.
What can fans expect?
Simply put, Sosa can not come in to this fight and box with Lomachenko. There may be no one in the sport who can (though I certainly want to see Guillermo Rigondeaux give it a try). Lomachenko is an absolute master at using angles and footwork to get in, connect his shots, and circle out. For Sosa to beat him, he likely needs to take a page out of the Salido playbook. Get inside, make it a clinch battle, use his size and rough Lomachenko up. Trouble is – that may be the strategy Salido used, but Lomachenko doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who gets beat the same way twice. I am sure after that fight, he closed that hole in his game, and he sealed it shut. Sosa is a good fighter – from his 2016 I might even say he’s Very Good. But he’s in there against a guy who you need to find a superlative beyond Great to describe. I see Sosa being a thorn in the side at first, but Loma will find his rhythm, turn up the heat, and get him out of there.
Prediction: Lomachenko, KO 6
Who should watch?
If you enjoy seeing a technical marvel in action – think Jose Aldo or GSP – then you need to watch Vasyl Lomachenko.