WBA lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) was slated to return to the boxing ring on August 25th, just over three months after his thrilling win over Jorge Linares at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, we might not see Lomachenko until the end of the year, and that’s at the earliest.
ESPN reported on Tuesday that the Ukrainian powerhouse needed (and has since completed) surgery on his right shoulder, having suffered a torn labrum in the second round of the Linares bout.
“I couldn’t use my right arm to throw my right hook, and it was very uncomfortable to continue my fight,” said Lomachenko.
This video shows the apparent injury.
Following an MRI, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache confirmed the severity of the shoulder problem.
“There is clear evidence that he had a recent dislocation of the shoulder, and the most common injury that happens when there is a dislocation is a tear in the labrum. His is pretty extensive. A typical tear usually goes from about 2 o’clock if you’re looking at the face of a clock down to about 6 o’clock. His goes almost all the way around. I would say he has significant instability of his right shoulder.”
Bob Arum, Lomachenko’s promoter, said that “the shoulder popped out and then popped back in so he was able to finish the fight, but when he went back home it was hurting him and so he got an MRI in the Ukraine, and it showed the tear.”
Lomachenko was dropped by Linares in the sixth round, marking the first time in his professional career that he’d been knocked down. The fight changed dramatically in the tenth, as the three-division world champion strung together a lightning quick combination, and sent Linares to the canvas with a well-placed body shot. Linares beat the count, but was still in pain and the referee stopped the contest.
If all goes well and there are no setbacks, then there’s a chance Lomachenko could return to action on December 8th, when Top Rank has a scheduled event on ESPN. Having captured a 135-pound world title, “Hi-Tech” has immediately vacated the WBO junior lightweight championship, as he pursues bigger matchups at his new weight class.