VA­SYL LO­MACHENKO

Maxim - - BEASTS FROM THE EAST -

DI­VI­SION: Feath­er­weight RECORD: 3 wins, 1 knock­out, 1 loss BIRTH­PLACE: Bil­horod-Dnistrovs’kyi, Ukraine

va­syl lo­machenko never in­tended to forge a ca­reer with his fists. “I wanted to be a hockey player,” says the 27-year-old. “But since my dad was a boxing coach, I chose that pas­sion.” Good thing: Now Lo­machenko is one of the more ac­com­plished fighters in the game. With the finest am­a­teur record in his­tory (396 wins to one loss, which he avenged twice), the two-time Olympic gold medal­ist has al­ready over­come more fight­ing styles than many vet­eran box­ers will face in their life­time. He is not only ex­ceed­ingly well schooled but blessed with dizzy­ing speed, dead-on punch­ing, and clever foot­work. Even af­ter Lo­machenko suf­fered a split-de­ci­sion loss to feath­er­weight ti­tlist Or­lando Salido in only his sec­ond pro fight, his su­pe­rior tech­nique and in­tel­li­gent ag­gres­sion im­pressed boxing’s most jaded crit­ics. Lo­machenko’s big­gest down­side may be his size. As a 132-pound feath­er­weight, there’s a limit to how much weight he’ll be able to put on, and the small­est fighters typ­i­cally earn far less money. Still, Lo­machenko is un­doubt­edly the most tal­ented pugilist to come out of Ukraine since the Kl­itschkos.

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