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.