Lo­machenko re­turns from in­jury in light­weight uni­fi­ca­tion bout

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

NEW YORK: Vasiliy Lo­machenko, the pound-for­pound star and WBA light­weight world cham­pion will look to unify world ti­tles for the first time Satur­day when he takes on WBO champ Jose Pe­draza.

Three-divi­sion world cham­pion Lo­machenko is re­turn­ing to the ring for the first time since climb­ing off the can­vas to stop Venezuela’s Jorge Linares on May 12.

The Ukrainian, who suf­fered a torn labrum in his right shoul­der in that bout and had surgery the same month, says he’s “100 per­cent” for his re­turn.

“It was good for me to rest,” said Lo­machenko, whose out­stand­ing ama­teur ca­reer in­cluded more than 800 fights and two Olympic gold medals.

He claimed his first pro­fes­sional world ti­tle, at feath­er­weight, in his third bout as a pro­fes­sional and added a su­per feath­er­weight belt in his seventh pro fight on the way to his cur­rent 11-1 record .

“I have been box­ing since I was a child,” Lo­machenko said. “I had a lot of com­pe­ti­tion. (Surgery) was my first rest and first big va­ca­tion in my life.”

Lo­machenko showed plenty of grit in his 10th-round tech­ni­cal knock­out of Linares, bat­tling to the vic­tory de­spite a knock­down and the shoul­der in­jury.

“When the in­jury hap­pened, I was men­tally pre­pared to deal with it,” Lo­machenko said. “I still had my feet. I still had an­other hand. I am very com­pet­i­tive. I feel like when you step in the ring, you need to fin­ish the fight.”

Lo­machenko ac­knowl­edged that train­ing and spar­ring hav­ing pro­vided the same test of his shoul­der that will come against Pe­draza.

“We’ll see what hap­pens,” he said. - AFP

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