BROOK SNUB FEAR AFTER KHAN EYES CRAWFORD
FOR the first time in his career a question mark hangs over the great Vasyl Lomachenko.
In all my experience of serious shoulder injuries, fighters have rarely been the same again.
Lomachenko tore the labrum in his right shoulder, the cartilage that keeps the joint in its socket, in the second round against Jorge Linares in May.
It is a wonder that he was able to get through the bout, never mind win by stoppage in the eighth round.
Lomachenko was also down in the sixth against Linares. That made him human and suggests to every contender out there that he can be beaten.
Though there was talk of a move up to super lightweight to challenge for a title in a fourth category should he be successful against WBO lightweight champion Jose Pedraza at Madison Square Garden, I would caution against that.
The discrepancy in size makes his power less chilling and his ability to take a shot more problematic the higher up the food chain he travels.
Even at lightweight, his opponent tonight has a fiveinch reach advantage.
Of Lomachenko’s 12 pro fights, all but the first have involved a world title. For his 13th the WBA lightweight champ steps into unification territory for the first time.
At his peerless best the speed, power and sheer variety of Lomachenko’s formidable arsenal was just too much for mortals and if he returns to rude health a 10th stoppage win beckons.
But as I said, you never know how an injury like the one he sustained will hold up under the stress of championship boxing.
And as a result of the Linares bout there is a queue of fighters lining up for a shot at one of the greatest of all time. Should Mikey Garcia rethink his options following the jump to 147 to face Errol Spence in March, he is an obvious target at 135 pounds. There is a fight to be made with the unbeaten puncher WBA super featherweight champion Gervonta Davis, who in January last year inflicted on Pedraza his only defeat and is struggling to make 130 pounds.
And Luke Campbell, who will challenge for a world lightweight title next year, would snap Lomachenko’s hand off, as would Robert Easter Jr.
So it’s all to play for in New York where Lomachenko sets out to prove that he is still the man to beat at lightweight.
MARK OF A CHAMPION Vasyl Lomachenko bounced back from being knocked down to beat Linares in May Follow Barry on Twitter at @Clonescyclone @Mcguigans_gym @Cyclonepromo
AMIR KHAN is ready to snub Kell Brook again for a world title clash with Terence Crawford because the American is a bigger name.Brook is angry Khan is prepared to renege on their gentleman’s agreement to fight in the spring and instead challenge WBO welterweight champion Crawford.Crawford’s promoters Top Rank are prepared to pay Khan £3.9million ($5m) to face their man in New York on March 23.Khan’s team claim Crawford (right) is much more attractive because that fight offers him a route back to the top.A member of Khan’s team told Mirror Sport: “The Brook fight would be huge over here, but in the States it doesn’t ring any alarm bells.“We have to look at the bigger picture and if Amir takes Crawford and beats him, he’s back on the map. Crawford’s got the belt and Amir wants to be world champion again.“Amir is interested in the Brook fight and after the Crawford fight, that could still happen.“Amir just wants a decision ASAP because he needs to go back into training soon. We need to know what’s happening this month.”Brook, 32, faces Australian journeyman Michael Zerafa in front of his home fans at the Sheffield Arena tonight in what he thought would be a tune-up for a showdown with Khan.He is furious with his bitter rival and says it will be Khan’s fault if they never meet.“If it doesn’t happen, people know who to blame – the Kardashian boy,” said the former IBF welterweight champ.“Despite what he says, this fight won’t always be there.“If one of us gets beat, it just kills the fight.“I’ve done everything I can to make it happen, but he’s just running out the back door again.”
ANGRY Brook is furious with rival Khan
AMBITION Khan wants Crawford’s world title