Video by Ryan Burton
Vasyl Lomachenko defended his WBA and WBO 135-pound belts with a violent fourth-round stoppage of Britain’s Crolla on Friday night, demonstrating his pound-for-pound excellence with another virtuosic display. (photos by Ed Mulholland, Mikey Williams).
Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) brutalized the mandatory challenger for his WBA belt throughout their brief fight, and the Ukrainian nearly ended it late in the third round when he knocked Crolla into the ropes.
Lomachenko started to celebrate by leaping on the ropes, but referee Jack Reiss allowed the fight to continue to the bell. Lomachenko shook it off and finished crisply after the break, ending it with a right hand that dropped Crolla face-first onto the canvas with an apparently broken nose.
Even when Lomachenko can’t get an ideal opponent, he still puts on a show — and the raucous crowd of 10,101 at Staples Center enjoyed it.
While he waits for the promotional stars to align for a big-money showdown with Mikey Garcia, Lomachenko had hoped to take on Richard Commey in a three-belt unification fight in this matchup. Commey’s injured hand forced Lomachenko’s promoters to make this fight with Crolla, rather than surrender his WBA belt.