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Vasyl Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla: Anatomy of an underdog

Anthony Crolla goes up against one of the Pound for Pound Kings in the form of Vasyl Lomachenko. Dom Hadi breaks down the fight and believes Crolla has more than the chance many are giving him

For a former World Champion, the goal is usually set in motion as soon as they drop the belt; reclaim the gold. On April 12th 2019 former WBA Lightweight Champion Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla, 36-6-3 (13), has the opportunity to take home three titles with the WBA (Super), WBO and The Ring belts all on the line. This is a fantastic opportunity for a seasoned fighter like Crolla where at the age of thirty-two now has a perfect combination of experience and skill showing he can go to war with any man.


The professional experience Crolla posses will be the driving force against his formidable opponent, as Crolla will be stepping in to face arguably the pound for pound best boxer on earth – Vasyl ‘The Matrix’ Lomachenko, 12-1 (9). To earn a nickname like that you best believe he is a fighter that takes his opponent into deep waters that they have yet to experience. Footwork and head movement being breathed into him from childhood in his native Ukraine, Lomachenko has surpassed all but one opponent in his short pro career. That lone loss come in his second pro fight where he fought veteran Orlando Salido, 44-14-4-1NC (31), for the vacant WBO Featherweight title, dropping a split decision to the Mexico slugger.


Fighting for a world title in only your second professional fight may seem strange, but after Lomachenko’s decorated amateur career reportedly going 396-1 as well as capturing two Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012 respectively, there was little doubt ‘Loma’ would be coming for all the baubles in professional boxing.


Since that loss, Lomachenko has looked unstoppable, winning world titles across three weight classes in only eleven fights (he won the vacant WBO Featherweight title in his third fight as Salido couldn’t win the belt in their match-up as he didn’t make the championship weight). All these facts, discussions and social media clips of Lomachenko are exactly why you can find Anthony Crolla at an 18/1 underdog in this upcoming fight.


However, Anthony Crolla will no doubt be relishing his underdog status. The Manchester man has looked adversity in the face before and this is nothing new for the former champion. Crolla appreciates he has been given a tough challenge in Lomachenko, but in doing so he has also been given a crack at the top prize of the lightweight division, if not the whole of boxing. Crolla has the chance to become world champion again, earn potentially the biggest payday of his career and fight in one of the most decorated stadiums in the United States which hosted what most say was the most entertaining fight of 2018 when Deontay Wilder put his WBC Heavyweight title up against Tyson Fury.


For some fans (and bookies) Lomachenko has already won this fight, but as any true boxing fan will tell you ‘no fight is over until it’s over’ and Lomachenko faces a fighter in Anthony Crolla who is willing to leave it all in the ring: underdogs are suppose to lose, but as we have seen time and time again, that is not always the way.


Vasyl Lomachenko defends WBA (Super), WBO and The Ring Lightweight titles against Anthony Crolla on Friday 12th April at the Staples Center, Los Angeles.


Full fight card below:


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This article was published on on the 14th March 2019 and has been updated …