By Rick Reeno
StubHub Center, Carson, California - Two-time Olympic gold medal winner Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1KO) won a twelve round majority decision over previously undefeated Gary Russell Jr. (24-1, 14KOs) to capture the vacant WBO featherweight championship. The scores were 114-114, 116-112, 116-112.
It was a chess match in the first four rounds, but Lomanchenko exploded with punches to the head and body in the fifth. Russell came back to put in the better work during the sixth. Russell was controlling the seventh until Lomachenko fired off big combination in to get him in trouble during the final minute, and then Lomachenko worked him over with wicked shots to the head and body.
Russell was able to get himself back in order during the eight and ninth, but Lomachenko was landing the hard and more accurate shots to the body. Both fighters had their moments during the tenth. Lomachenko landed the better arsenal of shots during the eleventh, including a hard uppercut up the middle. Lomachenko took over the final minute of the twelfth and once again stunned Russell and had him in serious trouble as the fight came to a close.