By Keith Idec
Vasyl Lomachenko was asked if when he looks in the mirror he sees the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the world.
“It’s very hard to answer this question because when I look in the mirror, I don’t think about who’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter,” Lomachenko said through a translator during a recent conference call. “I’m just shaving myself or I’m working on my hair. But I don’t think at that moment about who’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.”
The reporter laughed, but pressed Lomachenko for an answer. Does the uniquely skilled Ukrainian southpaw consider himself the best boxer in the world?
“If you wanna just talk about me as a pound-for-pound fighter,” Lomachenko said, “I will probably say I will be the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter after I beat a couple more champions at the 135 division [lightweight].”
The 29-year-old Lomachenko remains at 130 pounds. The two-time Olympic gold medalist is scheduled to defend his WBO world super featherweight championship against Jason Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs) on April 8 in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
After facing Sosa in an HBO “World Championship Boxing” main event, Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) will consider moving up to 135 pounds because his promoter, Bob Arum, has had difficulty enticing other 130-pound title-holders to face him.
Newly crowned WBC 135-pound champion Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) is among the lightweights who would make intriguing opponents for Lomachenko. Whether beating Garcia and another lightweight title-holder would move Lomachenko into the top spot, as he suggested, depends on a variety of factors – not to mention whether he’s able to secure such formidable challenges.
Regardless, he has climbed most credible lists following a year in which Lomachenko dominated his two opponents.
He knocked out Puerto Rico’s Rocky Martinez (29-3-3, 17 KOs) in the fifth round to win the WBO 130-pound championship June 11 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. In his first title defense, Lomachenko beat previously undefeated Jamaican Nicholas Walters (26-1-1, 21 KOs) into submission following seven one-sided rounds November 26 in Las Vegas.
Lomachenko is ranked No. 5 on pound-for-pound lists for BoxingScene.com and ESPN.com. The Ring magazine ranks Lomachenko at No. 6 on its list.
All three outlets rank unbeaten WBC super flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez at No. 1.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.