By Alexey Sukachev
Little, if any, amateur boxers worldwide have been able to stay competitive within the same ring with the best unpaid fighter in the world in Ukrainian superstar Vasyl Lomachenko over the last five or six years. The two-time Olympian (2008 and 2012) and the two-time world (2009 and 2011) champion Lomachenko was so dominant over these years that a capable challenger for him became more of a myth than a reality.
The last fighter to give serious trouble to the Ukrainian was 2007 world champion Albert Selimov, who defeated Lomachenko in the Chicago final but then was eliminated by Vasily in the first round of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Today, facing his bitter rival, Lomachenko was very lucky to avoid a loss, as he scored a split decision over five rounds: 48-47, 48-47 and 47-48 – for the Ukrainian. Team Ukraine lost to Team Azerbaijan 1-4 in a return match (5-0 for Ukraine in the first series of matches), and thanks to the Lomachenko’s win advanced to the semi-finals of the tourney.