The chief support to the welterweight showdown between Timothy Bradley and Bradley Rios is now officially set. Featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko was always a part of the show, but now has a confirmed opponent as he will defend versus Mexico's Romulo Koasicha.
Both bouts will air live on HBO. The show takes place November 7 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lomachenko (4-1, 2KOs) will make the third defense of the title he claimed in a 12-round win over Gary Russell, Jr. last summer in just his third pro fight. The feat was actually his second attempt at a major title, coming up just short versus Orlando Salido, who was forced to vacate his strap at the scales after showing up heavy for their clash last March.
Most recently, Lomachenko—a two-time Olympic Gold medalist for Ukraine and regarded as one of the greatest fighters in amateur boxing history—is coming off of an 8th round knockout of Gamalier Rodriguez in May. The bout served in supporting capacity to the richest event in boxing history, Floyd Mayweather's unanimous decsion over Manny Pacquiao.
Koasicha (25-4-1, 15KOs) comes in as a massive underdog. Then, that figures to be the case for most fighters in and around the featherweight division tasked with facing Lomachenko.
“Vasyl is head and shoulders above any featherweight in the world,” insists Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum insisted during Wednesday's press conference in Los Angeles to formally announce the event. “Probably the closest to him is Gary Russell, and Lomachenko beat him handily.
“He's fighting the very best available opponent we can get. He's a tough Mexican fighter, very experienced fighter who will come to fight.”
A four-fight win streak accompanies Koasicha's first career title fight, and just his second bout outside of his native Mexico. His lone other road trip resulted in a decisive points loss to Lee Selby last May. He has since emerged as a favorite on the Boxeo Telemundo circuit, having headlined the July 24 edition with a win over Guillermo Avila.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com.