When Vasyl Lomachenko shockingly lost to Teofimo Lopez in October 2020, the defeat left the former pound-for-pound king outside the immediate lightweight title picture. But Lomachenko proved he was still an elite contender by beating Masayoshi Nakatani in June. Now, he’ll look to book his place in a championship fight with a similar display against Richard Commey on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs) says he’s found new motivation since his loss to Lopez, which scuttled his dreams of becoming the undisputed lightweight champion.
Lomachenko finds discipline through religion
The Ukrainian says that dream remains in reach, as long as he keeps winning big fights.
“It’s the next step to my goal now,” Lomachenko told ESPN of the upcoming fight. “I have a dream, be undisputed world champion. I failed to fulfill my dream … I failed the first time, but now I have one more chance.”
Lomachenko says he’s made several changes since the Lopez fight. The 33-year-old told The Ring that he’s focused just as much on improving outside the ring as in it.
“After losing to Lopez, I became a more religious man,” Lomachenko said. “I am more disciplined in life in finding my religion, but my point of view was not focused that much on my faith. I am Russian Orthodox and it’s helped me become more disciplined in my life.”
|Lomachenko vs. Commey Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Vasyl Lomachenko: -1100||Richard Commey: +600|
|Method of Victory|
|Lomachenko by KO/TKO: -220||Commey by KO/TKO: +850|
|Lomachenko by Decision: +300||Commey by Decision: +1600|
Commey (30-3, 27 KOs) has long stood as one of the top contenders in the lightweight division. He even held the IBF title for a time before Lopez stopped him in the second round of their 2019 fight. Like Lomachenko, he has one win since that loss: a sixth-round KO victory over Jackson Marinez in February.
Both men look to erase Lopez losses
Like Lomachenko, Commey wants to prove he deserves a title fight. He knows he comes in as an underdog, but the opportunity is just as big for him as it is for Loma.
“I know it’s not an easy fight, but I’m coming,” Commey told reporters. “Losing is a part of boxing, so regardless of how you lose, it’s all about coming back. So whatever happened with the Lopez fight, it is what it is and I took it as a man. I knew I needed to come back and I came back very strong, and that is the reason why Loma chose me, and Saturday we are going to see what happens.”
Lomachenko enters the fight as an overwhelming -1100 favorite over Commey (+600), according to FanDuel Sportsbook. But he’s shown significant respect to Commey, who he says has the power to at least cause him some problems during the fight.
“He has power. He has experience. He has a reach. He is taller than me, and he understands boxing,” Lomachenko told ESPN. “I know his weaknesses, but I can’t tell you now.”