Vasiliy Lomachenko returned to the ring in style on Sunday, defeating Masayoshi Nakatani via a ninth-round TKO in Las Vegas.
The bout was Lomachenko’s first since his defeat to Teofimo Lopez in October and he was intent on making a serious statement.
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The Ukrainian had plenty to prove as he sought to earn the shot to win back his WBA, WBO and WBC “Franchise” champion title as Lopez won to unify the lightweight division.
And the Japanese fighter took the brunt.
Lomachenko’s slow start against Lopez was nothing but a faint memory as he stepped on the accelerator from the outset.
Lomachenko dropped the 12cm taller Nakatani in the fifth.
With the Japanese fighter’s eye swelling shut as the rounds went on and the Ukrainian landing punches at will, it was a matter of time before Lomachenko landed the killer blow.
All night. 😳
What a performance, @VasylLomachenko. 🔋 pic.twitter.com/XG4zjlT4iZ
And it came in the ninth round.
The Ukrainian boxing beast landed an uppercut then a left hook flush on the button to rock Nakatani and force the referee to jump in and call the fight off.
Destruction all the way up until an incredibly convincing stoppage. 🤯
Yup, @VasylLomachenko looks healthy and back to form.#LomaNakatani | ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/IM0blPPpct
It leaves just one fight the world wants to see — Lomachenko-Lopez 2.
Teofimo Lopez’ father was in attendance to see Lomachenko’s fight and told ESPN that they would be willing to offer a rematch as long as it’s the next fight for both men.
“After this performance, I think the public wants to see this fight,” Lopez Sr. said. “And I could convince my son to fight him again.”
Loma brutalised Nakatani.Source:Getty Images
Lopez is set for his next fight against Aussie George Kamboses Jr. in September after the American tested positive for Covid.
It was postponed for the third time this week with the date believed to be September 11.
The chance to win his belts back seemed was music to Lomachenko’s ears.
“Everybody saw how I won and everybody has been waiting for the rematch,” Lomachenko said after the fight. “So, let’s make the rematch. … I understand he has a fight in the future with Kamboses. But after. How about after? Next year at the beginning of the year. December. January. February. I’m waiting.”
Social media went nuts for Lomachenko’s incredible performance.
This is the Loma that's should've shown up vs Teofimo Lopez. Hope he gets the winner of Lopez-Kambosos. https://t.co/gwi7dtAXb7
Loma is back! #LomaNakatanipic.twitter.com/gojX6ZrF4p
Loma is definitely back. His athleticism in the ring is just insane. I REALLY want to see a Teofimo Lopez rematch!!! https://t.co/DOHOh0Tirr
Loma is a beast and never forget, Nakatani is a warrior! pic.twitter.com/eTynHfalhs
Great day of boxing and mma today! Loma with a crazy performance and Tank showed he’s a true champ!
Holy shit. What a photo from Loma-Nakatani. (via @trboxing) pic.twitter.com/bnlXgpPH2l
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