VASILIY Lomachenko vs. Anthony CROLLA Prediction… by Rahmon Ford
On Friday night at Staples Center, Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) and Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs) battle Friday for Lomachenko’s WBA World (Super), WBO World, and The Ring magazine World lightweight titles.
Lomachenko has won his last 11 fights, including a December 2018 win over Jose Pedraza. Lomachenko will defend his belt for a second straight fight and is coming off his first decision win since his 2014.
Lomachenko is 31-years-old, stands at 5’7”, and has a 65-inch reach. Lomachenko is one of the best technical fighters in the sport with superior footwork and defense. This will be his third professional fight in California.
Anthony Crolla has won five of his last seven fights, including a November 2018 win over Daud Yordan. Crolla is 32 years old, stands at 5’8”, and has a 67-inch reach.
Crolla isn’t a knockout artist, but has great accuracy, activity and a fantastic jab in his arsenal.
Crolla uses pressure to get to his opponents, always coming forward, looking to box on the inside. He’s only stopped one of his last six opponents. Think Timothy Bradley Jr- a pressure guy without much power. He’s a dog!
There are two schools of thought on how to beat Lomachenko. Most trainers think you should pressure him and be as aggressive as possible and make it a brawl. Good luck. Those who have tried have been picked apart. Others say to try to box him but time him and get inside and mix it up wisely.
Crolla should simply be himself. Bring his usual volume, but keep the angles and look to punch anything, arms, joints, you name it. Use your size advantage, try to close distance, and box from inside-out.
Lomachenko, coming off surgery for his last fight, failed to use his newly repaired right arm against Pedraza. He needs to use it against the much bigger Crolla. He should use Crolla’s aggressiveness against him and use angles and timing to walk Crolla into big shots. I Crolla decides to box Lomachenko should get inside and smother Crolla’s punches.
I expect Lomachenko to put on a show after a slow start. Although he won at least nine rounds against Pedraza, it wasn’t a performance up to his standards. Lomachenko knows this and will work hard Friday night to remind fans why he’s #1 on many pound-for-pound lists.
I like Lomachenko via eighth or ninth round stoppage.