Considered by many to be the best pound for pound Olympic boxer, 24-year-old Lomachenko is a boxing superstar in the making. Now a double Olympic gold medallist after his success in the Featherweight (57kg) category at the 2008 Beijing Games and more recently at Lightweight (60kg) at the London 2012 Olympic Games, he is also a two-time AIBA World Champion after triumphing both in Milan in 2009 and in Baku in 2011.
The electric orthodox fighter has fine pedigree and is set to light up the World Series of Boxing (WSB) when he takes to the ring for the Ukraine Otamans.
A Ukrainian national boxing icon, Lomachenko has been making waves ever since he made his international debut. He has to date fought in over 300 bouts and has tasted only one defeat, in the final of the AIBA World Boxing Championships Chicago 2007. The Val Barker Trophy winner of the Beijing Olympic Games, given to the most outstanding boxer of the whole competition, has stated that he cannot wait to continue his adventure with the Ukrainian team in the WSB.
Born in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskiy on 17 February 1988, he took up boxing at the age of 6 and has since then been trained by his father Anatoliy Lomachenko, who is a revered boxing coach in Ukraine. Lomachenko senior had said that Vasyl was always destined to become a boxer, even before he was born. In honour to his father, Vasyl named his first born son Anatoliy.
Lomachenko made his international debut at the age of 16 at the 2004 European Cadet Championships in Saratov, Russia, where he triumphed over Farid Aleshkin of Russia in the final. He was competing at Pinweight then but has since developed into a fearsome Lightweight.
At the 2006 AIBA Junior World Championships in Agadir, an 18-year-old Lomachenko completely overawed all of his rivals to claim gold by defeating Russia’s AIBA World Champion Sergey Vodopiyanov. Lomachenko outclassed his opponents with aggressive attacks and some scintillating footwork that caught the world’s attention.
He was not yet 20 when he joined up with the Ukrainian national elite team set-up and he was instantly selected to represent his country at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Chicago 2007. He comfortably advanced to the last eight to qualify for the Beijing Games before eliminating Mexico’s Arturo Santos and China’s Li Yang to reach the final. In the gold medal contest, he was defeated by Russia’s Albert Selimov, which remains his only career loss to date.
He travelled to the Beijing Games as favourite and began his campaign in the best way possible by inflicting defeat on AIBA World Champion Albert Selimov in the first preliminary round. Lomachenko was simply irresistible as he beat all before him to take gold and Val Barker Trophy.
Lomachenko continued to be hungry for success and unrelenting in the pursuit of perfection. Doubling up his training regime post-Games, he resisted many advances from promoters to trun pro to continue his development under the tutelage of his father. He soon claimed the gold at the European Championships in Liverpool, England. Compatriot Oleksandr Usyk was also one that made his mark at that tournament.
He soon focused on the AIBA World Championships Milan 2009 in pursuit of the only major medal that still eluded him. He once again dominated all of his fights, defeating Mexico’s AIBA Youth World Champion Oscar Valdez Fierro in the semi-final and overwhelming Russian titleholder Sergey Vodopiyanov in the gold medal contest. After that he was Olympic, World and European Champion.
He then competed at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011 and in the quarter-finals came close to his second only defeat after being pushed all the way by Brazil’s Robson Conceicao. In the final, Lomachenko dominated every single round against Cuba’s Yasnier Toledo Lopez to retain his title.
The Lightweight star arrived at the London 2012 Olympic Games in magnificent shape and he proved once again that he was the undisputed king of the division. In the semi-final, the Ukrainian fighter eliminated his top rival, Cuba’s Yasnier Toledo Lopez before a breathtaking display of skills saw him dismantle South Korea’s Han Soon Chul in the final.
The world is Lomachenko’s oyster and his tremendous work ethic and devotion to his art makes him a deadly combination. He presence in the WSB will strike fear into his rivals