Heading into the matchup between Anthony Crolla and Vasyl Lomachenko, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had some high praise regarding his pound-for-pound monster. During the Lomachenko vs Crolla press conference, Arum compared Lomachenko to the esteemed painter Pablo Picasso. Possessing unrivaled hand speed and footwork, Lomachenko is one of the most technically brilliant fighters in the sport.
“This is an artist at work”, Arum stated with authority during Wednesday’s Top Rank press conference when trying to come up with words to describe Lomachenko.
What Makes Vasyl Lomachenko an ‘Artist’?
Lomachenko’s footwork, hand speed, and precision are what makes him such an aesthetically pleasing fighter to watch. He uses his footwork extremely well to help keep opposing fighters inside his comfort zone where he can methodically pick them apart. Much improved since Orlando Salido bullied him around the ring, Lomachenko is adept at avoiding pressure and keeping fighters at an arm’s length.
Once he establishes his ideal distance and comfort zone, Lomachenko is able to truly take advantage of the lightning fast hands that he was blessed with. Able to get significant power behind his punches as well, Lomachenko’s hands are some of the deadliest in the sport. Despite not having “one punch knockout power”, Lomachenko has proven time and time again that he will simply wear opponents down with an explosive flurry of powerful shots.
What helps to make those flurries even more dangerous is the fact that Lomachenko has incredible accuracy on his punches. Seemingly always able to slip something through his opponent’s guard that lands right on the button, Lomachenko is the type of fighter where his opponent’s head needs to always be on a swivel, even when their hands are up. This accuracy makes his hand speed even deadlier as not only do his punches consistently find their mark but they often get there before his opponent can even react.
Can Anthony Crolla Beat the ‘Artist’?
Although certainly the underdog, Anthony Crolla possesses the skillset to pull off what would be one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. A skilled point fighter who once held a lightweight belt of his own, Crolla is one of boxing’s most underrated fighters following his pair of losses to Jorge Linares.
Specifically, Crolla works the body incredibly well, something that we have seen pay big dividends against Lomachenko in the past. When I had the opportunity to speak with Crolla prior to the fight he harped on the importance of that aspect of the fight.
“While I don’t want to give away the entire gameplan, there are going to be times where I’m going to look to land those shots.” Crolla added, “But it’s going to take a bit of both boxing and inside fighting.”
The challenger certainly seems to have his head on straight and should help to make this a very competitive match against Vasyl “Picasso” Lomachenko.
Lomachenko vs. Crolla airs Friday, April 12, on ESPN+. You can watch it for free by starting a free 7-day trial here.