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Boxing | International

Vasyl Lomachenko © Gallo Images

Lomachenko the odds on favourite

WBO junior lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko of the Ukraine is the odds on favourite when he defends his belt against Jason Sosa from Camden, New Jersey at the MGM in Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA on Saturday night.

The 29-year-old Sosa (20-1-4; 15) won the WBA junior lightweight “regular” belt when he stopped Javier Fortuna in the eleventh round. This was Fortuna’s first loss.

In November last year he made a successful defence with a points victory over England’s Stephen Smith. He has subsequently been stripped of his title by the WBA.

Sosa turned pro in November 2009 and suffered his only loss in his fifth fight when he was stopped in the first round by Tre'Sean Wiggins. However, he was considered fortunate to come away with a draw against Nicholas Walters in December 2015.

Walters was stopped in the seventh round by Lomachenco in his last fight in November last year.

Lomachenko, 29, who fights out of Oxnard in California, was an outstanding amateur, winning two Olympic gold medals, two World golds and one silver. He also won a European gold.

In his pro debut he stopped the 28-fight Jose Ramirez to claim the WBO featherweight title and in only his second fight went in against the vastly experienced 55-fight WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido.

Salido, who came in overweight and forfeited his title, managed to win on a split decision to give Lomachenko his only loss.

In his next fight Lomachenko won the vacant WBO featherweight belt when he beat Gary Russel Jr on a majority decision and then made successful defences of the belt against Suriya Tatakhun, Gamalier Rodriguez and Romalo Koasicha.

Moving up to junior lightweight he knocked out Roman Martinez in the fifth round to win the WBO belt and then made a successful defence against Nicholas Walters to take his record to 7-1; 5.

Sosa is a brave and rugged fighter, but will he be able to last the distance aginst the hard-hitting southpaw champion and master technician?


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