Coming off Injury, WBA lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) finished off his 2018 as a unified champion, winning a twelve round unanimous decision over WBO lightweight champion Jose Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In a tactical affair, Lomachenko was never really troubled by Pedraza who afterwards seemed more than happy to get through the twelve rounds with one of boxing’s best.
Lomachenko may not have looked the best version of what we have come to expect but flashes of brilliance were on show briefly as he knocked the now former champion down in the eleventh on two occasions and basically busted him up throughout the round. In the end, it would go to the scorecards who scored the fight 119-107, 117-109, 117-109.
“It was my dream to unify titles,” Lomachenko said. “It was my next goal. I can now focus on my next chapter…He’s a veteran. He did a very good job, and I respect Pedraza and his team.”
Said Pedraza: “I am happy with my performance tonight. I went 12 rounds with the best fighter in the world. I knew what we were going up against. I thought it was a close fight until the knockdowns. At the end of the day, I am proud of what I did.”
in a mild upset, In the fight co-main event Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete (25-1, 22 KOs) battered and dethroned previously unbeaten WBO junior featherweight champion Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe (20-1, 14 KOs) winning a twelve round unanimous decision.
Navarrete who was fighting for the first time outside his country, alerted the boxing community of his talent as he dominated Dogboe over the first half of the bout.
Dogboe came back afterwards but Navarrete got back on track with a big round ten, rocking Dogboe and dominating the rest of the contest. Scores were 115-113, 116-112, 116-112.
“I thank Dogboe for this opportunity,” Navarrete said. “This world championship represents every day that I was working away from my family. This title represents sacrifice. I injured my right hand early in the fight, but I had the desire to be a champion and I did everything necessary to get the title, and I am very happy and proud to achieve this goal of being the world champion.”
Said Dogboe: “It was a great fight, and Emanuel Navarrete fought like a true Mexican warrior. Champions are supposed to keep going under any circumstance, but I just couldn’t get the victory. The best man won tonight.”
Photo Courtesy of Mikey Williams / Top Rank