The lightweight division is no home for Vasyl Lomachenko.
Yes, he won the WBA world title against lightweight kingpin Jorge Linares, but he struggled big time and was dropped in the fight before he stopped Linares by body shot.
What Lomachenko vs. Linares showed me was the two-time Olympic gold medalist has many flaws in his style. His main tool is the same thing that made Manny Pacquiao difficult and that is his footwork and athleticism.
Lomachenko is peaking and in a few years those fast legs and reflexes will go, he will get touched up more than he did in his 135 pound debut.
The guys in the lightweight division are big boys many of them walk around in the 150s to 160s. Mikey Garcia recently told ESNEWS during a Hawaiian trip that he walks around at 180 pounds. Mikey Garcia just won a world title at 140 pounds and owns belts at 126, 130, and 135, he is vacating his junior welterweight belt to defend his WBC lightweight championship.
Mikey Garcia is a massive lightweight if he walks around at 180 pounds he would have a significant size advantage over the smaller Lomachenko.
Another unbeaten fighter at lightweight is Robert Easter Jr. he owns the IBF strap and is nearly six-foot tall, and probably walks around over 160 pounds. He is a very hard puncher just like Garcia and will dwarf Lomachenko in the ring.
Mikey Garcia and Easter are rumored to fight in July at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to unify the titles, these are the two biggest guys in the division and would both likely knockout Lomachenko.
I believe Lomachenko will try to defend and unify his WBA lightweight title with the WBO champion Ray Beltran. Beltran a former sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao is considered the weakest champion in the division having struggled to win the belt against Paulus Moses in February he would be easy pickings for anyone in the division.
After Lomachenko beats an aging Beltran, look for him to vacate the belts and drop back down to super-featherweight and defend his WBO belt to avoid the winner of Garcia vs. Easter Jr.
The only problem here is WBA champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis is waiting in the wings at 130 pounds. Tank is an undefeated power puncher with speed and a great chin, he is promoted by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and would likely destroy Lomachenko if they ever fought.
What I believe will happen is Bob Arum and Top Rank will continue to hype up Lomachenko like they did with Manny Pacquiao and put him in with Top Rank fighters or in with carefully picked ranked opponents to continue to build up his defense record and milk him before putting him in with a serious threat.
After he got dropped by Linares, I doubt his team will put him in against any big punchers. Look for a carefully picked opponents from here on out.