By Rocky Morales at ringside
Photos: Sumio Yamada
Reigning WBA/WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KOs) destroyed WBA mandatory challenger Anthony “Million Dolla” Crolla (34-7-3, 13 KOs) in four one-sided rounds on Friday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The fight ended when Lomachenko (13-1, 10 KO) connected with a near-lethal right hook that landed perfectly above the ear of the crouching Crolla, flooring him face first and badly hurting him. The referee started a count but quickly abandoned it and called an end to the fight at 0:58 of the fourth round.
Lomachenko used the first round as a feeling out round but then went on the full offensive in the second round. Crolla looked like a deer in the headlights with no answer to Lomachenko’s vastly superior skills and speed.
In the third round, with Crolla being hammered by a barrage of hooks against the rope, it appeared referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout and he wouldn’t have been faulted for doing so as Crolla was not fighting back. Instead, however, with Lomachenko celebrating his supposed victory, Reiss ruled it merely a knockdown as Crolla would have gone down if not supported by the ring ropes.
Lomachenko wasted no time at the start of the fourth round and quickly went in for the kill. Crolla, not a big puncher with his 30% knockout ratio, had no answer for the onslaught and finally succumbed to a vicious right hook that Lomachenko masterfully looped around the high guard of Crolla. At 0:58 seconds of the fourth round, Lomachenko scored the knockout victory to successfully, easily and very violently retain his unified WBO/WBA lightweight titles.
After the fight, Lomachenko called out Mikey Garcia.