MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, Maryland, April 8
By Peter Lim
The temptation (and frequent mistake) in predicting the outcome of many fights is paying too much attention to a common opponent. There are a multitude of factors and intangibles that come into play besides the one guy they had both previously encountered. But with Vasyl Lomachenko and Jason Sosa, their performances against their common and most high-profile opponent speaks volumes about how their showdown will unfold.
As a slight favorite, Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) effortlessly dominated and stopped Nick Walters in November. Sosa (20-1-4, 15 KOs), on the other hand, was a substantial underdog when he fought Walters to a draw in 2015. It was a fair verdict despite the lopsided scores that the HBO commentators had in favor of Walters.
Sosa forced the slick and hard-hitting Walters into the trenches where they brawled on relatively even terms. Lomachenko had answers to Walters movement and nullified his power regardless of whether they engaged at long range or up close and personal.
Brain bests brawn in this showdown. As tough and doggedly determined as Sosa might be, it's no match against arguably the best ring IQ in the sport today. Mixing hard and soft punches from his southpaw stance, Lomachenko pecks, peppers and pounds Sosa with combinations upstairs and down en route to a 10th round stoppage.