Layers Part 1: Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jose Ramirez

In all of boxing today, there’s not a fighter more technical than Vasyl Lomachenko. While Canelo Alvarez might be the more accomplished and Bud Crawford might show some of the highest IQ, as a boxer, none are better than the Ukrainian. Lomachenko has blazed a path from featherweight all the way up to lightweight. He’s left a wake of confusion in his path. While his record isn’t perfect, Lomachenko at his best is the closest thing you will ever see to perfect. In A Career Recap, we go through fights of some of my favorite fighters from the career beginning to end. Today, we start with Lomachenko.

The main point of Career Recap is to watch Vasyl Lomachenko grow as a fighter. As he advances, grows, adds new layers to his game, I hope to show you how Hi-Tech changes as a boxer and evolved. From his most spectacular wins to his losses, the intention is to look at it all.

Lomachenko came into his professional career the most accomplished amateur of all time. With over 400 amateur bouts, Lomachenko won two Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. His professional debut was one that many boxers would never think about starting a career out with but Vasyl Lomachenko was different. 

It’s apparent that Lomachenko is great and destined for greatness in his first pro fight. He’s facing someone with over 20 pro fights in his debut. While Devin Haney, Boots Ennis, Gervonta Davis and others would opt to face opponents with less than five pro fights, Lomachenko was ready for the top immediately.

Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jose Ramirez: A Recap

Jose Ramirez was nothing like taking on a World Champion but he was vastly more experienced than the normal debutant takes on. At 25-3, Ramierez had 16 knockouts on record and was game every time he fought. On the undercard of Timothy Bradley Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez on October 12, 2013, a new star was born. 

The Vasyl Lomachenko we saw in 2013 was far from the polished product we see today. While the foundation was there, Loma has improved leaps and bounds since the Ramirez fight. It lends credence to the fact that while Lomachenko did have over 400 amateur bouts and won two gold medals, the most technical leaps have been since he’s turned pro. While he went from 0 to 90 in the amateur ranks, Lomachenko made the leap from 90 to 98 as a professional. 

Ramirez brought the pressure to Lomachenko in their fight. Ramirez hails from Mexico and he fights like it: high pressure and a lot of volume. But early in round one, Lomachenko sent a message. Ramirez throws a lazy right hook and Lomachenko fires back with a rear left hook to the body and a right hand over the top to drop Ramirez. The knockdown was a result of the liver shot and wouldn’t be the last Ramirez would see of it.

But Ramirez wouldn’t be sent away quite that easy, albeit Lomachenko would get out of the fight relatively unharmed. In round two we would see more of Vasyl Lomachenko and his footwork. Early on, Loma would be less revolutionary with his footwork and more traditional. While his head movement was that of a boxer with 50+ pro fights, he doesn’t quite have the pivots and laser focused punching we see today.

Jose Ramirez would try to son Vasyl Lomachenko by pushing him to the canvas. But Lomachenko would not be deterred. The push was the only meaningful thing Ramirez did to Lomachnko on the night.

In round three, Loma started to change his style and keep the pressing Ramirez away. He implemented the long guard in round three to make it harder for Jose Ramirez to get to him on the night. Lomachenko was even harder for Jose Ramirez to hit than the first two rounds here.

While the footwork wasn’t spectacular as we know it will become, it was still top of the food chain good. In round three, Lomachenko would step to his right and line up a beautiful left hook that almost connects.

Lomachenko would really pour it on in round four. According to CompuBox, Lomachnko threw 49, 52, and 57 punches in rounds one through three. But in round four, Lomachenko would crank up the volume with 83 punches, landing 38. This cranking up in volume would be what makes the fight swing way in the direction of Lomachenko.

The Finish: A Shot To The Body

Round four would be the end for Jose Ramirez. With the combination of the body work from Loma, chasing the Ukrainian around, and clinching up, Ramirez was showing signs of fatigue and labored punches already. The fight, while it was the debut of Vasyl Lomachnko, was scheduled for a full 10 rounds and being tired already was practically a death sentence for Ramirez. But it wouldn’t be long and grueling.

Here, Lomachenko was starting to sit in on his punches, land some great shots, and do damage to Ramirez. His shot selection was to tier already and we saw it early. It would be these shots that set up the final blow.

Lomachenko had invested in the body, which we saw early, but he never stopped going to it. Finally, with Ramirez squared up and trying to land something big, Vasyl Lomachenko lands a beautiful uppercut to the body that sends Jose Ramirez rolling on the canvas, unable to continue.

While the debut of Vasyl Lomachnko was spectacular, we had no way of knowing just how good he would become. In a sport where power punchers are often seen as the more entertaining, Lomachenko would capture the boxing world in awe with his footwork, his shot selection, his futuristic-looking gloves, his charisma.

Because of Floyd Mayweather, boxing has an obsession with being undefeated. But Lomachenko would have none of that for practically his entire career. In the next Career Recap, we’re going to dive into Orlando Salido’s upset of Lomachenko in his second pro fight.

If you’re wanting an even deeper dive on Vasyl Lomachenko, consider checking out Vasyl Lomachenko: Layers on Patreon. It’s a deep dive on the footwork of Lomachenko using the recent Richard Commey fight. We talk the outside foot advantage, where that can lead and strike speed variability. For only $5 a month you get access to that and the rest of the Patreon exclusive post that include video, podcasts, and articles. Or, just sign up for a month and check out the Layers post!

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Blaine Henry

Just your friendly neighborhood fight fan!

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