(Lomachenko connects on Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo; via @HBOBoxing on Twitter)
Vasyl Lomachenko does astounding things in the ring. Saturday night he was on his way to a beautifully boxed win, perhaps even a knockout, that showed off his versatility and all-around excellence. Then he injured his left hand. He didn’t lose a round after that.
Appearing on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri on HBO Pay-Per-View, Lomachenko got a relative “soft” fight in his fourth pro bout, given that he fought Orlando Salido in his second and Gary Russell, Jr. in his third. Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo was a Thai fighter with a lengthy record, as they often have, and no meaningful wins, plus a loss to the best opponent of his career, Chris John.
Early in the 1st, it seemed Lomachenko might get a challenge. Piriyapinyo landed a couple nice shots, including a left to the body. It didn’t last long. Lomachenko took over, and unlike in some recent fights, he wasn’t very conservative in his offense — he tried to drown Piriyapinyo in a tidal wave. Yet he mixed things up nicely, with good defense, counterpunching and offensive variety.
By the 4th, he’d scored a knockdown, putting together a ridiculous combination finished by a leaping left hook. Then came the hurt hand at the end of the 7th. You could maybe give Piriyapinyo the 8th; you couldn’t give him anything after that. And what makes that even more “whoa” is that, unlike some fighters with a damaged paw, Lomachenko didn’t even throw his left at a decoy for several rounds. He won the fight one-handed.
There’s been talk of a Lomachenko-Nicholas Walters bout at featherweight. That looks like the best fight in the division, right now, by combination of action, ability and style. Piriyapinyo wasn’t so bad he couldn’t give another contender some trouble, but it’s pretty clear that Lomachenko is wasting time with opponents like this. He’s really something.