For the second year in a row, Vasiliy Lomachenko kicked off the holiday season at Madison Square Garden with another big win in a world title fight.
Only this time, instead of beating pound-for-pound star Guillermo Rigondeaux, Lomachenko outlasted and outboxed Jose Pedraza to unify the WBA and WBO lightweight world titles. In front of a sold out crowd at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Lomachenko won a unanimous decision (119-107, 117-109, 117-109) thanks to two late knockdowns.
The 30-year-old Lomachenko started off slow, taking his time and finding his range as he is fighting for the first time since undergoing surgery earlier this year. Pedraza tried to use his size advantage to get the early lead in the cards, but was missing on a lot of his punches. Lomachenko scored his first big shot of the fight in the third round when he landed a left hand that knocked Pedraza off-balance.
Pedraza would find little success throughout the fight, but the bulk of that success came in the fifth and round when he outworked Lomachenko. Pedraza managed to also land a combination of punches in the 10th round to push back Lomachenko and get a bit of momentum late in the fight.
In the 11th round, Lomachenko had his best round of the night. Lomachenko started with a flurry of punches that ended with a left hand to Pedraza's chin, followed by a body shot and ended with a straight right to the chin, knocking the Puerto Rican down. Lomachenko landed another flurry of hard punches to drop Pedraza to one knee once more, virtually securing a win on the scorecards for Lomachenko.
After the fight, Lomachenko restated his interest in fighting fellow world champion Mikey Garcia. Garcia currently holds the WBC lightweight and previously held the IBF title until weeks ago in order to pursue a shot at Errol Spence Jr.'s IBF welterweight title next March on pay-per-view.
Lomachenko extended his win streak while also successfully defending his WBA title for the first time. Lomachenko first won the lightweight title back in May, when he knocked out Jorge Linares to become a three-division world champion.