Vasyl Lomachenko, one of boxing’s brightest stars and the current WBO junior lightweight champion, has an opponent, but not necessarily was he the first option.
Lomachenko will be fighting WBA junior featherweight champion Jason Sosa in the main event of an HBO-televised card on April 8. That fight will be for Lomachenko’s world title.
As for Sosa being Lomachenko’s first choice as an opponent, two other fighters were contacted about a fight with the WBO champion: Orlando Salido, who handed Lomachenko his only loss as a professional boxer, but after Salido turned down the fight, WBA “super” junior lightweight champion Jezreel Corrales was approached for a unification bout.
Once Corrales turned down that fight as well, Top Rank, who promotes Lomachenko, scrambled to find an opponent and once Sosa was approached for the fight, he quickly accepted, according to his co-promoter Russell Peltz on a conference call.
Lomachenko, while happy to have found an opponent in Sosa, did not mince any words when calling out the boxers who did not accept a fight.
"I would like to thank Jason Sosa, who unlike the other champions, agreed to take this fight to determine the best in this weight division, even though everyone knows I am the division's Papi," Lomachenko said. "I moved up to 130 pounds hoping champions in this division were not cowards like those at 126 pounds. It looks like I was wrong. To all the other 'champions' in the 126-pound and 130-pound divisions, I say this to you, 'You are not champions, you are businessmen. Bad businessmen. By avoiding risks, you cheat the boxing fans, and that is bad business.' I came to this sport to prove to myself and others that I am this big and loud champion. So, while all of you continue to hide from me, I am going forward to achieve my goals. My next step is on April 8. See you there!"
Sosa last fought in November 2016,defeating Stephen Smith in Sosa’s first defense of his super featherweight title. When the fight was made official, Sosa vacated his title and Corrales, the “super” champion, is the lone WBA champion.
Lomachenko retained his title late last year against Nicholas Walters, who he and his corner gave the fight up in the seventh round.