On October 12th before Juan Manuel Marquez challenges Timothy Bradley for the WBO title, Ukrainian amateur stand out Vasyl Lomachenko makes his professional debut, leaping over the kiddy pool and diving into the deep end. Lomachenko will be making a giant splash in the bright lights of Las Vegas, at the Thomas and Mack center when he takes on Jonathan Oquendo (23-3 16KOs).
Lomachenko earlier this year signed a promotional contract with Top Rank and is reportedly on the fast track for a title shot. Most fighters in the debuts fight lesser opposition, many opponents they fight don’t even have a win on their record but Lomachenko is not just an Amateur standout. He is a two time Olympic Gold Medalist in both the Featherweight and Lightweight division and has won many Amateur world titles on his way to become pro. Also he has already defeated top prospects Oscar Valdez and Felix Verdejo, a feat which not many fighters can say.
Now just about a month away from his professional debut, Lomachenko will be taking on a fighter that has been in the ring with top contenders during his career. Oquendo has been in the ring with JuanMa Lopez and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Both fights Oquendo has lost and lost by knockout but that should not take away from the fact that Oquendo is not a fighter most will make their professional debut against.
Should Lomachenko get past Oquendo, there is already talks about him getting a shot at the WBO Featherweight title and may challenge the winner of Orlando Salido vs. Orlando Cruz.; which of course would be unprecedented in the current age of boxing to challenge for a title within two or three fights of the start of a career.
In modern day boxing many promotional companies (i.e. – Top Rank and Golden Boy) slowly build their stars, taking years to turn them from a Greenhorn to a rough Titleist. Vasyl Lomachenko is looking to circumvent the lower and middle Featherweights and showcase himself at the top of the division. Soon we will find out whether this is a smart move or if it will be detrimental, but as we often see in the universe, some of the largest and brightest stars burn out the quickest. Whether the star analogy will apply to Lomachenko, we will find out over the course of this next year.