Vasyl Lomachenko was great once again Saturday night, which means he peppered his opponent to death, was entertaining, and won easily. Lomachenko, one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport – after just 10 professional fights, retained his junior lightweight world title for the third time, dropping Miguel Marriaga twice en-route to a seventh-round technical knockout before a crowd of 4,102 in the main event of the Top Rank ESPN card at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.
Lomachenko, 29, cruised through the first two rounds unscathed, as he popped Marriaga (25-3, 21 KO’s) with the jab and short right hands.
It was abundantly clear that the angles were particularly bothersome for Marriaga, 29, who nearly went down on his own volition.
The Columbian went down in the third round from a straight left hand and was toyed with for the rest of the round as the Ukrainian laid back against the ropes, motioning Marriaga to bring it on. Although Lomachenko clearly was the superior boxer, it wasn’t his best performance. Marriaga caught the former two-time Olympic gold medalist with a few clean punches, including a right hook as his opponent was clowning.
“It was (a) very interesting fight for me,” Lomachenko said. “I need to work on my defense.” Lomachenko had a mouse under both eyes and was cut over the left eye from an accidental head-butt in the fourth round. However, he appeared unaffected by the marks, and continued to punish Marriaga, whose only losses have come in world title fights. Lomachenko turned it up in the seventh round and pummeled Marriaga, who had no answer, and returned to his corner sapped of his strength and his confidence.
Although Marriaga survived the round, he knew he had reached the end of the line, and quit on his stool.