Pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko will defend his unified lightweight world title against mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla on April 12 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles after their camps made a deal Tuesday night.
The deal for the fight, which will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the launch of the network’s streaming service, was made between Lomachenko promoter Top Rank and Crolla promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing one day before the promotional rights for the bout were set to be auctioned off at a purse bid at WBA headquarters in Panama City, Panama.
Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said the card also will include the light heavyweight debut of super middleweight world titlist Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez.
“We thought Loma would be fighting Richard Commey, but because of his hand surgery, a small procedure on a ligament, the focus obviously moved to Loma fulfilling his mandatory against Crolla once that happened. We’ll look to unify the titles with Commey afterward, in the late summer,” Moretti told ESPN on Tuesday night, shortly after the deal with Crolla was made.
Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs) won a lightweight world title by fifth-round knockout from Darleys Perez in Manchester in an immediate rematch of a draw four months earlier.
Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs), who turned 31 on Sunday, has won world titles in three weight classes. He moved up to lightweight and knocked out Linares in the 10th round in May to win a world title in his third division. On Dec. 8, Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, dropped Jose Pedraza twice in the 11th round en route to a unanimous decision victory to unify two belts.
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Crolla is live on talkSPORT, April 12 from the Los Angeles. Don’t miss it!