Vasiliy Lomachenko added the World Boxing Organization lightweight world title to his World Boxing Association belt with a unanimous 12-round decision over Jose Pedraza on Saturday.
Ukraine’s Lomachenko, a three-weight world champion who had never before unified two titles in the same class, knocked down Pedraza twice in an explosive 11th round.
Two judges saw it 117-109 for Lomachenko while a third made it 119-107 for the 30-year-old who was fighting for the first time since having shoulder surgery in the wake of his 10th-round technical knockout of Jorge Linares on May 12.
“Everything is good — I’m healthy 100 percent,” Lomachenko declared after wrapping up the victory to improve to 12-1 with nine wins inside the distance.
“I am happy,” he said. “I (moved) a little closer to my dream, to my goal.”
That’s to unify all of the major lightweight belts.
“Two more belts, and maybe we can make in the next year a fight with Mikey Garcia,” he said.
Garcia is the unbeaten World Boxing Council 135-pound champion.
Pedraza, making his first defense of the WBO title he won with a unanimous decision over Ray Beltran on August 25, was the first fighter to go the distance against Lomachenko since Suriya Tatakhun in a featherweight world title bout in 2014.
Lomachenko had stopped eight fighters inside the distance since then.
“He did a very good job,” Lomachenko said of Pedraza’s staying power. “I respect Pedraza, the Pedraza team — very good job.”
The staying power of Pedraza was in full display in the 11th round when the Puerto Rican fighter somehow managed to withstand the onslaught from Lomachenko.
42 power punches in the 11th from Lomachenko, unreal that Pedraza survived that onslaught pic.twitter.com/Kc2bUKKLxh
— Bryce Parker (@bryce_parker26) December 9, 2018
The Ukranian fighter landed an incredible 42 power punches during the round, knocking Pedraza down but somehow not finishing the gritty lightweight.
An incredible display of power and precision from one fight and heart and resilience from another.
© Agence France-Presse (Additional Edits By Oisin McQueirns)