Vasyl Lomachenko vs Gamalier Rodriguez Preview May 2nd
WBO Featherweight Champion Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine will be taking on Gamalier Rodriguez of Puerto Rico this Saturday, May 2 on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather tilt at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 27-year-old Lomachenko is just 3-1 as a pro with 1 Ko while the 28-year-old Rodriguez is 25-2-3 with 17 Kos to his name. Lomachenko, who s a southpaw, stands 6-feet-6-inches tall while Rodriguez is an inch and a half taller. The challenger also has a reach advantage at 69 inches to 65.
Lomachenko turned pro in 2013 and won the title in just his third fight. He has 40 pro rounds under his belt while Rodriguez turned pro in 2006 and has fought 115 rounds. Even though Rodriguez has the edge in most departments he’ll enter this fight at the decided underdog. Lomachenko was one of the greatest amateurs in boxing history and his 397 amateur fights means he actually has a lot more overall boxing experience than Rodriguez. He won a pair of Olympic gold medals and reportedly compiled an amateur career record of 396-1.
Lomachenko fought for a world title in just his second pro outing when he challenged Orlando Salido, but came out on the wrong end of a close and controversial decision. Salido failed to make the weight limit of 126 lbs and had the title taken away from him before the bout. He used the weight difference and his borderline tactics to his advantage and hung on for the win after Lomachenko put the pressure on over the last third of the fight.
The Ukrainian then won the vacant WBO title by beating the previously unbeaten American Gary Russell Jr. by unanimous decision. Russell recently rebounded and stopped Jhonny Gonzalez for the WBC championship. Rodriguez isn’t an elite fighter by any stretch of the imagination, but has a god record and decent power. He hasn’t lost a bout since 2010 and has beaten the likes of Orlando Cruz. His losses came against Juan Garcia and David Rodela, both by six-round unanimous decisions.
Rodriguez knows this could be his one and only shot at a world title, but he’ll be facing a champion who has excellent technical boxing skills, a good defence, solid chin and fine overall boxing skills. Lomachenko possesses excellent ring generalship and can adapt to any style his opponent throws at him. Rodriguez will need to use his jab and make sure he doesn’t forget about going to the champion’s body.
If Rodriguez can turn this into a bit of a bruising and physical fight the way Salido did against Lomachenko he’ll have a better chance of pulling off an upset. Even if the challenger loses he can raise his stock by putting in a good performance. He needs to use his size and reach advantage and bully the champ when he can and make sure he’s not a stationary target with his hands by his side. Lomachenko is simply too good for him though. There’s a good chance this fight goes the distance and however the outcome is decided look for Lomachenko to retain his title.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights. The odds of a Lomachenko victory are listed at -3900 while a Rodriguez win is listed at +1950. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done.