This Saturday live night on ESPN/ESPN+ Vasiliy Lomachenko returns to the ring versus the former undisputed lightweight champion George Kambosos. This bout will take place in George’s backyard in Australia. Lomachenko was last seen almost a year ago, losing to Devin Haney via a razor-close decision. Kambosos had a tough outing in his last fight as well winning a majority-decision over Maxi Hughes. Although this matchup is definitely not a win-or-go-home scenario, it does have a lot riding on it for the winner.

If Lomachenko gets his hand raised on Saturday his promoter Bob Arum has suggested he would finally match Shakur Stevenson with Vasiliy later this year. Now, of course, that would mean two things. One is that both Loma and Shakur, who have a fight in July, win their fights. Two would be that Stevenson who becomes a free agent would resign with Top Rank. Shakur claims he will test the market and make the best decision for his future. He’s expressed interest in fighting Gervonta Davis but is unsure about signing a deal with Premier Boxing Champions. Enough of this talk let’s not put the cart before the horse.

Lomachenko is no longer in his prime given his age of 36 along with the 400 some-odd amateur bouts. That said he’s nowhere near a shot boxer at this stage. The one item he deserves just criticism for is the slow starts in fights with Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney. Giving away the first part of those fights while supposedly downloading information is ridiculous no matter what the Loma super-fanboys say. But to be fair it was just those two fights. In fact beyond the learning on the job he received from Orlando Salido, he has pretty much been on cruise control for the vast majority of his bouts.

That’s not to say he wasn’t dropped by Jorge Linares or that Jamaine Ortiz didn’t have his moments. George Kamabosos, on the other hand, has had to work hard for seemingly every round he’s won in the last 6 outings. When the Australian faced Lee Selby and Mickey Bey he had to grind his way to victory, that’s what made the result in his win over Teofimo Lopez so shocking. Now, sure, we could say Lopez fought very ignorantly and clearly didn’t respect the level of opposition. Regardless, it was Kamabosos’s timing and counterpunching that continued to catch Lopez recklessly coming forward.

Devin Haney controlled the pace and won both fights in 2022 clear as day over George. Haney used his jab, length, distance, and speed to dominate the rounds. Now, once again, George comes into his fight with Loma as a sizable underdog. This boxing podcaster believes the betting odds should be even higher something above +500. Unless Lomachenko grows old overnight like many folks were saying would happen to Canelo last week, this boxing junkie just doesn’t see how George wins.

It’s no disrespect to Kamabosos, who’s a very good fighter, and I, for one, will never take away from what he did to Lopez. Now, some will say Lomachenko is an aggressive boxer, and George will counter him on the way inside. There’s a major difference between smart aggression and throwing caution to the wind. Loma doesn’t enter a fight looking for the stoppage like Teofimo was that night. Lomachenko uses angles to land quick and accurate combinations. At the same time, Loma moves out of punching range, or at least out of range, preventing a boxer from being able to follow up with combos, if that makes sense.

The path to victory for George is to hurt Vasiliy early and/or the hometown cooking that could take place in Australia. And to be fair to the boxing commission down under, the judges were pretty fair in both bouts to the visiting Devin Haney. With such a narrow path to victory facing a difficult style matchup, there’s no way I could pick an upset. The key question is, can George force Lomachenko out of his autopilot/cruise control mode? As a boxing fan, upsets keep me humble as a predictor and fuel my passion for the sport. Kambosos will have his mini-spurts within the rounds and will win rounds just not enough of them to make it close on the cards.

My Official Prediction is Vasiliy Lomachenko by Unanimous Decision.

PODCAST LINK: The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast: Canelo vs Munguia Recap! Who’s Next? Inoue KO’s Nery! Ryan Garcia Pops Dirty! on Apple Podcasts or

Side Note: Keep your eyes peeled on the closest odds matchup on paper of the weekend Andrew Moloney vs. Pedro Guevara.

Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio

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