Vasyl Lomachenko (TJ DeSantis/Sherdog)

Vasyl Lomachenko: The Pride and Shame of Ukraine

It is a sad ending of a great boxing story. Probably no other public person in Ukraine has ever received as much credit of trust from the society as Vasyl Lomachenko.

Lomachenko was excused when he was photographed with Russian boxers after 2014. Then he was even allowed not to speak about the invasion of Donbas, while he publicly called Russians a brotherly people.

Oleksandr Usyk was allowed to have this uncertain position as well. After all, unfortunately, many people in Ukrainian society at that time shared this opinion. There is no point in delving now into the causes of this Stockholm Syndrome among Ukrainians, as most of us already know them very well. What is important is that Ukrainians were very tolerant of boxers. Where, for example, media artists were receiving a lot of hate for public acceptance of some Russian values, boxers were always excused.


However, everything changed on Feb. 24, 2022. Usyk, who always pushed the right-wing position, saw the harsh truth and understood his ideological mistake. However, Lomachenko, who behaved more or less quietly until the year 2022, after several months of moral swings, decided to spit in the souls of all his fans. And, this was his fatal mistake.

It is the fans who make sportsmen great. All of Lomachenko’s true fans were from Ukraine. Russians also recognized him, somehow, but only to stab him when he lost. At the same time, Ukraine considered Lomachenko a national hero, and lived every moment of his fights as something sacred – like, the Klitschko brothers’ fights or the Ukraine national football team matches.

Lomachenko does not understand this, but he was created by Ukraine. His homeland led him to greatness, but it does not forgive traitors. That is why Lomachenko’s defeat against Devin Haney was completely expected. At the time when Usyk approached the second match against Anthony Joshua with crazy public support, Lomachenko only continued to lose confidence. At the time the production began, Ukrainian society generally perceived him as a traitor. And, despite this, most people still supported him during the fight, because we all love him as a son – even a prodigal one.

Fans of Ukrainian boxing wanted Lomachenko to become the first absolute world champion from Ukraine. But, this was not destined to happen. And only Lomachenko himself is to blame for this. He chose the wrong position and burned out, because of the hate he received. You have to be friendly to your fans, and they will make you great. He should have learned this lesson since his loss to Teofimo Lopez. But, unfortunately, Lomachenko plunged too deeply into a religious swamp, from which he could no longer swim out. The hope is now only on Usyk, who cannot catch the slippery bum of the gypsy fat man. One day, this fight must happen, if boxing still has the pride to claim the status of the primary combat sport.

However, for Lomachenko, this is a very sad ending. In an after-fight interview, Lomachenko said that both victories and defeats come from God. This is correct. He became the most titled prospect in the world, which even Mike Tyson admired, when he was the flagbearer of Ukraine. But, when he started to renounce the Ukrainian idea, he lost two main battles in his life. It is sad to see his crocodile tears. But what is that, if not God’s punishment?

Many from the boxing community called the judges’ decision questionable. There will always be the dissatisfied, but the decision is fair. Lomachenko himself could not fulfill the unwritten standards of a confident victory in the title fight – to take the championship rounds clearly. He stepped onto the same rake for the second time, as in the fight against Lopez. He simply did not have enough cardio to keep up the pace he set until the end of the fight. In a very close match, Lomachenko gave his all in the eleventh round and gave the twelfth round without appeal. This is definitely not the result that the public expected to see from the best boxer of all time. So, with this result, he simply finally proved that the previous defeat was not an accident, and that he was never the best.

Of course, Lomachenko still has a chance to hold a long-awaited fight with Gervonta Davis, and, in case of victory, try to collect the belts again. Of course, this is if Bob Arum is interested in promoting him further. But, even in case of a very positive development of events, it will be a pleasant epilogue of a sad fiasco.