Vasyl Lomachenko defends belt, stops Marriaga after 7 rounds | National Sports – Arizona News

Vasyl Lomachenko defends belt, stops Marriaga after 7 rounds | National Sports – Arizona News

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Although Vasyl Lomachenko had battered Miguel Marriaga around the ring for 6 1/2 superlative rounds, the Ukrainian star couldn’t break his Colombian opponent’s will until he landed a body punch that told him the end was finally near.

“I hear his ‘Ughhhhh,’ and then I punch the body (again),” Lomachenko said with a smile.

Marriaga’s corner stopped the bout after seven rounds Saturday night, and Lomachenko defended his WBO 130-pound title for the third time in nine months.

Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs), the two-time Olympic gold medalist, showcased his virtuosic technical skill and athletic prowess in another one-sided victory. He knocked down Marriaga (25-3) in the third round and systematically took control with precise punching and graceful footwork in the ensuing rounds.

Lomachenko floored Marriaga again in the waning seconds of the seventh, and the challenger’s corner had finally seen enough.

“It was very hard to open his defense,” Lomachenko said. “He was always looking down. I was happy when I finally got it.”

Ray Beltran also fought through two cuts to squeak out a majority decision over Bryan Vasquez before a lively crowd of 4,102 at the downtown Microsoft Theater.

The main event was another showcase for Lomachenko, whose superior abilities have made him a favorite of knowledgeable fight fans ever since his amateur career. Given a U.S. showcase on ESPN, he put on a show in breaking down Marriaga with skill and violence.

Lomachenko started to…

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