One of boxing’s best fighters, Vasiliy Lomachenko, scored a must-see knockout with combat sports wizardry

Lomachenko dominated Nakatani in Las Vegas
Lomachenko (right) dominates Nakatani. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
  • When Vasiliy Lomachenko is on form there are few fighters who are as brilliant to see.
  • The 33-year-old boxing wizard put on a spell-binding performance, beating Masayoshi Nakatani with ease.
  • Watch the highlights of the fight right here.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Vasiliy Lomachenko is fit, on-form, and firing on all cylinders, there are few fighters who are as awe-inspiring and brilliant to see.

The former two-time Olympic gold medal winner, and three-weight boxing champion as a pro, was in need of a big win after losing his last match to rising lightweight star Teofimo Lopez in 2020.

And on Saturday in front of 2,072 fans at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, the Ukrainian boxer delivered by annihilating Masayoshi Nakatani with a combat masterclass, before announcing to the world that he’s back.

“I’m happy because I won,” said Lomachenko after the win, in a post-fight statement sent to Insider. “All the strategies that we developed with my team [worked]. I reached all my goals. I won and now I’m back on track.”

Lomachenko did not have it all his own way as a headbutt in the opening stages opened up a bloody cut on the 33-year-old’s hairline.

But the veteran remained poised and showed a breadth of his pugilistic wizardry to outfox, outbox, and outgun Nakatani with a variety of fistic weapons.

Through a close-range walloping in the fifth, Lomachenko had Nakatani on the ground. The final blows, a left hook and then a right hand from point-blank on the turn, were enough to send the Japanese fighter crashing to the canvas.

He rocked Nakatani’s head back like it was a Pez dispenser with a left hand, bruised him with straight shots, and used his face as target practice for a merciless punch combination towards the end.

Watch the must-see highlights right here:

Lomachenko almost landed as many shots as he missed as Compubox data sent to Insider showed that he connected with 104 of his 214 punches for a 48.6% accuracy, compared to Nakatani’s 29 from 250 (11.6%).

The victory advanced his pro boxing record to 15 wins with 11 knockouts against two losses by decision and sets the stage for a high-stakes rematch with Lopez later in the year.

“Everybody saw how I won this fight, and everybody is waiting for the rematch … so let’s make a rematch,” Lomachenko said in a statement sent to Insider.

Lopez, who currently has COVID-19, is tentatively scheduled to fight George Kambosos later this summer. But Lomachenko wants to fight him straight after. “December, January, February – I’m waiting,” he said.

Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Aru, who represents both fighters, said: “In case there was any doubt, Lomachenko proved he is still one of the very best fighters in the world.

“He is healthy and ready to fight any of the lightweights.”