Thursday, February 22, 2018  |


Vasyl Lomachenko to defend title vs. Miguel Marriaga on Aug. 5 on ESPN

Photo / @TRboxing

The next Top Rank on ESPN headliner is officially set. previously reported Vasyl Lomachenko would defend his title August 5 in the second installment of the new series, possibly in a rematch against Orlando Salido. That deal fell apart this week when Salido turned down an approximate payday of $700,000, a source told

Enter Miguel Marriaga, a featherweight contender who is coming off a loss to Oscar Valdez in April. Marriaga (25-2, 21 knockouts) will move up four pounds and challenge Lomachenko for his WBO junior lightweight title at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Lightweight contender Ray Beltran will meet former title challenger Bryan Vasquez in the 135-pound co-feature.

Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs), No. 5 on THE RING pound-for-pound list, will making his third defense of the 130-pound belt he won via spectacular knockout over Roman Martinez last summer.

What Lomachenko won’t receive is an opportunity to avenge his lone pro defeat. That came against Salido in the Ukrainian’s second pro bout following a decorated amateur career, highlighted by two Olympic gold medals. The Mexican veteran came in overweight and then used low blows and every dirty trick in the book to outpoint Lomachenko.

While Lomachenko waits for an opportunity to avenge that setback or face another Top 10 opponent, he will stay busy against Marriaga, a Columbian slugger who was outpointed in his only two fights against top competition. Valdez beat him by a wide decision, as did Nicholas Walters in June 2015.

Now Marriaga will face an even greater talent — perhaps the best in boxing — in hopes of breathing new life into his career.

For Lomachenko, it’s his greatest stage yet to display his immense talents against a fighter who usually is willing to slug it out.

  • Charlie U.

    Cool that he is on ESPN, very disappointed in the choice of opponent. Come on, Arum, do something good for a change.

  • Michel Desgrottes


  • wrecksracer

    didn’t Loma’s team taunt Rigo into coming up to 130 and he accepted? I like both guys, but that’s a duck. They have plenty of excuses, I’m sure

    • Chris Smith

      Rigondeaux should have got on the phone and tried to make it happen. He didn’t. He’s all about social media and claiming to want to take on anybody but with a couple of Lomachenko ducks behind him his real life persona is different than his social media one.

      • wrecksracer

        We all know Bob Arum won’t make the fight, regardless. Loma’s team shouldn’t say they will fight him if he comes to 130, only to turn tail and run.

  • Chris Stans

    Fighting Valdez leftovers…nice

  • Twal

    mariaga is tough and strong and all that…but he lost almost every round against walters, who gave up against loma.
    the valdez fight was close after 10 rounds but due to valdez dominating the championship rounds it became a convincing win(I had it 115:112, 116:111 is also okay)
    so is there any chance that loma will lose?
    I think not