Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


Vasiliy Lomachenko, Anthony Crolla agree to lightweight championship fight on April 12

y enko in action against Jose Pedraza during their WBA/WBO lightweight unification bout at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on December 08, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Vasiliy Lomachenko’s first title defense of 2019 is set.

The Ring lightweight champion will put his belt on the line against Anthony Crolla on April 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, it was revealed Tuesday. The 135-pound title tilt will be streamed on ESPN+ one week before Terence Crawford fights Amir Khan on ESPN Pay-Per-View.

Lomachenko, The Ring’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, was originally slated to meet Richard Commey in a unification fight on April 12. However, Commey suffered a right hand injury during a second-round KO of Isa Chaniev earlier this month was unavailable to compete. Lomachenko will likely fight Commey later in 2019 as long as he gets past Crolla as expected.

With Commey sidelined, the WBA enforced Crolla as the mandatory challenger and stipulated Lomachenko fight the Brit next. Top Rank officials and promoter Eddie Hearn agreed to terms Tuesday to avoid a purse bid.

Lomachenko (12-1, 9 knockouts) scored a decision victory over Jose Pedraza in December in the first defense of his Ring lightweight championship. He won the belt with a 10th-round stoppage of Jorge Linares in May.

Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs), a former 135-pound titleholder, has reeled off three victories since suffering consecutive defeats to Jorge Linares. Crolla is rated No. 4 by The Ring.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger