Mikey Williams/Top Rank
TWO-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist Vasyl Lomachenko and WBA super-featherweight world champion Jason Sosa will battle for Lomachenko’s WBO junior lightweight world title on April 8 at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. The fight between the two world champions will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The non-televised undercard will feature undefeated No. 1 super middleweight contender Jesse Hart from Philadelphia and local favourites from the metro Washington, D.C. area, including undefeated prospects Mike Reed and Patrick Harris in separate bouts. Full details on the undercard will be announced at a later date.
“I would like to thank Jason Sosa, who unlike the other champions, agreed to take this fight to determine the best in this weight division, even though everyone knows I am the division’s Papi,” said Lomachenko. “I moved up to 130 pounds hoping champions in this division were not cowards like those at 126 pounds. It looks like I was wrong. To all the other ‘champions’ in the 126 pound and 130 pound divisions, I say this to you, ‘You are not champions, you are businessmen. Bad businessmen. By avoiding risks, you cheat the boxing fans and that is bad business.’ I came to this sport to prove to myself and others that I am this big and loud champion. So, while all of you continue to hide from me, I am going forward to achieve my goals. My next step is on April 8. See you there!”
“We understand that this is the most difficult fight of our career due to the fact that we are fighting the best fighter – Vasyl Lomachenko – in the history of amateur boxing,” said Sosa. “The beauty of all of this is that I only had three amateur fights and will prove to the world that we are by far the better fighter.”
“It will be exciting to see the great champion Vasyl Lomachenko back in the ring,” said Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager. “We give Jason Sosa credit for stepping up to this challenge. We want to thank our promoter Top Rank and HBO for arranging this great event.”
“Vasyl Lomachenko is history in the making. He is the greatest fighter in the world,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Vasyl is the total package – power, balance, skills, and tricks. And he will need to be at his best against Jason Sosa who has the talent to match his guts for getting into the ring with Vasyl. The fans watching it live at MGM National Harbor or on HBO are in for a helluva night.”
“I don’t know why this fight is happening. All of the boxing experts tell me Jason Sosa won’t win one second of any round and who am I to quibble with experts. They are probably the same experts who picked Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump,” said Hall of Fame co-promoter Russell Peltz. “Funny things happen when the bell rings. Jason Sosa is a real fighter and real fighters fight. One of the problems in boxing today is that most of the fighters are not real fighters; they are businessmen. That’s why guys ask for outrageous money to fight Lomachenko. Jason is cut from a different breed. He wants to find out how great he really is. What kind of fighter wouldn’t want this kind of a challenge?”
“One of the finest prizefighters in the world, Vasyl Lomachenko looks to deliver another masterful performance in his 2017 ring debut,” said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “Having upended the experts more than once, Jason Sosa is an underdog overlooked at the peril of his opponents, and we’ll see a true battle of wills in this world championship title showdown.”