Lightweight champ Vasiliy Lomachenko to undergo surgery to repair damaged shoulder

Combat columnist
Yahoo Sports
Vasiliy Lomachenko Jorge Linares during their WBA lightweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on May 12, 2018 in New York City. (Getty)
Vasiliy Lomachenko Jorge Linares during their WBA lightweight title fight at Madison Square Garden on May 12, 2018 in New York City. (Getty)

Lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, whose performance in capturing the WBC title from Jorge Linares on May 12 in New York caused some to anoint him as the greatest boxer in the world, will undergo surgery Wednesday in Los Angeles to repair a damaged right shoulder.

The surgery will cancel plans for Lomachenko to fight on ESPN on Aug. 25. Top Rank president Todd duBoef confirmed the news, first reported by ESPN’s Dan Rafael.

DuBoef said Lomachenko was injured during the final week of training for the fight, and then had a flare-up during the second round. Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, knocked out Linares with a vicious body shot in the 10th round to win the WBA belt at Madison Square Garden. He said nothing about an injury at the post-fight news conference.

Orthopedist Neal ElAttrache will perform the surgery Wednesday in Los Angeles. He told ESPN he estimated that Lomachenko would be able to return to train by October and to fight in December if all goes well.

After viewing results of an MRI Lomachenko had done in his native Ukraine, ElAttrache told ESPN that he believes surgery is necessary.

“There is clear evidence that he had a recent dislocation of the shoulder, and the most common injury that happens when there is a dislocation is a tear in the labrum,” ElAttrache told ESPN. “His is pretty extensive. A typical tear usually goes from about 2 o’clock if you’re looking at the face of a clock down to about 6 o’clock. His goes almost all the way around. I would say he has significant instability of his right shoulder.”

Top Rank had been planning for a lightweight unification bout with WBO champion Ray Beltran on Aug. 25, though there had been hope among some that he’d face the more highly regarded Mikey Garcia, the WBC lightweight champion.

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