Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine lost to Orlando Salido by split-decision in his quest to win the World Boxing Organization featherweight title in just his second U.S. pro fight.
Salido lost the belt Friday when he weighed in over limit. He then weighed 145 pounds Saturday in pounding Lomachenko in the early rounds to gain the victory.
Referee Laurence Cole missed several Salido low blows in the 12th round that might have resulted in a point deduction as Lomachenko, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, rallied too late.
“That shows you why you don’t rush into a title fight,” Lomachenko promoter Bob Arum said. “He was conserving energy and didn’t do enough until the end. If he had started fighting that way earlier, he wins the fight.
“He’s not too damaged by that, but it’s a reality check that you can’t do things like that so quick. He still has a great upside, a bright future.”
Arum said Lomachenko made it a condition of signing with the promoter’s company that he wanted an immediate title shot.
“We counseled him otherwise,” Arum said.
Arum admitted, though, that Lomachenko could fight for the same belt in his next bout, given that
Also, Arum said he’s canceled a planned Monday flight to Moscow to discuss staging a fight card in Russia because of the tension between that country and Ukraine.
“It’s wrong to go there and talk about fights with all this going on,” Arum said. “So I’m home in Las Vegas, and will watch the Oscars on television tonight.”