IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“A fight for the boxing hipsters, Russell-Lomachenko pitted a fighter who had seen his once burgeoning popularity wane enough that it was again cool to like him against an underground sensation with “the look” but not the mainstream popularity (and the inevitable backlash that accompanies it). Whoever came out on top would be “on trend” if for no other reason than having proved his merits, the hipsters could say they had recognized them all along. But this was not a symposium on fixed-gear bikes or pretentious mustaches: Russell-Lomachenko was a genuinely intriguing fight, regardless of how little attention it garnered.”

Read Grand Designs: Vasyl Lomachenko W12 Gary Russell, Jr. on The Cruelest Sport


IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“Gary Russell, Jr., faces Vasyl Lomachenko in the opener of a Showtime triple-header from the StubHub Center in Carson, California, on Saturday night—and fittingly so. Not because Russell’s uninspired career is as gawk-worthy as a garage sale, or because Lomachenko has as many wins as fingers needed to flip someone off—although both are acceptable reasons for low billing. No, this matchup of unknown variables is an appropriate opener because it is a fight between two men who have jumped the line to Clipart title shots. Where better to slot it then, than first?”

Read Absence Versus Thin Air: Vasyl Lomachenko-Gary Russell, Jr. Preview on The Cruelest Sport.

IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“With two Olympic gold medals and a staggering amateur record of 396-1, Lomachenko—along with his team and promoter Top Rank—believed he had the polish and savvy to the surmount the rugged nuance of the aging Salido. Seven years younger than his opponent, and with far fewer miles on his body, Lomachenko, Marina Del Ray, California, via Ukraine, was expected to exploit his glaring advantages in speed and athleticism. And he did just that, in spurts of varying duration. But unlike the Olympics, where the spirit of friendly global competition is at least supposed to pervade, and unlike the amateurs, where prizes not purses are awarded, the professional ranks are a cutthroat racket filled with men grasping at whatever chances are within reach—and the best of these men die hard. Lomachenko had undoubtedly learned much in his amateur career, but Salido would teach him about desperation.”

Read Desperate Measures: Orlando Salido W12 Vasyl Lomachenko on The Cruelest Sport.