Lomachenko vs. Pedraza LIVE on Saturday at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and broadcast on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET
• Vasiliy Lomachenko 134.4 lbs vs. Jose Pedraza 134.2 lbs
(Lomachenko’s WBA and Pedraza’s WBO Lightweight world titles – 12 Rounds)
• Isaac Dogboe 120.8 lbs vs. Emanuel Navarrete 122 lbs
(Dogboe’s WBO Junior Featherweight world title – 12 Rounds)
• Teofimo Lopez 135 lbs vs. Mason Menard 135 lbs
(NABF, NABA and USBA Lightweight titles- 10 Rounds)
ESPN+ (6 p.m. ET)
• Guido Vianello 236 lbs vs. Luke Lyons 239.8 lbs
(Heavyweight – 6 Rounds)
• Alexander Besputin 146.6 lbs vs. Juan Carlos Abreu 146.8 lbs
(Besputin’s UBSA Welterweight tite – 10 Rounds)
•Josue Vargas 142.6 lbs vs. John Renteria 142.8 lbs
(Super Lightweight – 8 Rounds)
Michael Perez 142.4 lbs vs. Abdiel Ramirez 142.4 lbs
(Super Lightweight – 8 Rounds)
Brian Ceballo 147.8 lbs vs. Daniel Calzada 147.6 lbs
(Welterweight – 6/4 Rounds)
WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, WBO lightweight world champion Jose Pedraza, unbeaten WBO junior featherweight world champion Isaac Dogboe, unbeaten lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez, and Italian heavyweight prospect Guido Vianello took a break from their last-minute fight preparations to head over to Gleason’s Gym to speak to a group of youngsters from Give A Kid A Dream. The foundation provides mentorship opportunities to at-risk youth through boxing.
(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/ Top Rank)
More than 30 children from the foundation were on hand as the fighters discussed the hard work required to become a world-class fighter. Each fighter demonstrated drills for the children, signed autographs, and gave a few lucky children in-the-ring tutorials.
Lomachenko and Pedraza also took a break to answer a few questions about Saturday’s showdown. This is what they had to say.
On training camp
“I had a really good camp. I am looking forward to getting back in the ring on Saturday. Madison Square Garden is my favorite place to fight. It is like another home for me. It is a very special place.”
On recovery from torn labrum suffered during Linares bout and fighting through pain
“I am 100 percent. I feel good. When the injury happened, I was mentally prepared to deal with it. I still had my feet. I still had another hand. I am very competitive. I feel like when you step in the ring, you need to finish the fight.”
On Pedraza as a fighter and what he’ll bring to the table
“Nobody knows yet. I’ve had a long rest. Now, I load a new program into my head. We’ll see what happens.”
On recovering and resting following the surgery
“It was good for me to rest. I have been boxing since I was a child. I had a lot of competition. It was my first rest and first big vacation in my life.”
“The time is almost here. The desire to win is very high. I have visualized all the possible scenarios. I’ve seen myself winning, I’ve seen myself knocking him out, I’ve seen myself pulling out the victory coming from behind. The closer the fight approaches, the more I see myself with my hands held high and with the two titles on my shoulders. I already fulfilled my goal of becoming a world champion, and now I’m going after the goal of unifying titles.”
“The titles will return to Puerto Rico with me. I know that it will not be an easy fight. I will be facing one of the best fighters in the world. He has tremendous skills, but I know that I also have great skills and the necessary focus to come out with the victory. Puerto Rico deserves a moment of happiness. I’m going to do it for them, and my family.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for the Lomachenko-Pedraza world championship event are on sale now. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.
Lomachenko-Pedraza, Dogboe’s WBO junior featherweight title defense against Emanuel Navarrete, and Lopez versus Mason Menard will headline a special three-fight edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.
One of the biggest boxing events of the year airs live on ESPN Saturday, December 8 from The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The reigning WBA lightweight champion, Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is set to take on WBO champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs) in a title unification main event airing live and exclusively on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 9 p.m. ET, immediately following the live presentation of the 2018 Heisman Trophy Ceremony. Top Rank on ESPN will drop gloves just after 6 p.m. ET starting with the undercards on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment and ESPN.
Two additional fights round out Saturday’s Top Rank on ESPN with marquee appearances by rising stars Isaac “Royal Storm” Dogboe and Teofimo Lopez. ESPN+ will stream the undercards live headlined by Guido Vianello facing Luke Lyon (5-1-1, 2 KOs) starting at 6 p.m. ET.
Calling the fight for ESPN will be Joe Tessitore and Mark Kriegel, with former two-division world titleholder, Tim Bradley (analyst), reporter Bernardo Osuna and on-location studio contributors Stephen A. Smith, Kevin Connors, former pound-for-pound two-division world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward, and ESPN Deportes’ coverage includes play-by-play from Robert Sierra and analyst Delvin Rodriguez.
ESPN’s official coverage of fight week kicked off Monday, December 3 with “Top Rank on ESPN: Best of Lomachenko” – an encore presentation of Vasiliy Lomachenko’s last two fights — Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Guillermo Rigondeaux (December 9, 2017) and Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Jorge Linares (May 12, 2018).
ESPN+ will also feature:
Countdown to Lomachenko vs. Pedraza, a four-part series that takes viewers behind the scenes as one of the world’s great pound-for-pound fighters attempts to unify lightweight world titles against WBO world champion Pedraza. Episodes include:
“Loma: Under the Knife” (available now) — rare footage of Lomachenko prepping for shoulder surgery, the surgery itself, how he injured it vs. Jorge Linares, and how his team handled his comeback.
Unifying The Belts (premieres today) — Lomachenko and Pedraza talk about their chances and ambitions to unify the lightweight title belts.
Fishing with Loma (premieres Wednesday, Dec 5) — Behind the scenes day fishing with Lomachenko and his team off the coast of California.
Training The Loma Way (premieres Thursday, Dec 6) — Inside Team Lomachenko’s unique training strategies, including unique outdoor and mental training.
The final press conference, which will stream live on Thursday, December 6 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
The Boxing Beat with Dan Rafael premieres Tuesday, the weekly ESPN+ original show will include a look ahead to Lomachenko vs. Pedraza with ESPN boxing guru Dan Rafael.
The weigh-in will stream live Friday, Dec 7 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Also airing on ESPN2.
News & Information, Digital and SportsCenter
Leading up to the fight, ESPN will preview the event on studio programming and online, including:
On air profiles of Lomachenko by Teddy Atlas and Pedraza by Mark Kriegel
Up-to-date on-scene coverage every step of the way from Rafael who will be with the fighters multiple days this week
News updates and a complete guide to the fight on ESPN.com and the ESPN app from Rafael out Friday, December 7
ESPN Fantasy game Streak for the Cash will offer fight predictions for the Co-Main and Main Event during the ESPN live event telecast Saturday, December 8
Top Rank on ESPN (All times Eastern) 2018
Date Time Event Platform
Mon, Dec 3 8:00 p.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Best of Lomachenko ESPN2
Tue, Dec 4 12:00 a.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Best of Lomachenko ESPNEWS
11:30 p.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Best of Lomachenko ESPN2
Thu, Dec 6 9:00 p.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Best of Lomachenko ESPNEWS
12:30 p.m. Lomachenko vs Pedraza Final Press Conference ESPN+
Fri, Dec 7 1:00 a.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Best of Lomachenko ESPN2
1:30 p.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Lomachenko vs. Pedraza Weigh-In ESPN2, ESPN+
9:00 p.m. (re-air) Top Rank on ESPN: Lomachenko vs. Pedraza Weigh-In ESPNEWS
Sat, Dec 8
12:00 a.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Best of Lomachenko ESPNEWS
2:00 a.m. (re-air) Top Rank on ESPN: Lomachenko vs. Pedraza Weigh-In ESPNEWS
11:30 a.m. (re-air) Top Rank on ESPN: Lomachenko vs. Pedraza Weigh-In ESPNEWS
12:00 p.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Best of Lomachenko ESPNEWS
5:00 p.m. (re-air) Top Rank on ESPN: Lomachenko vs. Pedraza Weigh-In ESPNEWS
6:00 p.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Undercards ESPN+
9:00 p.m. Top Rank on ESPN: Main Event
Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) vs. Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs)
Isaac Dogboe (20-0, 14 KOs) vs Emanuel Navarrete (25-1, 22 KOs)
Teofimo Lopez (10-0, 8 KOs) vs Mason Menard (34-3, 24 KOs) ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio
Sun, Dec 9 1 a.m. (re-air) Top Rank on ESPN (Main Event) ESPN2
5 p.m. (re-air) Top Rank on ESPN (Main Event) ESPN Deportes
8 p.m. (re-air) Top Rank on ESPN (Main Event) ESPN2
Vasiliy Lomachenko is ready to take another bite out of the Big Apple. Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound superstar and WBA lightweight world champion, will look to unify world titles for the first time as a professional when he clashes with WBO champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m. ET, live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. This marks Lomachenko’s fourth main event appearance at a Madison Square Garden venue.
Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.
Promoted by Top Rank, ticket and undercard information for this world championship event will be announced soon.
“Boxing fans are excited that Vasiliy Lomachenko will be back in action on Dec. 8,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. “He knows that in WBO champion Jose Pedraza, he faces a tough opponent with a style that may give him a lot of trouble.”
“I am ready to fight an excellent opponent like Jose Pedraza,” Lomachenko said. “My goal has always been to unify the titles, and Pedraza is standing in my way. There is something special about fighting in New York City and at Madison Square Garden. The fans in New York City are true boxing fans, and I can’t wait to put on another spectacular performance for them.”
“I am grateful to have this opportunity, since I didn’t get the chance to unify titles when I was champion in the junior lightweight division,” Pedraza said. “In this division, I will achieve my goal, and I will do it against one of the best boxers in the world. There will be a surprise on Dec. 8!”
“We are thrilled to bring fans one of the year’s marquee boxing events to ESPN,” said ESPN’s Burke Magnus, executive vice president, programming and scheduling. “Currently ranked as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Lomachenko is who fans want to watch. His historic victory last year on this night was a tremendous success, and we look forward to showcasing the world’s best once again.”
Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is widely considered to be the greatest amateur boxer in history, as he posted a 396-1 record with Olympic gold medals for his native Ukraine in 2008 and 2012. In the pro ranks, he has continued to etch his name in the history books. Lomachenko tied a boxing record by winning a world title in his third pro bout on June 21, 2014, a clear points win against Gary Russell Jr. to claim the vacant WBO featherweight title. He made three defenses of that title before moving up to 130 pounds. In his debut at 130 pounds, Lomachenko knocked out Roman Martinez with an uppercut-hook combination to win the WBO junior lightweight world title. Following the Martinez bout, Lomachenko began an unprecedented streak of four consecutive opponents – Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga, and Guillermo Rigondeaux – retiring on their stools. The Rigondeaux bout, which took place last December at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, was the first time in boxing history that a pair of two-time Olympic gold medalists fought as professionals. After six rounds, Rigondeaux quit on his stool.
With nothing left to prove at 130 pounds, Lomachenko moved up to lightweight and challenged WBA champion Jorge Linares. On May 12 at Madison Square Garden, Lomachenko suffered a labral tear of his right shoulder in the second round and was knocked down with a right hand in the sixth, only to come back and stop Linares with a left hand to the body in the 10th round. The Linares victory signified another milestone for Lomachenko. In becoming a three-weight world champion in 12 professional fights, he broke the previous record set by Jeff Fenech (20 fights) in 1988. Lomachenko has knocked out eight consecutive opponents dating back to his fourth professional bout in 2014.
Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs), from Cidra, Puerto Rico, has climbed back to the top of the sport following a January 2017 TKO loss to Gervonta Davis that saw him relinquish his IBF junior lightweight world title. He returned 14 months later as a lightweight on March 17, shutting out Jose Luis Rodriguez over eight rounds at the Hulu Theater at Madison Garden. After a hard-fought 10-round unanimous decision against Antonio Moran on June 9, Pedraza traveled to Glendale, Ariz., on Aug. 25 to face WBO lightweight world champion Ray Beltran. He scored an 11th-round knockdown to seal the unanimous decision victory, becoming only the second male Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles at 130 and 135 pounds.