The partnership between Top Rank Boxing and ESPN has packed a punch, providing many great fights and major interest from fans over the first two years. This weekend, they present their biggest fight ever to appear exclusively on their streaming sports service, featuring the current best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. You won't want to miss this, so sign up for a free trial now to stream Lomachenko vs Crolla exclusively on ESPN+.
The undercard event starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Friday. The main event of Lomachenko vs. Crolla is expected to start at 11 p.m., and the entire event is on ESPN+.
Vasiliy "Hi-Tech" Lomachenko (12-1) is a fantastic fighter and a fascinating story. The Ukrainian boxer won his first World title in only his third professional fight. Lomachenko hasn't lost since, besting several undefeated or highly regarded opponents along the way. His road to professional greatness in the ring had many twists and turns, as described in an excellent profile by James Dielhenn in Sky Sports. Vasiliy had boxing gloves put on him when he was three days old, was taught to box at an early age but never to fight out of the ring, and was banned by his father from fighting for four years, in favor of dance classes. Those classes improved his footwork, and he went on to amateur glory with gold medals at the Olympics and World Championships.
Now, Lomachenko is the WBA Super and WBO World Lightweight unified champion, and a target for every fighter with something to prove. Beyond his opponent in the ring, he will even have a challenger ringside, as fifth-ranked lightweight Teofimo Lopez will watch and wait for a potential match later this year.
Anthony "Million Dollar" Crolla (34-6-3) may not be getting the attention heading into this fight, but he expects to take home the respect of the boxing world along with two world titles. A former champion himself, Crolla knows what it is like to box in the pressure of the spotlight, and he has a plan to deal with Vasiliy. He told the Independent that he plans to avoid Vasiliy's tactic of tiring opponents out, but turn the tables and get aggressive as Lomachenko has been vulnerable the last two fights as he was hit more often. Crolla is still a heavy underdog, but fans who remember fights like Machado-Cancio know how quickly things can turn on a punch to the face.
Will that be enough to take down the blend of power and skill of Lomachenko? Watch the champs last fight, where he defeated Jose Pedraza, and see if you can find anything for Crolla to exploit
The undercard, as always subject to change, is as follows
- Gilberto Ramirez (39-0) vs. Tommy Karpency (29-6-1)
- Arnold Barboza Jr (20-0) vs. Mike Alvarado (40-4)
- Alexander Besputin (12-0) vs. Alfredo Blanco (20-7)
- Janibek Alimkhanuly (5-0) vs. Cristian Olivas (16-4)
- Guido Vianello (2-0) vs Lawrence Gabriel (3-1-1)
- Ruben Rodriguez (5-0) vs. Ramel Snegur (3-3-1)
- Christopher Zavala (3-0) vs. Sergio Gonzalez (2-0)
- Elvis Rodriguez (1-0) vs. Kevin Alfonso Luna (1-2)
ESPN+ is a standalone sports streaming service that has everyone talking. It has grown fast in just one year, owing much of that success to events like Top Rank Boxing or UFC events.
ESPN+ is a part of the ESPN app, which you can find almost everywhere. You can watch Lomachenko vs Crolla and more on Android phones and tablets, iPhones, iPads and Fire Tablets. It's also a snap to watch ESPN+ on your TV, with support for Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Roku, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It also works with Chromecast or AirPlay.
Best of all, if you haven't tried ESPN+ yet, you can get started with a 7-day free trial that will include the big Lomachenko vs Crolla Top Rank Boxing fight at no cost to you.
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