Interview with Vasily Lomachenko: about unusual training and dishonest refereeing


The former holder of three lightweight titles (up to 61.2 kg), Ukrainian Vasily Lomachenko (16-2, 10 KOs) is preparing to return to the ring. On October 29, he is scheduled to fight in New York (USA) against local Jemaine Ortiz (16-0-1, 8 KOs).

Lomachenko’s friend French actor Said Tagmaoui took
interview at the Ukrainian ex-champion in his gym. During the conversation, Vasily spoke about his unusual training, the difference between professional and amateur boxing, as well as the problem of fair refereeing in profibox.

– In your preparation, we see how you juggle, do mental exercises. How does it help you as a boxer? Because a lot of people don’t understand. For them, this is insane.

– These are different exercises.

Does it help with IQ, reflexes?

– Undoubtedly. It develops you as an athlete. It develops you as a high level boxer.

You are probably the only one who does this.

– No, there is also Usyk.

– Mustache is understandable. He has the same training and the same Papachenko. We know this, but we don’t see anyone else doing it. You showed it. People thought it was some kind of game, but now they understand that this is preparation for a fight. It’s more than just juggling or wits. It has to do with the training process.

Yes, you always need to improve. When you learn a juggling exercise for a long time, you do it very well. Then he gives you another juggling exercise, but it’s harder and you have to relearn. Need to adapt. Your hands and your brain must be tied. Interact together. And it’s very hard.

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Yes, it makes your mind work all the time. And there is always a new challenge that keeps you fit.

“You can only do juggling for an hour. It’s like a workout. You have to do this exercise for an hour. Now, of course, I understand that it helps me, I understand that it works. At first, this puzzled me. I said: “Why do I need to do this? We are boxers, we do not need this circus.” But this is not a circus, this is work.

– It helps you in combat.

– Yes. Now it’s easier for me because I understand that it works. But when you do not understand and do these exercises, it is very difficult. In this case, you are fighting with yourself, with your emotions. It’s complicated.

– How difficult was it to go from the best amateur boxer to professional boxing? What are the main differences?

– There are more rules in amateur boxing. For example, below the belt. We can compare him in amateur boxing and in professional boxing. If you hit the elastic of your shorts, it is allowed in professional boxing, but not in amateur boxing. And of course there are other rounds.

– Helmets.

— Yes, but now they are already fighting without helmets. Other gloves.

Are the workouts the same?

– Not. Of course, the training is different. In amateurs 3-4 rounds, and in professionals 10 or 12. In professionals, you need to prepare harder. But when I was preparing for the Olympics, I was preparing like a professional. I prepared very hard. I will always remember the intense events of my preparation for the Olympics, because it was very difficult. We ran a marathon, we swam 10 km in open water, we did a lot of work with weights.

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How much does an amateur need to prepare for a fight?

“You just never stop. You are always ready for the competition. For example, I don’t even remember when I stopped training as an amateur.

“We have often seen fighters refuse to fight you. You try not to put the decision in the hands of the judges. This is a very serious question. We saw in the battle between Usyk and Joshua bad cards of the judges. How can we protect ourselves from this?

“This is a big problem throughout the history of boxing. You need to be 3-4 levels higher than your opponent.

Don’t leave the decision to the judges.

– Exactly.

— Because we saw this in your second fight against Salido. It was a crazy fight. When we rewatched the fight, there weren’t several low blows. We counted them with my friends. There were 46 of them!

“That’s what I explained to you. This is the difference between amateur and professional boxing.

– In this fight there was a very bad refereeing.

– Yes.

“It has happened to you before. Even in the fight with Teofimo there were crazy cards. Anyone who understands boxing is going to call it, excuse me, bullshit. If a fighter breaks the rules, then they remove the ball or disqualify him, but what do we do with the judges? Who controls it? Boxers train for their lives. This is not a game. A bad judge’s decision can ruin a life. We need to find a solution. Show that we respect the fighter. Bad refereeing must be eliminated. We need to find a way to do this.

– I have no answer to this question. Don’t know. This has been going on throughout the history of boxing. It doesn’t stop. The same situation, from what I now remember, was with Pacquiao with Bradley, Pacquiao with Horn. This happens all the time many times. I don’t have an answer to this question. It’s because it’s a business. Maybe that’s why. I think that in the future, these judges, who have done a very bad job, in general, life will punish them.