“It was just for the legacy.” Vasily Lomachenko – about his first steps in boxing and two Olympics


Ukrainian ex-champion in three categories, currently competing in the lightweight division (up to 61.2 kg) Vasily Lomachenko (16-2, 10 KOs) in
interview For his friend, French actor Said Tagmagui, he spoke about the beginning of his boxing career, the advice of his father-coach Anatoly Lomachenko, and the decision to remain in the amateurs after the first victory at the Olympics.

At what age did you start boxing?

– I don’t remember. I think when I was born and brought home, my father put gloves on my hands. At that moment I started to be a boxer.

– It turns out as soon as you were born.

– Yes. But I remember the moment – I was 6 years old when I first came to the boxing gym. It was a small old hall. There was a special smell in this room. Now it seems incredible, but I was a small child when I started boxing.

– You were about 6 years old.

Yes, I was about 6.

— Madness. You were engaged in judo, dancing, wrestling, swimming, football. You are a real athlete. You could become a pro in every sport. Why did you choose boxing?

— I think because my father was a coach. He trained me, he prepared me for competitions, prepared me for professional sports. But I did other sports for the sake of boxing. When I was a child, I understood that I was doing these sports for boxing. My father always explained to me why I do dancing, football. He always explained to me why I should use this and that. That’s why I understood and did it.

– It helped you.

Yes, it helped me. But I didn’t like dancing.

– It helped you with movement in the ring.

– Yes, at least I didn’t like it, but I went for several years.

– But did it help you in boxing?

We can’t go into the river twice.

— [смеётся]

– I dont know. We cannot live a second life without dancing and compare.

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– Your amateur record is 397 fights.

But it’s not official.

— And you won 396 times. One defeat is very controversial. I saw that fight. What made you turn pro?

– Look, all amateur boxers who want to become an Olympic champion, after achieving this goal, I think, they try to become professionals. All the big amateur champions are trying to become big pros, sleeping pro champions. When I won the first Olympics, my decision was to turn pro.

– Then why didn’t you switch, but remained in the amateurs?

“It was my father’s decision. I have always followed my father’s advice. He explained to me that we need to stay amateur and win the second Olympics.

Take two Olympic gold medals.

— Yes, because in Ukraine we didn’t have…

“…those who have done it before. Would you be the first?

– Yes. This is a historic moment.

– I understand. You wanted to make history like an amateur boxer.

Yes, but I didn’t think about it. I didn’t understand it. For me, it was enough that there is, because it was my childhood dream. I went to bed with a dream, I woke up with a dream, I lived a dream.

– Chased a dream.

– Yes. And when I took this medal, I was ready for professional boxing. But my father explained to me that we must do it again. I said, “OK, no problem.”

“It’s all love, devotion and passion, because we all know there’s not a lot of money in amateurs.

“It was only for the legacy. For the sake of history.

“You are history, my friend.

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