‘Classy’ or ‘disrespectful’? Ukraine legend Lomachenko splits opinion with ring gestures (VIDEO)
Lightweight boxing legend Vasiliy Lomachenko was caught sending his opponent back to his corner and imploring his rival's team to throw in the towel on more than one occasion during his latest win.
In his first fight since the summer, the Ukrainian earned a unanimous decision win over former IBF champion Richard Commey at Madison Square Garden.
With scores of 117-110, 119-108 and 119-108 on the judge's cards, it was a masterclass performance that put Loma in line to get back the division's championship straps from George Kambosos Jr., who defeated the 33-year-old's previous victor in Teofimo Lopez late last month.
But as communicated by the wide points margins, the bout perhaps could have been stopped earlier for the Ghanaian's own good.
Vasiliy Lomachenko blasting Richard Commey with a 1-2 and then sending him back to his corner is one of the most disrespectful things I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/0Fd77L47n0— Jimmy Clarke (@JimmyClarke__) December 12, 2021
Connecting with a 1-2 that rocked Commey's head back, Lomachenko then showed his dazed foe where his corner was.
On Twitter, the gesture was called "one of the most disrespectful things" on fan had seen in boxing.
Later, in the seventh, there was more in store when Loma dropped Commey with a brutal left.
He gestured towards the corner again, but was this time appearing to ask Commey's team if they wanted to throw the towel in.
They didn't, and as the assault continued, Loma gave them the option one last time when Commey was on the ropes and Loma relented from delivering more crushing blows.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist was accused of being "arrogant" and "patronizing" for this, with one fan saying: "It’s cool to be a good fighter but that’s not cool.
"Be a professional," he demanded.
I didn't see it as being humble. It seem like he was being patronizing to the corner— Shawn Hayes (@ShawnHayes_) December 12, 2021
It’s cool to be a good fighter but that’s not cool. Be a professional— D.R. Cameron (@wonderfunk99) December 12, 2021
However, others found it "genuinely classy" and said they had "massive respect" for the act, which is something that pundit Max Kellerman might agree with.
"Lomachenko didn’t have the stomach to finish a defenseless fighter, so he twice asked Commey’s corner to do the right thing, and stop the fight so he wouldn’t have to," said Kellerman.
"They didn’t, and once Commey’s head cleared Lomachenko couldn’t. No good deed goes unpunished."
#LOMA on a different level. Massive respect for the way he saved Commey in the 7th 🇬🇭— Vancizzy (@VancizzyF) December 12, 2021
That's genuinely classy from @VasylLomachenko. If only Commey's corner cared enough to protect their man.— Matthew O'Connor (@matthew0connor) December 12, 2021
Lomachenko didn’t have the stomach to finish a defenseless fighter, so he twice asked Commey’s corner to do the right thing, and stop the fight so he wouldn’t have to. They didn’t, and once Commey’s head cleared Lomachenko couldn’t. No good deed goes unpunished#LomachenkoCommey— Max Kellerman (@maxkellerman) December 12, 2021
Post-fight, the brawler himself explained the motives behind his behavior.
"I saw his situation," he said. "It was very hard for him. That’s why I said: ‘Hey, stop the fight.’ He is a true warrior.
"He has a big heart and we continue and we show for people 12 great rounds."
As a tearful Commey said he had let his country down, Lomachenko, who claimed the vacant WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title, made no secret of feeling he is more deserving of a shot at Kambosos than the likes of Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis.
"I will go anywhere I need to go to fight him," he said, which could mean venturing to the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and The Ring king's native Australia.
"I need this chance."