If you don’t know the name Vasyl Lomachenko (14-1-0, 10 KOs), then you are missing out on one of the most known names in the sport of boxing. The Ukrainian boxer is known for the best amateur record at 396-1 and yes, he avenged his only loss (I’m going to save you the google hunt for the name of the person he lost to – Albert Selimov). He also won a world title in just his third bout. However, if you think it didn’t come with a price, then you would be wrong. Lomachenko AKA “Hi-Tech” or “The Matrix” lost his second bout to Orlando Salido (44-14-4, 31 KOs) albeit most think it was a very controversial fight. He was able to overcome early adversity and became the fastest three weight champion and is now waiting to defend his titles later this year. What many don’t know about “the matrix” is the crazy ways he has trained to become the fighter he is. Many also call him one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world.
A large part of Lomachenko’s unique training is due to his father Anatoly Lomachenko, who has been with him since the beginning. Vasyl was only three years old when he had his first pair of gloves placed on his hands. From that moment forward he doesn’t remember not being in the gym. At 4 years old his father changed him to a southpaw and that’s when Loma began to truly excel. He not only boxed as a young boy but played soccer, hockey, and wrestled. Then at the age of 10 Lomachenko began to participate in Ukrainian Folk Dance. A surprise to many but in his fathers eyes the best way to become a great boxer. Each day he would dance for up to two hours and then end his night at the gym. He was one of the most balanced individuals for his age. His father instilled in him that concentration, discipline, and focus are what help to put you above the rest. He had Vasyl do 300 kick ups with a soccer ball as a kid to instil just that focus needed. As an amateur Lomachenko enjoyed things such as cheeseburgers, fizzy drinks, and other foods that hinder performance and when he turned pro had to lose upwards of 10-12 pounds. But as he matured so did his diet. While on the other side, these unique father son training sessions helped turn him into the fighter he is today and as he grew, so did his abilities.
The most notable accomplishment for a training is his ability to hold his breath underwater when training. Just before the 2012 Olympics he set his own personal record of 4 minutes and 30 seconds, which although it is far from the world record, is still very impressive. But swimming is just the beginning as he also uses juggling and the reflex ball to become precise in everything that he does. These training sessions are not easy but are a requirement if you plan on being the best. He wows fans time and time again with feats such as walking across the ring on his hands or punching a nail through a wall with his bare fist. The final workout of any day involves math puzzles and other drills to stimulate the brain. He works with numbers grids and must punch them in order, along with many other numeric games. This is not only to help him in the ring but for when he is done with the sport of boxing. Along with puzzles are other exercises and tests that help him use reactions and diagnostics tools when under pressure. Training is not for the feint of heart and if you wish to become a world champion its more than just stepping into the ring and wanting to win.
A day in the life of training camp compiles of waking up before 5 A.M. and going for an hour run. When he is done, he will drink a little water, get cleaned up, and go back to sleep. Lomachenko wakes up and beings training again between 12-130 P.M. which will sometimes involve swimming or various other strength training exercises. After, he returns home and spends some well-earned family time before returning to training later that evening. At 6 P.M. Vasyl returns to the gym for 2 hours of boxing training. This will sometimes involve sparring, among other things. These are no average sparring sessions, as they can consist of 15 4-minute rounds with only 30 seconds in between. Opponents will rotate in and out, but sometimes as a test there have been up to three men sparring at the same time with Lomachenko. Each session builds an important piece of the puzzle for the next time he steps in the ring and each session is unique.
Many fighters spend their entire lives giving their all to the sport of boxing, but sometimes there are those that create a destiny within the sport. A child who grew up less than 500 miles and just two years after Chernobyl may have done just that. A father who encompasses not only physical fitness but mental fitness into unique training sessions. A team that has built a bond unlike any other and are doing things that others only dream of. The training's of team Lomachenko are not for the feint of heart, as juggling, mind games, puzzles, swimming, strength training, dancing, sparring, and various other workouts have helped build one of the best active fighters in today's world. It may seem as if Vasyl is a little cocky and perhaps a little edgy to some, but in his own words; “You need to be born with a chip on your shoulder. A Loma-chip.”
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