Lomachenko destroys Crolla with fourth round KO

Vasiliy Lomachenko scores an impressive knockout victory. (AFP picture)

LOS ANGELES: Southpaw Vasiliy Lomachenko knocked out former title holder Anthony Crolla in the fourth round Friday to retain his World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organisation lightweight titles.

The 31-year-old Lomachenko delivered a devastating right hook to the temple that sent the Englishman crashing face first to the canvas just 58 seconds into the fourth round.

The Ukrainian pound-for-pound king had his complete arsenal at his disposal, including blazing hand speed, devastating punching power and a superior ring IQ.

The knockout came just one round after Lomachenko scored the first knockdown of the fight when he landed a barrage of rights and lefts while the challenger was pinned and defenceless on the ropes.

Lomachenko, a two time Olympic gold medallist, improved to 13-1 with 10 knockouts as he dominated the third and fourth rounds against Crolla who was a massive 100-1 underdog.

The crowd of over 10,000 at Staples Center Arena came looking for a knockout and they got exactly that.

Crolla dropped to 34-7-3 as he landed just a handful of total punches and only survived the third round because of the bell.

Crolla, 32, wasn’t Lomachenko’s first choice as an opponent. Lomachenko wanted to fight IBF champion Richard Commey, but Commey suffered a hand injury.

Had Lomachenko not taken the Crolla fight, he would have been stripped of one of his belts.

Crolla, who was the top ranked mandatory contender, held the WBA belt from 2015-2016.