If the goal is to become the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world, junior lightweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko's win like last night can't hurt his cause.
"Hi-tech" didn't look like he was ever in trouble during his TKO win over the Venezuelan on Saturday night in Los Angeles, knocking him down twice before Marriaga's corner stopped the fight after the seventh round.
Lomachenko is 9-1 with seven knockouts, has won Olympic gold in boxing two times, and has an amateur boxing record of 396-1. Saturday's fight against Marriaga was his third time defending his world-championship belt. He set a record for the fewest fights needed to win a world title (just three fights) and alos set a record for the fewest number of fights needed to win belts in two weight classes (seven fights).
Lomachenko began the fight by probing for an opening, landing stiff jabs that eventually turned into body shots. Body shots gave way to combinations that began to overwhelm Marriaga, and despite getting cut by an accidental head butt in the fourth round, Lomachenko poured on the pressure until his eventual win after the seventh.
After the fight, promoter Bob Arum, who promoted 27 Muhammed Ali fights, compared "Hi-tech" to the legendary heavyweight champion, telling ESPN, "I never saw anything like this. He's unbelievable. Not only does he have the knowledge, he has the skill set that I've never seen before. Fast, reflexes, everything and he really entertains. Who else did that? Muhammad Ali."