LAS VEGAS -- Featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko toyed with the game Romulo Koasicha before knocking him out with a body shot in the 10th round of a one-sided defense Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Lomachenko, in a showcase fight in the co-feature on the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Brandon Rios card, totally dominated his overmatched opponent in about as one-sided a fight as could be.
He hit him with right hooks, straight left hands, combinations and body shots almost at will to retain his world title for the third time.
"I was just having fun in there," Lomachenko said. "If I really wanted to knock him out, I would have done it earlier. I was having a good time, but I knew the end would be on a body shot. I just didn't know which one."
Lomachenko (5-1, 3 KOs), 27, a 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, wants to fight top opponents and to unify the 126-pound titles, but unification fights are not available to him. But Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said he is hopeful of matching Lomachenko in early 2016 with another top pound-for-pound fighter in Guillermo Rigondeaux, who was recently stripped of his two alphabet junior featherweight titles because of inactivity.
It's a makeable fight that would have historical implications because it would be the first time two fighters who won two Olympic gold medals apiece would meet as professionals.
Lomachenko needs better opponents than Koasicha (25-5, 15 KOs), 24, of Mexico, a foe who had no name recognition or notable victories, although Lomachenko ended his four-fight winning streak and stopped him for the first time.
"He never hurt me to the head, but he hurt me very badly to the body," Koasicha said. "He's very fast and he's very tricky."
According to CompuBox research, Lomachenko landed 334 of 717 punches (47 percent), while Koasicha was limited to connecting on just 75 of 607 punches (12 percent).
Koasicha, who made $35,000, came forward and tried to pressure Lomachenko, but the southpaw was so quick with his punches that he was able to unload four-punch combinations before Koasicha knew what hit him.
By the third round, Koasicha's face was beginning to show the damage from eating so many punches as Lomachenko nailed him with right hooks. Lomachenko, who won a world title in his third professional fight to tie the boxing record, also slowed Koasicha down with straight left hands to the stomach.
Lomachenko, whose purse was $750,000, dazzled with his moves. He seemingly tagged Koasicha at will and spun away before Koasicha could land anything meaningful in return.
Lomachenko hurt Koasicha with a series of clean combinations in the seventh round as he put on a show and was obviously trying to finish the hard-headed Koasicha, who took punishment round after round.
Finally, in the 10th round, Lomachenko landed three left hands to the body to drop Koasicha to a knee, and referee Robert Byrd counted him out at 2 minutes, 35 seconds.
Murata rolls to decision against Jackson
Japanese middleweight Ryota Murata, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, made his American debut and cruised to a unanimous decision against Gunnar Jackson (21-6-3, 8 KOs), 29, of New Zealand.
Murata, who outworked Jackson and landed several solid right hands and good body punches, won 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.
The 29-year-old Murata (7-0, 5 KOs), whose medal was the first for Japan in boxing since 1968 (and first gold since 1964), is a major star in his country. Several Japanese sports writers traveled to Las Vegas to cover the fight along with television outlets. The fight, being televised in Japan on a one-hour delay on what would be Sunday afternoon there, was expected to draw an audience of around 10 million viewers.
"I had a very exciting week in the U.S.," Murata said. "I fought a very clever opponent. I was punching, he was moving. It's just different fighting in the U.S. than fighting in Japan."
Top Rank signed Murata to a co-promotional deal with leading Japanese promoter Teiken Boxing after the Olympics. Top Rank also signed silver medalist Esquiva Falcao, of Brazil, who lost 14-13 to Murata in the Olympic final, as well as to him in the 2011 World Amateur Championships (24-11).
Falcao was at the fight, and Top Rank boss Bob Arum has designs on making a professional fight between them before the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics begin. Arum wants to stage the fight in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he said it would be an enormous event because of the popularity of Falcao and the fact that Sao Paulo has a large Japanese population.
"If Bob Arum wants to me to fight Falcao next, I'll do it," Murata said. "Whatever Top Rank wants."
• Featherweight Miguel Marriaga (20-1, 18 KOs), 29, of Colombia, laid a beating on Guillermo Avila (14-4, 11 KOs), 23, of Mexico, en route to an eight-round shutout decision as all three judges scored the fight 80-72. Marriaga lashed Avila with solid right hands over and over and left his face a lumpy mess by the end of the bout.
Marriaga was fighting for the first time since he was schooled in a one-sided decision loss challenging for a vacant featherweight title against Nicholas Walters on June 13. Walters, who had lost to Marriaga in an amateur fight, was not eligible to win the belt because it was stripped from him the day before the bout for failing to make weight.
• Junior welterweight prospect Mike Reed (17-0, 10 KOs), 22, of Waldorf, Maryland, looked sharp as he dismantled Rondale Hubbert (10-4-1, 6 KOs), 27, of Minneapolis, in a seventh-round knockout victory.
Reed, usually on the offensive in a dominant performance, put his punches together well throughout the fight. He caught Hubbert with a right hand to drop him in the seventh round and then, later in the round, landed a series of unanswered punches with Hubbert trapped in a corner, prompting referee Kenny Bayless to intervene at 1 minute, 9 seconds.
• Blue-chip welterweight prospect Egidijus Kavaliauskas (10-0, 9 KOs), 27, a 2008 and 20012 Olympian from Lithuania -- who is trained by Robert Garcia and fights out of Oxnard, California -- made quick work of Jake Giuriceo (17-5-1, 4 KOs), 30, of Struthers, Ohio. Kavaliauskas landed a flush overhand right that sent Giuriceo hard to the canvas, and although Giuriceo beat the count, referee Russell Mora called off the fight at 1 minute.