Just days after losing his lightweight championship unification bout to Teofimo Lopez Jr., Vasiliy Lomachenko underwent shoulder surgery. The procedure was to repair Lomachenko's right shoulder and should keep him out of the gym until early 2021, according to Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole.
Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO) was favored against Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) but was largely ineffective for the first seven rounds of the fight, allowing Lopez to build up a nearly-insurmountable lead. Lomachenko would come on late, but it was too late for him to turn things around as Lopez won the fight by scores of 116-112, 119-109 and 117-111.
Lomachenko also suffered a torn right labrum in his 2018 bout with Jorge Linares, the fight where he became world lightweight champion. "I couldn't use my right arm to throw my right hook," Lomachenko said after the Linares fight.
The situation is similar after the fight with Lopez, with Lomachenko saying he suffered pain when trying to throw his right hook, a key part of Lomachenko's strategy from his southpaw stance. According to Iole, the surgery was not believed to be as extensive as that which Lomachenko underwent in 2018. But the issues with Lomachenko's shoulder started prior to the fight.
"When he came in from the Ukraine for his last stages of preparation for the fight, he was having some difficulty with the shoulder," surgeon Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache told Yahoo Sports. "It turns out he had badly bruised the rotator cuff and chipped a piece of cartilage, which we didn't realize at the time. But we knew he'd badly bruised the rotator cuff and badly bruised the bone where the rotator cuff attaches to the shoulder. That was roughly six weeks before the fight and we got him to where he was comfortable enough to train. He said he was able to train OK, but it continued to cause him pain during the fight.
"We operated on him last night and he had what we call a hemorrhagic thickened bursitis. That's the tissue that lubricates and cushions the rotator cuff, which is where we had treated him and injected him before the fight. On the inside of the shoulder where he had previously dislocated the shoulder, he had chipped the cartilage on the inside of the socket. That was right next to the [previous] repair so I did a small touch-up of the repair so I could cover up the bare cartilage in the front of the shoulder."
The loss to Lopez snapped a 13-fight winning streak for Lomachenko, and was only the second defeat of his pro career, with the first coming in 2014 in only the second bout of his pro career.