Vasyl Lomachenko insists he has fully recovered from shoulder surgery after fighting through the pain barrier to topple Jorge Linares.
The Ukrainian ace ripped the WBA Lightweight crown from Linares in May stopping him in round ten despite his right shoulder popping out in round two.
Lomachenko, 30, suffered a torn labrum and needed surgery to repair the damage and isn’t looking for a soft return when he stars on BoxNation this weekend.
The three-weight World Champion is going in at the deep end tackling Puerto Rico’s WBO title-holder Jose Pedraza on Saturday night at boxing’s Mecca Madison Square Garden.
The injury forced a layoff of almost seven months, but he said: “I am 100 per-cent. I feel good. When the injury happened, I was mentally prepared to deal with it. I still had my feet. I still had another hand. I am very competitive.
“I feel like when you step in the ring, you need to finish the fight.
"It was good for me to rest. I have been boxing since I was a child. I had a lot of competition. It was my first rest and first big vacation in my life.”
Pedraza, 29, suffered his only loss in 26 fights back in January 2017 when Gervonta Davis took his IBF Super-Featherweight belt, stopping him in seven rounds.
He has grown into the Lightweight division quickly and in August claimed his belt with a minor upset over Ray Beltran.
Now he’s primed to cause an all-time great upset by defeating a man many already consider an all-time great, despite just 12 professional contests.
Pedraza predicted: “I have visualised all the possible scenarios. I’ve seen myself winning, I’ve seen myself knocking him out, I’ve seen myself pulling out the victory coming from behind.
“The closer the fight approaches, the more I see myself with my hands held high and with the two titles on my shoulders. I already fulfilled my goal of becoming a World Champion, and now I’m going after the goal of unifying titles.”
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