How Teofimo Lopez Cracked The Matrix


By: Sean Crose

In H.G. Wells’ famous novel, The War of the Worlds, insanely high tech aliens come to earth with the intention of taking over. What’s more, there isn’t much of anything the people of earth can do to stop them. Military efforts are simply futile against weaponry of such an advanced technology. The aliens can, in effect, do what they please. At least for a time. By the end of the story, something as simple as the germs we deal with every day spells doom for the invading forces. The aliens are, in effect, wiped out by a basic aspect of life on our planet.

Wells’ famous book is on my mind a bit at the moment, as the world this past weekend noticed a similar failure of “High Tech” warfare. For Vasily Lomachenko, considered to be perhaps the greatest fighter on earth, was bested by the young lion Teofimo Lopez, a man who slipped in between the ropes before the fight as the underdog. While the match was most certainly closer than some made it out to be (I scored it a draw with the caveat that one of two rounds could have gone either way), few, if any, have declared that Loma, as he’s called, deserved the decision win.

How was it that the young kid from Brooklyn was able to best the enigmatic star from Europe? Some say Loma’s age was a factor. Some say it was Lopez’ size and power power. There’s even the belief that Loma was intimated by his cocky opponent on Saturday. Some or all of this may be true, but what struck me the most about Lopez’ performance was the employment of that most simple and basic of boxing tools – the jab. Lopez used it to incredible effect. By the time Loma was finally able to work through it – and he was – it was simply too little to late for him to pull out the win.

Having usually dazzled his foes with footwork that would have them spinning like square dance partners, Loma found himself unable to use the tactic against Lopez. The jab of the Brooklynite’s not only kept him at bay, it prevented him from working in and around his opponent as was generally his wont. It was something to see. Loma’s fighting style was sometimes referred to as The Matrix. Team Lopez was able to crack the code on Saturday. Lopez-Lomachenko may not have been a thrilling fight, but it was most certainly an interesting one. Through his performance, Lopez catapulted himself to the height of the fight game, despite what those who claim Loma was completely overrated have to say.

Sometimes it really is the simple things that end up counting the most.

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