By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez Sr. always believed that despite the naysayers, his son, Teofimo Lopez, would get the job done against Vasiliy Lomachenko. The two clashed in mid-October last year in a lightweight unification bout.
To the surprise of many, Lopez walked away with the decisive win. Since then, Lopez Sr. has shown little to no interest in placing his son in a rematch with Lomachenko regardless of the Ukrainian claiming that he wasn’t 100% due to an injured shoulder. In the mind of Lopez Sr., he was simply convinced that Lomachenko was on the downslide in his career and part two would be even less competitive. However, after watching Lomachenko dismantle, toy and ultimately stop highly rated contender Masayoshi Nakatani, Lopez Sr. is now willing to run things back.
“I wasn’t thinking about Lomachenko in the past,” said Lopez Sr. as he spoke to promoter Bob Arum after the fight. “But after this performance, I think that the public wants to see this fight. I think I can convince my son to fight him again.”
Lomachenko, 33, aimed to make a statement last night at the Virgins Hotel, in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the pound-for-pound star could have opted for a light touch for his comeback opponent as he was coming off shoulder surgery, he instead set his sights on Nakatani. Not only did he choose the Japanese product because he respects his skill set but also because he had a plan in place.
In July of 2019, Nakatani gave Lopez all he could handle at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Although Lopez would eventually win via wide unanimous decision, it was by far the most difficult night of Lopez’s young career. To prove that he could win if given another chance, Lomachenko believed that if he defeated Nakatani decisively, it would place him in the driver’s seat for a rematch with Lopez.
By all accounts, the plan of Lomachenko appears to be going exactly the way he envisioned it. But before he steps into the ring with Lopez again, the unified lightweight titlist has some business to attend to as mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr. is next on his list. The two were originally scheduled to face off in mid-June. But, due to a positive COVID-19 test result produced by Lopez, their showdown has been moved to mid-August.
For Lopez Sr., once his son has fully recovered from the deadly disease, he’ll easily take care of Kambosos Jr. Then from there, both he and Arum can begin negotiations for Lopez vs. Lomachenko II.
“After Kambosos it can be made,” said Lopez Sr. “It’s going to be the biggest fight in the world. We can make it happen in December in the Madison Square Garden. I gotta talk to him.”
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