Vasyl Lomachenko On Teofimo Lopez: “He Holds My Belt”


By: Sean Crose

“There will be very limited time to go outside,” unified lightweight champ Vasyl Lomachenko said of life in his home country of the Ukraine during the international COVID-19 pandemic. “You will have to be in your house. You can’t gather more than two or three people. The situation is like you can only take your dog out for a walk or go out for something very serious. Other than that, you have to sit at home. You can’t even walk with your kids outside. Everyone will be on lockdown. This will go on until April 24 starting on Monday.” 

The fighter known as “Hi Tech” had hoped to be facing off against IBF champ Teofimo Lopez, one of the fastest rising start in boxing. Now, however, he has to wait. “Of course, I was disappointed a little bit,” he told Crystina Poncher of the hoped for fight being put on hold, “but everything that’s happening {with self-quarantines} is happening for the better. The most important thing is for all the people on this planet to get back and get healthy and everything will go back to normal.” As for Lopez, Lomachenko had plenty to say of the rising star. 

“I really think he’s a good boxer,” he told Poncher. “He’s a top fighter. He’s young, he’s hungry, he has big power, and I want this fight. He’s a world champion, and he holds my belt. It’s IBF title.” As far as how an eventual battle with Lopez might end, Lomachenko played it close to the vest. “Nobody knows,” he said. “It’s very unpredictable. Nobody can predict what is going to happen, how it’s going to happen. And the people are talking about which round they are going to knock somebody out or stop somebody. I am getting very, very interested. Now, I want to see.” 

Asked about Lopez’ shoulder roll defense, Lomachenko admitted it’s a difficult tactic to crack. “It is not an easy type of fighting,” he stated. “It is not an easy style. It is easier to fight attacking fighters who are coming forward. It’s much easier. This type of counterpuncher is more difficult to fight. The winner will be who has the better boxing IQ. But that style with the shoulder, I think I know what I have to do to win.” Speaking of the shoulder roll defense, Lomachenko was asked who out of all the boxers in history he’d like to have battled. 

“Of course I would like to fight somebody who is undefeated,” he said, “who has a good history, who has a big name. I think the most interesting name for me to fight would be Floyd Mayweather.”

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