Teofimo Lopez: “We Talking About Devin Haney Next”
By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez walks past his trophy collection every day. While inside may hold four major world titles, one of those aforementioned titles has brought about confusion.
When Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) dethroned former unified lightweight titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko in mid-October of 2020, the Brooklyn native was officially tagged as an undisputed world champion. Be that as it may, with Lomachenko in possession of the WBC “Franchise” title, as opposed to the full title held by Devin Haney, fans have called for the pair to end the confusion and face each other in the ring.
While Lopez believes he is clearly the undisputed king of the lightweight division, he’s heard the calls from the fans and is willing to give them what they want.
“You know I’m undisputed already,” said Lopez during an Instagram live video. “But if y’all wanna see that we gonna give it to y’all.”
Haney, 22, has called the undisputed title reign of Lopez a fraudulent one. With that said, many have pointed to how the Las Vegas resident actually acquired his championship status. After making quick work of previously undefeated Zaur Abdullaev via fourth-round stoppage in early 2019, Haney picked up the WBC interim title for his efforts.
All along, Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) planned on using his newly won trinket as a tool to lure then full champion Vasiliy Lomachenko into a mandated contest against him. Those plans though, were immediately thrown out of the window as WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman designated Lomachenko as the newly appointed “Franchise,” champion. A designation he would then lose the moment he lost to Lopez.
Haney on the other hand, was elevated to full champion status via email. It wasn’t exactly how the 22-year-old pictured winning his first world title, but he has since defended his crown twice and wears it proudly.
While Haney firmly believes that he is in fact the WBC champion, he has offered to face Lopez to end any confusion.
At first, a bout between the pair seemed unrealistic. With Haney needing to deal with not one, but two mandatory challengers in Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna, along with Lopez having his own obligations in George Kambosos Jr., their highly anticipated showdown was thought to be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Ultimately, the road to their undisputed matchup might be covered with mandatories left and right, but for Lopez, he is currently attempting to bypass his imperative title defense against Kamsosos Jr., and forge straight ahead to a matchup with Haney.
“We talking about Devin Haney next. As long as we get everything sorted out with my mandatory, move that to the side then we can get Devin Haney next.”
Leonard Ellerbe On Teofimo Lopez: “In No Way, Form Or Fashion Could He Ever Be Even Considered The A-side”
By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez has planted his flag in the ground and won’t budge an inch.
After doing what many believed to be impossible in beating Vasiliy Lomachenko in mid-October of 2020, the Brooklyn native announced that he would no longer play second fiddle to anyone.
“I’m the A-side now,” said Lopez during numerous interviews over the past several months. “Including against Gervonta Davis. I’m the king now.”
Those words however, made CEO of Mayweather promotions in Leonard Ellerbe incredulous. Dismissing the skills of Lopez is something that Ellerbe finds impossible to do. With that said, Ellerbe believes that the notion that he would be the A-side in a fight that involves his biggest star in Davis proves that Lopez has a few loose screws.
“He’s a terrific young fighter,” said Ellerbe during an interview with Fight Hype. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment in beating Lomachenko. But for him to make that comment, it just shows the lack of knowledge of how the business goes.”
For Lopez, his unification bout against Lomachenko allowed him to make boxing history. With the Ukrainian native in possession of three world titles and Lopez in possession of the final one, his victory crowned him as the youngest undisputed lightweight champion of all-time.
The term undisputed though, becomes a sensitive topic for Ellerbe whenever Lopez is mentioned as such. Despite his bout with Lomachenko being labeled as a fight with all the lightweight marbles on the line, the Mayweather promotions CEO simply isn’t ready to name him as the official undisputed king of the division.
“He’s not undisputed because Devin has the WBC belt,” stated Ellerbe.
There’s been nonstop confusion concerning Lopez and his undisputed claim. While at one point Lomachenko did hold the WBC, WBO and WBA lightweight world titles – the Ukrainian ultimately forfeited his WBC strap and instead, accepted the “Franchise Champion,” status – a new designation introduced by Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC.
Haney, who held the interim tag, was then elevated to full champion status. Regardless of Haney’s new position, Sulaiman has stated on numerous occasions that Lopez is in fact the undisputed lightweight champion. In that same breath, he has also said that Haney is the WBC lightweight belt holder, furthering the confusion of it all.
While Ellerbe would rather not get involved in who has what title, the long time CEO acknowledges that Lopez does hold multiple belts. Those belts however, may have answered the questions surrounding the talent of Lopez in the ring, but for Ellerbe, on the other hand, he has several more rhetorical questions.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, has he ever headlined a show before? Has he ever sold out any venues? Canelo fought GGG (Gennadiy Golovkin), (Sergey) Kovalev, Liam Smith. Do you think they were the A-side in any of those situations?”
For Ellerbe, the answers to his questions are all obvious. So while he respects what Lopez brings to the table from a fighting standpoint, he believes the Brooklyn native has a long way to go in terms of his box office appeal.
“He’s a good fighter, nothing but respect but he’s delusional when it comes to the business. Having the belts is a great thing, but in no way, form or fashion could he ever be even considered the A-side in anything that’s going on over here. Ryan Garcia is a bigger attraction than he is. That is an irrefutable fact.”
Teofimo Lopez: “I’m The Leader Of The New Gen”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s a question currently circulating around boxing circles. One that, depending whom is asked, the answer varies mightily.
It’s safe to say that this current generation of boxing stars is spearheaded by the likes of Terence Crawford, Tyson Fury, Errol Spence Jr. and a long list of others. However, Canelo Alvarez currently sits atop the majority of pound for pound lists and is viewed as the cream of the crop.
The next generation of fighters has many young bright stars such as Ryan Garcia, Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, etc. Each of those aforementioned names has reason to believe that they will carry the torch as the face of boxing for years to come. But there is one name who is firmly under the belief that his current body of work makes him the clear next head honcho.
“I’m the leader of the new gen,” said undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez during an interview with Fight Hub TV.
The assertions of Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) makes his young competition apoplectic. At every turn, the Brooklyn native finds his name brought up in conversations surrounding possible showdowns. Whether it’s the persistent call outs from WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney or the bold knockout threats of Gervonta Davis, Lopez finds his name in the headlines often.
While he doesn’t mind being provoked into a fight, Lopez is busy scrolling through each man’s resume. After taking several minutes to read off each name, the surly knockout artist quickly realizes that they are all unworthy.
“I’m not saying no to these fights but in order to prove that you are competition to me then you have to show me something. They fighting over each other’s leftovers. I’m looking at another meal.”
For Lopez, claiming the scalps of both Richard Commey and Vasiliy Lomachenko has not only vaulted him into the pound for pound discussion, but it has also left his trophy room overflowing with gold. Despite Haney holding the WBC lightweight title and regardless of Davis possessing the WBA “Regular” belt, their trinkets play second fiddle to the one’s currently wrapped around the waist of Lopez.
So while his contemporaries continue their efforts to call the shots as to when and where a matchup with Lopez will take place, the 23-year-old simply shakes his head and reminds them that everything he has accomplished has made him the boss of the next generation.
“Last time I checked I got all the belts, last time I checked I’m highly respected. And last time I checked, I earned my stripes. I don’t say no to any of these fights but I lead, I don’t follow.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko Describes The Power Of Teofimo Lopez: “He Is A Strong Guy, He Hits Hard”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s a reason why Vasiliy Lomachenko has been given nicknames such as “Hi-Tech,” and “The Matrix.” Simply put, the Ukrainian product is extremely difficult to hit inside of the ring.
In his latest contest however, Teofimo Lopez paid no attention to any of Lomachenko’s monikers. The 23-year-old found his man much easier to hit than even he anticipated. With 183 total shots landed, including a career-high 50 in the final round, Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) is fully aware of the power that Lopez possesses. With that said, while he does admit that he was strong, power isn’t the tell-all be all in the sport of boxing.
“He is a strong guy,” said Lomachenko during an interview with SnowQueenLA on YouTube. “But I can’t say he has some vicious punches that could knock you out cold. Yes, he does hit hard. But, you understand it’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how accurate your punches land in certain parts of the head. Then, it could end up bad.”
On paper, Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is undoubtedly the hardest hitting fighter Lomachenko has ever faced. However, it was a 2018 matchup with Jorge Linares which saw Lomachenko hit the deck.
Regardless of that, Lomachenko had a quick response when asked who hits harder between the two.
“I wouldn’t say that Linares hits harder. Lopez does hit harder. Linares threw a punch when I was stepping in and coming towards him. Those types of punches are the most dangerous type of punches in boxing. He landed that one accurately at me with the precise timing when I was stepping in towards him.”
Lomachenko would, of course, peel himself up off the canvas in the sixth to stop Linares in the tenth round. Despite the knockdown, the 32-year-old claimed that he was never in any serious trouble. Those thoughts were once again shared for his latest contest against Lopez. Even with his younger opponent landing 183 total shots, including a career-high 50 in the final round, Lomachenko believes he wasn’t in any real trouble.
“He did land some punches. It didn’t hurt me, maybe because he didn’t land them right or maybe he is not as strong as he seems to be.”
While Lomachenko claims that he wasn’t in any serious trouble, the former two-time Olympic gold medalist would come up short during their undisputed lightweight contest roughly two months ago. The results though, aren’t something that he agrees with.
From the moment the three judges sitting ringside handed in their scorecards, Lomachenko has called for an immediate rematch. Nevertheless, with no rematch clause in their initial contract, the former three-division belt holder understands that his wishes won’t be granted anytime soon.
“I still hope for a rematch but I also understand right now it’s not possible.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko Explains His Game Plan In Teofimo Lopez Upset Defeat
By: Hans Themistode
The emotions of fight fans were on a perpetual rollercoaster when Vasiliy Lomachenko took on Teofimo Lopez just a few months ago. During much of their build-up, Lomachenko talked a good game and seemed as motivated as ever to shut the mouth of Lopez.
The moment the opening bell rang, the nearly 3 million viewers who tuned in to watch their undisputed lightweight contest waited patiently for things to heat. Yet as the rounds ticked by, many were confused as to what the former two-time Olympic gold medalist was doing.
Lomachenko, 32, spent the vast majority of the first half of their contest with his hands in his pockets as he refused to engage. While he managed to pick up the pace considerably in the second half, he was dealt the second loss of his career.
For months now, both fans and media members have been perplexed with what exactly he was trying to accomplish. Now however, Lomachenko has pulled back the curtains on his game plan heading in and explained what went wrong.
“I had to make him move forward,” explained Lomachenko during an interview posted on his YouTube page. “I had to make some combinations while making him miss the punches. The only thing was that I couldn’t move forward at the very beginning. I couldn’t feel the distance at the very beginning. I needed to keep him off-balance and start attacking but I couldn’t feel it. But when I felt it in the second part of the fight I started coming out more active.”
In addition to having difficulty finding his range early on, Lomachenko revealed a busted shoulder. Something he had surgery on the very next day.
Lomachenko may have looked like his dominant self during the second half of their showdown, giving up so many rounds from the outset proved too costly as his undisputed lightweight dreams were shattered. When the Ukrainian looks back at his performance, he points to his injured shoulder as one of the contributing factors for his defeat.
Finding an early rhythm and letting his hands go would have benefitted him immensely, but it was difficult to do so as he was forced to throw his initial game plan in the trash due to his injury.
“We couldn’t use the tactic we used before I got injured. After I got injured, we changed it. I had to be careful and not get injured within the first six rounds. That’s why I was careful during the first part of the fight. Then, I realized that I was losing in the first part so I started coming out more aggressively. I started thinking about it after the fifth round. I understood I needed to come out, that I couldn’t continue losing rounds. The shoulder didn’t hurt during the first six rounds. I didn’t punch much though. It started hurting in rounds eight and nine when I started landing shots.”
Despite being forced to use an entirely different approach, Lomachenko is steadfast in his belief that he should have been crowned the winner.
The 32-year-old concedes that Lopez won most of the early rounds but he is also under the belief that he dominated the second half. While the numbers were all in favor of Lopez on the night, Lomachenko simply asks that everyone rewind the tape and look at the damage that both inflicted on one another.
“If we compare how much he damaged me within the first six rounds and how I damaged him for the last six rounds I think these are two different things.”
Shakur Stevenson On Vasiliy Lomachenko’s Loss To Teofimo Lopez: “He Was Afraid To Step Into The Lion’s Den, A Scared Fighter Can’t Beat Me”
By: Hans Themistode
Any talks of Teofimo Lopez’s size as the main factor behind his career-defining win over former unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko will be met immediately with a disgusted look from Shakur Stevenson. Lopez, a 5-1 underdog, outboxed and outworked Lomachenko in late October to become the youngest undisputed champion in boxing history.
Outside of a height and reach deficit against Lopez, Lomachenko himself has admitted on numerous occasions that fighting at 135 pounds places him at a size disadvantage on most nights. So while many have rightly pointed at the disparity in measurements between the two, for Stevenson, it wasn’t about the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog.
“I disagree that just because Teo was bigger that it was the reason he won,” said Stevenson on Max on Boxing. “With that fight, I feel like it had a lot to do with heart. I feel like Lomachenko is a great fighter but I feel like he didn’t have the heart that night to dare to be great.”
Through six perplexing rounds for Lomachenko, the former multiple division titlist kept his hands in his pockets as he refused to engage with Lopez. His early-round tactics were particularly surprising considering the bad blood between the two throughout the build up.
The tentative game plan of Lomachenko switched however, the moment the second half of their contest came rolling by. The Ukrainian product found it much easier to let his hands go and was rewarded as he tagged his man repeatedly. Lomachenko’s new-found aggression coincided with Lopez losing steam on his punches during the later rounds. The strategy he implored may have allowed him to climb back into the fight, but for Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs), he viewed it as more cowardly than anything else.
“I feel like you can’t go in no fight for six rounds straight and not throw no punches at all. That’s not how you dare to be great. You got a power puncher in front of you and great fighter also. You got to step into the lion’s den and I think he was afraid to step into the lion’s den.”
Competing at 135, although he’s done so for several years, might be a thing of the past for Lomachenko as a drop in weight could be imminent. If that is in fact the route he decides to take, Stevenson would welcome him with open arms and clenched fists.
While on paper the two are similar in size and skill, what lies on the inside will be the biggest difference.
“A fighter who doesn’t dare to be great and don’t have that kind of heart doesn’t have a chance with me. A scared fighter can’t beat me. I don’t think it would be good for him to come off that loss and get in the ring with a Shakur Stevenson. I feel like I’m a go in there and beat him up because he has heart problems.”
Felix Verdejo: “Teofimo Has To Be Ready To Face Me In The Future”
By: Hans Themistode
Some messages are better conveyed through actions, not words.
For lightweight contender Felix Verdejo, he’s hoping that by demolishing this weekend’s opponent in Masayoshi Nakatani, that one man, in particular, will take notice.
“Knocking out a tough fighter like Nakatani would send a clear message to Teofimo that he has to be ready to face me in the future,” said Verdejo to Boxingscene.com. “I would love to send that message on December 12th.”
Before Teofimo Lopez placed himself on virtually every pound for pound list with his two championship wins against Richard Commey and Vasiliy Lomachenko, the latter would crown him as the youngest undisputed titlist in boxing history, Lopez found himself in an unexpected dog fight with Nakatani.
Up until that point, Lopez simply steamrolled his competition. Yet, when he faced off with Nakatani, things were much more complicated than anticipated. Lopez of course, would walk away with the victory, but not before a large number of detractors ripped him for his efforts.
Verdejo, 27, admits that he did see Lopez struggle with the much bigger Nakatani, but all in all, he views the win as something that he used as a building block.
“It was a great experience for Teofimo. He did what he had to do to get the win. It was a tough fight but he did what he had to do to get the win. Now, it’s my turn to do everything I have to do to get the win. We did the hard work in the gym, studied his style and worked out all of our strategies. We are ready to put on a show on December 12.”
Nakatani (18-1, 12 KOs), hasn’t fought since that 12 round decision loss to Lopez but is anxious to step back inside of the ring. For Verdejo though, he is simply trying to reignite the spark in a career that was once believed to be as bright as any other prospect in the sport.
Just two short years ago, Verdejo walked into his contest against Antonio Lazada Torres as the prohibited favorite. Unlike Lopez, who struggled early on against Nakatani only to win via wide decision, Verdejo just couldn’t get over the hump as was brutally stopped in the tenth and final round. The loss for Verdejo hasn’t aged well either as Torres has come up short in his last three contest with two of them coming before the final bell.
The loss may have sullied his record and changed the perception of him, but with the help of new trainer Ismael Salas, Verdejo has gone undefeated since then, including a first round stoppage in his last ring appearance. That in turn has him believing that he’s back on track.
“Everything has gone very well since I have been training with Salas in Las Vegas. The change has been from heaven to earth. I’ve seen the changes in me. I am in excellent condition. I have confidence in my skills and on the work I have done.”
Mikey Garcia Interested In Facing Teofimo Lopez And Gervonta Davis At 140
By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis proved their star power and boxing ability recently.
Just last weekend, the 25 year old Davis headlined his first Pay-Per-View event when he took on Leo Santa Cruz. The Baltimore native found himself on an endless highlight reel loop when he scored a sixth round uppercut that ended the night. Just a few weeks prior, Lopez pulled in just short of three million views in the headline spot of an ESPN telecast against Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez walked into that contest as a prohibited underdog but outboxed and outslugged his man as he became the youngest undisputed champion of all time.
While both fighters may campaign at 135 pounds, if they were willing to move up to 140, then former four division champion Mikey Garcia says he would be more than willing to meet them there.
“I’m not coming down to 135 anytime soon, probably never,” said Garcia during a recent interview with Fight Hype. “Maybe 140, maybe I can do that. I can come down to 140 and meet some of the lightweights at 140. Lopez if he decides to move up to 140 or Davis, those would be good fights. Titles or no titles I think those would be good.”
Although Davis hasn’t expressed a desire to move up to the super lightweight division, Lopez on the other hand, has struggled to make 135 pounds. The recently crowned undisputed lightweight titlist has been vocal in wanting to move five pounds north to take on the winner of unified champions Jose Ramirez vs Josh Taylor which is set to take place sometime in early 2021.
With both titleholders currently promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank however, Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) doesn’t see a path to hoisting another world title. The feud between Garcia and Arum has impeded the California resident from facing many of his fighters.
For Garcia, matchups against Davis and Lopez would draw huge ratings, but with no world titles on the line against either of them, he believes it might be a better idea to stay in the welterweight division.
“If I want a title fight then 140 ain’t the division for me right now.”
Garcia has spent his entire career dominating weight classes and winning world titles. Yet, with a one sided loss at the hands of unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in March of 2019, Garcia has found his transition to a bigger weight class much more difficult.
With that being said, the soon to be 33 year old dreams of becoming a five division world champion. In his last contest against Jessie Vargas, Garcia kept his dreams alive as he dropped his man before cruising to a unanimous decision victory.
Since then, Garcia has targeted a showdown with WBA welterweight belt holder Manny Pacquiao. Despite his interest in facing off against either Davis or Lopez, if it was up to Garcia, he would sign on the dotted line in an instant if a contract with Pacquiao’s name on it just so happened to come across his desk.
“That’s still the plan,” explained Garcia. “The idea is still to land a fight with Manny. I think in boxing terms that’s my best fight and I would be Manny’s best fight. Financially I think it makes the most sense for him also. It would be a great fight.”
Devin Haney On Teofimo Lopez: “He Knows That He’s Not Undisputed Without Fighting Me”
By: Hans Themistode
The fans, media and even other boxers around the world may call Teofimo Lopez an undisputed lightweight champion, but Devin Haney believes it’s all phony.
The 21 year old WBC belt holder sat in his palatial estate and watched Lopez unseat former unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. During much of their build up, not only was the disdain between Lopez and Lomachenko highlighted, but a specific emphasis was placed on their contest having all of the lightweight marbles on the line.
Yet, as Haney looks at himself in the mirror, he still sees an undefeated record and a world title draped over his shoulder. So while most of the world continues to call Lopez an undisputed world champion, Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) is under the impression that the road to that distinction runs through him.
“At the end of the day he said he was willing to fight me,” said Haney during a recent Zoom press conference. “He knows that he doesn’t feel right without fighting me for the real undisputed. He knows that he’s not undisputed without fighting me.”
The confusion over Lopez’s undisputed status stems from Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC. Shortly after Lomachenko won the WBC title in August of 2019 against Luke Campbell, Sulaiman relieved him of his title and instead, handed him the WBC Franchise title. That in turn pushed Haney, who won the WBC interim title one month later, to full title holder.
Sulaiman would go on to say that the Franchise belt isn’t an actual belt per se, but more so a designation that is bestowed to special individual fighters who fight across multiple weight classes. The Franchise title forgoes any mandatory challengers and cannot be won in the ring.
With that being said, before Lopez vs Lomachenko took place, team Lopez petitioned to have the WBC Franchise title on the line. Sulaiman approved his petition and with the win, Lopez is now in possession of that very title.
For Haney, he has continually spoken of how he simply wants to win world titles. However, the Franchise title isn’t something he currently has his eyes on.
“I’m not interested in winning a Franchise title, that’s not something that I really want to do but I am willing to fight for all the belts against Teofimo.”
As much as Haney would love to face off against Lopez, he currently has his focus locked in on former multiple division titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa. The two are set to face off this weekend in the main event at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Although he isn’t looking past the soon to be 39 year old, he does believe that he’ll pick up the win in dominant fashion.
“He’s been in there with a lot of top guys and given them the toughest fight of their careers. I’m going to go in there and beat him worst than anybody ever has.”
Predictions aren’t exactly a thing for Haney. The WBC belt holder struggles to give an exact indication as to how any of his contests will play out beforehand. But just as he’s figured out a way to win every single time he’s stepped foot inside of the ring, he believes he’ll have his hand raised against Gamboa or more importantly, Teofimo Lopez.
“I do know I would be victorious against Teofimo. I’m not sure how the fight would play out but I know that I would be victorious against him.”
Gervonta Davis: “I Got The Whole Package, Teofimo Lopez Does Not”
By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez is currently still living off the high he received when he dethroned former unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko just a few weeks ago. The win for the Brooklyn native netted him all four belts in the division which makes him the youngest undisputed champion in boxing history.
Although his belt collection at 135 pounds is over, there are still several lucrative fights left for him in the weight class. Amongst them, is a matchup with undefeated two division world titlist Gervonta Davis who is currently putting on the finishing touches on his training as he prepares to take on Leo Santa Cruz this weekend at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas.
While a matchup between the two would give Lopez the opportunity to land another marquee name on his resume, his struggles on the scale could see him go in another direction.
“I’ve been at the weight for seven years now,” said Lopez during an interview on Max on Boxing. “I don’t know, there’s a lot of fish to catch at 140 as well.”
With an undisputed contest at 140 likely to take place against unified champions Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez sometime in 2021, Lopez has said on numerous occasions that he would love the opportunity to become the first back to back undisputed champion. Yet, while Lopez has visions of more gold, Davis on the other hand, believes he knows the reason the Brooklyn native is so hesitant.
“The reason why he said his eyes aren’t on me is because he would struggle to make the weight,” said Davis on Max on Boxing. “He’s too big at 135 and I’ll be strong moving up to 135.”
On numerous occasions, Lopez has in fact had his issues making the 135 pound limit. Following his win over Lomachenko, his father and trainer in Lopez Sr., expressed his desire for his son to move up to 140 pounds as opposed to killing his body to make 135.
If however, Lopez were to stick around a bit longer, Davis would be more than willing to face him.
“If he’s willing to stay at 135 then we can definitely make the fight happen.”
In terms of skills in the ring, Davis believes Lopez is a very good fighter, but he simply doesn’t compare to himself.
“I got the whole package,” said Davis. “Teofimo does not have the whole package. He does not have the footwork or any of that, I have the full package.”
Floyd Mayweather: “You Cannot Compare A Fighter Like Loma To Me Or Ali Or Sugar Ray Leonard”
By: Hans Themistode
It didn’t take long for Vasiliy Lomachenko to make his mark on the boxing world. The highly touted amateur came onto the professional scene in 2013 and immediately made an impact. In just his third pro fight, the Ukrainian product hoisted his first world title, a record for any male fighter. From there, he’s duplicated that same feeling several times over.
As the wins started to pile up and his trophy case began to overflow, the comparison’s to former greats soon came after. One of those aforementioned comparisons came at the expense of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The retired five division world champion spent over 20 years of his life in the sport. And although Lomachenko has accomplished several milestones that he hasn’t, his record of winning a world title in just his third pro contest should come with an asterisk attached to it.
“I had my day in the sport,” said Mayweather during an interview promoting Gervonta Davis vs Leo Santa Cruz showdown. “But when they started comparing Loma to me, I didn’t have to have 500 amateur fights. He did something that I wasn’t able to do. He won two gold medals which is a huge accomplishment. Just going to the Olympics is huge in itself. They say he was the quickest to win a world title than any other fighter but once you fight 300 amateur fights you’re a professional anyway.”
Saying that Lomachenko had 300 amateur fights is actually shortchanging him. In total, the Ukrainian southpaw compiled 397 fights in the unpaid ranks. All but one of those contests resulted in a loss, something he would later avenge several times over.
His overwhelming success in the amateur world gave Lomachenko the cache needed in order to skip the championship line once he turned pro.
After stopping Jose Luis Ramirez in his debut, the two time Olympic gold medalist was given a chance to add to his gold collection by facing Orlando Salido for the vacant WBO featherweight title. The tactics used by Salido on the night may have been viewed as bending the rules, but he ultimately got what he was looking for as he handed Lomachenko the first loss of his career.
Although he dropped the ball, his setback against Salido was merely a bump in the road as he was given another crack at gold, this time against Gary Russell Jr. In a much more dominant effort, Lomachenko managed to run away with the win and take home the world title he was hoping for.
Much of the attention has been placed on Lomachenko’s record of winning said title in just his third contest. With that being said, Mayweather finds it disrespectful to compare his Ukrainian counterpart to either himself or any of the past greats.
“You cannot compare a fighter like Loma to me or Ali or Sugar Ray Leonard you know the reason why? We won our first fight, we won our second fight, we won our third fight.”
At the moment, the shining star that was associated with Lomachenko’s career is dimming rapidly thanks to a one sided loss at the hands of Teofimo Lopez this past weekend. The 23 year old was given virtually no shot at dethroning who many believed was the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, but after dominating the first half of their contest, Lopez did just enough during the latter portion to have his hand raised.
Mayweather openly admitted to watching their showdown from his palatial estate and was congratulatory towards Lopez who now holds all four titles at 135 pounds. Despite that, Mayweather believes that Lopez should receive his just due, but this notion that Lomachenko was the best in the world was a false narrative from the beginning.
“I’m not going to take away anything from what Teofimo did the other day but remember, this guy already had a loss to Salido. Salido wasn’t the best guy in the world, he was solid. He won a title before but he wasn’t the best guy in the world.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko Reportedly Threatened To Retire If Pulled From Teofimo Lopez Contest With Shoulder Injury
By: Hans Themistode
Vasily Lomachenko’s disdain for Teofimo Lopez ran so deep, that the 32 year old was willing to do anything to get his hands on the younger man. Even if it meant throwing away his entire career to do so.
During the lead up of their lightweight undisputed title fight which took place this past weekend, Lomachenko was dealing with severe pain in his right shoulder. The Ukrainian native found himself compromised during training camp which led to his father, Anatoly Lomachenko, wanting to pull his son from the match entirely.
Shoulder injury be damned however. According to numerous reports, Vasiliy would hear none of it as he threatened to retire should his team pull him from his matchup with Lopez.
Not wanting to see their man walk away from the sport of boxing at such a young age, team Lomachenko went down another route.
“When he arrived to the States to prepare for the fight, he said in the Ukraine he felt the sharp pain in his right shoulder,” said Vasiliy’s manager Egis Klimas when discussing the results of a significant shoulder injury that was revealed after an MRI. “We took him right away to Dr. ElAttrache to examine him. We lost one week of training. We lost one week of sparring because the doctor forbid him to do much for a week after the injection.”
With Lomachenko losing a wide decision on the judge’s scorecards to Lopez on the night, the former champion immediately went into surgery the following day to address his shoulder injury.
Since the news of his operation, team Lomachenko has been under fire as many believe they are looking for excuses as to why they came up woefully short. Regardless of the criticism, Klimas wants to assure everyone that he isn’t looking for a pity party. With that being said, he would love for the brash, young and confident Lopez to pull his chair back to the negotiating table.
“We didn’t want to look like we were looking for excuses or something. If it’s possible, we would like to have the rematch. If they are so tough … are they willing to come back and do that?”
Although their contest pulled in nearly three million viewers, which ranks number one since 2017, Lopez has shown no interest in running things back. To the Brooklyn native, he already made his point and see’s no reason in running things back.
“For what?” Said Lopez following his victory. “The same thing is going to happen again.”
Oscar De La Hoya Heaps Praise On Teofimo Lopez, Wants Him To Face Ryan Garcia: “A Matchup With Lopez Would Be A Classic”
By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez isn’t signed by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. Nor do they have any sort of relationship with one another, but as the 2014 hall of famer sat back in his palatial estate and watched Lopez pull off the massive upset against unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko this past weekend, De La Hoya couldn’t help but feel prideful in what he just witnessed.
“I’m really proud of him,” said De La Hoya to TMZ during a recent interview. “He shocked the world.”
De La Hoya, like most observers, believed that Lomachenko was going to be too much for the 23 year old. Yet, when the bell rang, the Ukrainian looked passive and hesitant. Lopez to his credit, took full advantage and dominated the first half of their contest. The latter portion of their matchup was flipped however, as Lomachenko pressed his foot on the gas and gave his younger opponent hell for the duration of their fight. With that being said, as the final scores indicated, it was far too late.
Now, with the biggest win of his career under his belt and four world titles draped around his shoulders, De La Hoya is heaping as much praise as possible on the young man.
“I really thought that Lomachenko was going to use his experience, well, I think Lomachenko did use his experience but in the first six rounds maybe he waited too long. Lomachenko came in strong in the end but it was too late. I think Teofimo looked amazing, he showed his true colors. I’m proud of him and I think he is the future of the lightweight division.”
With no rematch clause in their original contract, Lopez isn’t obligated to give Lomachenko a rematch. That in turn, leaves the door wide open for other intriguing matchups, including a possible unification contest with WBC belt holder Devin Haney. Lopez himself has expressed interest in facing his championship counterpart, but as De La Hoya continued his interview, he took some time to put on his matchmaker hat.
“There are a lot of great fights for him including our very own Ryan Garcia which would be a massive, massive fight.”
Garcia, 22, has been clamoring for his own shot at the big leagues for several months now and come December 5th, he’ll get his wish.
Perpetual lightweight contender and multiple-time title challenger in Luke Campbell will match up against the young Garcia. With a plethora of fringe contenders on his resume, Campbell, at least on paper, represents the first real challenge for Garcia.
Regardless of that, De La Hoya expects Garcia to have his hand raised at the end of the night.
“His December 5th, fight against Luke Campbell isn’t a walk in the park. Campbell went the distance with Lomachenko and Jorge Linares so this is a real true test for Ryan Garcia. But when he gets past this test December 5th, then he has to go after the top dogs. A matchup with Lopez would be a classic. I can’t wait for that fight.”
Abel Sanchez: “I think that Teofimo Lopez Is The Closet In The Last 30-35 Years To Roberto Duran”
By: Hans Themistode
When Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez was first announced, there were only two possible outcomes that could occur for their highly anticipated matchup. Either the Ukrainian native would box circles around his younger opponent for 12 full rounds, or the younger and more explosive Lopez would turn off Lomachenko’s lights.
Yet, when the two matched up this past weekend with all of the lightweight marbles on the line, none of those perceived notions came true.
Lopez, 23, easily outboxed his man during the first half of their contest, winning the first six rounds on most viewers scorecards. The Brooklyn native also finished strong, although Lomachenko held the clear edge during the second half.
It was puzzling to watch who many suspect was the best boxer of his generation in Lomachenko, fight so passively early on. His connect rate of four punches per round through the first half was a far cry from the normally active and accurate fighter many had grown accustomed to seeing.
Amongst those who were baffled by what they were witnessing was trainer, Abel Sanchez. As the rounds ticked by and the deficit grew for Lomachenko, Sanchez simply couldn’t believe what he was watching.
“I didn’t think that Lopez was going to a decision because of the experience on Loma’s side but he gave away too many rounds during the first part of the fight,” said Sanchez to Fight Hub TV. ”You can’t give anybody half of the fight. It wasn’t necessary for him to do that.”
Lomachenko’s boxing IQ has often been described as a supercomputer, downloading information quickly before using all his newfound data to destroy his opponents. With that being said, the Ukrainian product simply wasn’t able to process what was standing in front of him fast enough. Many, including team Lopez, believe the power kept Lomachenko both honest and worried. To Sanchez however, if you took time to watch Lopez’s highlight reel, the power was obvious, but not his other attribute.
“I don’t think the power was the issue. The power Loma can deal with because he has great defense. I think Loma was surprised by the speed. I don’t think they wanted to give away six rounds, maybe part of it. But again, I think the speed was something Loma wasn’t expecting. He wasn’t able to counter as well as he usually does because of the speed of Lopez.”
Watching Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) over the years has impressed Sanchez. The way he saunters into a room and makes brazen and aggressive predictions has caught his attention as well. But as he witnessed the 23 year old outbox Lomachenko this past weekend, a light bulb has gone off in his head in terms of a suitable comparison.
“I think that Teofimo Lopez is the closet that we’ve come in the last 30-35 years to Roberto Duran. He has that meanness, he has that bravado, he has that skill but he still has a lot to learn and a long way to go to be compared to Roberto Duran. But he’s as close as we’ve seen in a long, long time.”
What’s Next For Vasiliy Lomachenko?
By: Hans Themistode
Things couldn’t have gone any worse for Vasiliy Lomachenko. Not only did the former unified lightweight champion lose every single one of his belts to Teofimo Lopez last night, but with no rematch clause in their contract and team Lopez showing no desire to run it back, the 32 year old is left with an uncertain future.
Mostly everyone, including Lomachenko, believes that his real weight class and future are at 130 pounds. With that being said, the Ukrainian native is a proud fighter and will have a difficult time being forced out of the 135 pound division.
There are no clear options in terms of his next contest, but we’ve put together a list giving him the best of both worlds in the 130 and 135 pound divisions.
The end isn’t coming anytime soon for the multiple time champion, so check out who he should be eyeing for his next ring appearance.
Look, no matter how badly Lomachenko wants to get his hands back on Lopez, it simply isn’t going to happen next. His best bet is to make a statement.
Despite the undisputed tag that was associated with Lomachenko and Lopez’s contest, the fact remains that Devin Haney is still a legitimate world champion. The 21 year old still has to take care of business in the form of multiple time champion Yuriorkis Gamboa on November 7th. But with his 39th birthday coming sooner rather than later, many believe Haney will walk right through the former champion.
If things do in fact play out that way, then Lomachenko should have an eye on him. A win over Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) would do a lot for him right now. Not only would he be handed another world title, but it would also entice Lopez to run things back one more time.
Vasiliy Lomachenko is in the title business. Meaning, the 32 year old doesn’t have the time or patience to work his way back from the ground up. Staying at 135 pounds was never his long term plan, so instead, a drop in weight seems like the most sensible option.
At the moment, most of the title holders at 130 pounds are pre-occupied. But in the case of Joseph Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs), his schedule appears to be wide open. The IBF belt holder is fresh off an upset victory over former titlist Tevin Farmer earlier this year. So while he isn’t the sexiest pick, he is a current world champion and an easy fight to make.
Gary Russell Jr
Moving back down to 126 pounds may seem like hitting rock bottom for the back to back Olympic gold medalist, but it could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Lomachenko started off his career at the featherweight division, and while it was short, it was extremely successful.
In just his third pro fight, Lomachenko picked up the first world title of his career. The loser on the night in Gary Russell Jr. (31-1, 18 KOs) has proved his own dominance shortly after as he’s held a world title for the past five years. His title run however, was never quite satisfying as the Maryland native simply couldn’t get the bitter taste of defeat off his tastebuds.
On several occasions he’s called for a rematch to avenge his lone defeat. His pleas were never met with enthusiasm on the side of Lomachenko, but with his waist now absent of gold, now could be the perfect time for him to revisit a possible showdown.