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.
Teofimo Lopez Shares His Thoughts On Vasiliy Lomachenko: “I Expected More But He Was Pretty Basic Honestly”
By: Hans Themistode
Nearly everyone that saw Vasiliy Lomachenko lace up a pair of gloves and throw leather at his opponent, said the same thing. The 32 year old was a master boxer.
Various times throughout his career the Ukrainian product would stand right in front of his opponent and land ubiquitous shots while simply stepping to the side to avoid any returning fire.
Despite the hype, Teofimo Lopez always believed he could beat his man. But with the constant praise that was heaped on Lomachenko’s shoulder’s, the 23 year old took note of it and came into their undisputed title fight with high expectations. But after defeating him in lopsided fashion over the course of 12 rounds, Lopez was left disappointed.
“I expected more,” said Lopez during the post-fight presser A lot of people were talking highly of him. I expected more but he was pretty basic honestly.”
Outside of the second loss of his pro career, Lomachenko almost never lost a round in the ring. Yet, the younger, more explosive Lopez dominated the first half of their contest. The Ukrainian native has never been known as a high volume puncher but his connect rate through the first six rounds checked in at just four punches per round.
Lopez pushed the pace early and although he began gassing out during the back half of the contest, he finished strong. The now undisputed world champion landed a ridiculous 50 punches in the final round, by far the most of any Lomachenko opponent.
Those who will point to Lomachenko’s lack of activity as a result of his shortcomings on the night will quickly have their opinions rebuffed.
“Maybe it was the 14 month layoff that did it but I had a ten month layoff so why does it matter?”
Regardless of the reason behind Lomachenko’s lackluster showing, Lopez doesn’t want to hear any of it. For years the young, brash knockout artist watched from the sidelines as Lomachenko won his fights before he ever even stepped foot inside of the ring. The 396 wins as an amateur, twin Olympic gold medals and numerous world titles in multiple divisions cast an aura of invincibility around him. Something that Lopez quickly debunked in the first few minutes.
“Everyone was shook of Loma. They had too much respect for him. I pushed the fight and made the fight. I told you, all of that shit he does is for show.”
Teofimo Lopez Completes “The Takeover”
By: Hans Themistode
From the moment Teofimo Lopez came onto the scene, he warned every and anyone that would listen. Or, at least his father did. The braggadocios elder Lopez screamed from the mountain tops that his son was ready to take over the world.
On several occasions, he predicted exactly what would happen. “My son will be a champion in his 15th fight,” said Lopez. Sr. “And he’s going to be undisputed in 16.” Many laughed of course, but now, the only one laughing is Lopez Sr.
Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko marched their way through an empty arena and met dead center in the middle of the ring for their undisputed lightweight title fight. The only difference was once they got there, Lopez began throwing punches immediately while Lomachenko played defense.
At first, Lomachenko seemed to be downloading his opponent’s information to use later in the fight. But as the seconds ticked by and then the minutes and then the rounds, it was clear that Lomachenko was far more tentative than ever before.
The 23 year old Brooklyn native not only had a clear power advantage but he also seemingly had the edge in every other category. He pushed his man back, used angles and won the exchanges on both the outside and inside. In short, Lopez outboxed the one fighter many believed was impossible to do so.
With the first half of their contest turning into a one sided showing in favor of the 23 year old, Lomachenko finally showed up. The Ukrainian native found the angles that he became known for and used them to land shots at will on his younger man.
With everything going his way, Lopez looked befuddled as to where he could turn that would provide him with a safety zone from Lomachenko’s onslaught. In the ninth round, all of the momentum was behind the unified champion. The once energized legs of the younger man began fading underneath him as he languished on the ropes. A right hand by Lomachenko punctuated the round as Lopez stumbled at the end of the bell.
With no reprieve in sight, and both his defense and energy failing him, Lopez turned to the one thing that was working for him on the night. His offense. The pugnacious knockout artist made Lomachenko pay each and every time he came inside. That in turn, made the 32 year old cautious yet again.
The final round turned into an all out fight. Lopez pointed his gloves to the canvas and screamed at his man to end their contest the right way. Lomachenko had no issue with his request and the two traded heavy shots.
When the final bell rang, the body language of both fighters told the story. Lopez ran around the ring happy as can be while Lomachenko stood quietly in his corner until the scorecards were read. The Ukrainian was right to look dejected as the scorecards came back wide in Lopez’s favor. The final tally was as followed: 116-112, 119-109 and 117-111 all in favor of Lopez.
With no rematch clause attached to their original contract, Lopez expressed a desire to look for new challenges.
“Maybe I’ll face the two time email champ Devin Haney next,” said Lopez following his victory. Regardless of what he chooses to do, his options are endless at this point.
Teofimo Lopez Pulls Off The Massive Upset, Becomes Undisputed Champ At 135
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez
No one believed in Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) coming into his matchup against the best fighter in the world in Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) but that didn’t stop him from going out there tonight and taking what he believed belonged to him.
The Brooklyn native cruised to a fairly one sided decision and rightfully so. The 23 year old pushed the pace early on and closed the show strong. It was a terrific performance by the surly knockout artist as he becomes the first undisputed champion at 135 pounds.
Edgar Berlanga vs Lanell Bellows
Edgar Berlanga (15-0, 15 KOs) is a scary, scary young man. The super middleweight prospect scored the 15th straight first round knockout of his career. The unfortunate soul that matched up with this time around was journeymen Lanell Bellows (20-6-3, 13 KOs).
After the first hard shot landed, it was all over as Bellows was immediately cut and hurt. He was then battered around the ring until the referee stepped in to put a stop to the onslaught.
Josue Vargas vs Kendo Castaneda
Josue Vargas (18-1, 9 KOs) made it look entirely too easy against veteran super lightweight contender Kendo Castaneda (17-3, 8 KOs).
The two clashed at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
From the offset, Vargas looked smooth boxing on the outside and hitting his opponent whenever he wanted. The normally light hitting Bronx, New York native floored his man in the second round. Castaneda however, bounced back up and kept on moving forward.
As the rounds ticked by Castaneda found himself digging a deeper and deeper hole on the judges scorecards. Just when it seemed as though the 22 year old would have everything his way, Castaneda landed a right hand that had his man visibly hurt in the seventh round. Vargas opted to stay away from his man for the remainder of the round and attempted to clear his head once the bell rang. Luckily for him, he did just that as he came out for the eighth round, appearing as though nothing ever happened.
For the remainder of their contest, Vargas was simply too good and too slick for his opponent and punished him over and over again. As the final bell rang, Vargas left no doubt who was victorious on the night. The scorecards were lopsided as ever and following ten dominant rounds, the New York native called for matches against the top contenders in his weight class. A request that might just happen in 2021.
Jose Enrique Durantes Vivas vs John Moralde
Jose Enrique Durantes Vivas (20-1, 11 KOs) was in no mood for a protracted night out.
The 26 year old wasted absolutely no time in running right through his opponent tonight in John Moralde (23-4, 13 KOs). After a quick opening round knock down, Vivas pounded his man into dust and forced the referee to step in to end things early.
Quinton Randall vs Jan Carlos Rivera
With two undefeated records on the line, Jr middleweight prospect Quinton Randall (7-0, 2 KOs) made sure his was kept intact.
The 30 year old Houston native gave a one sided drubbing to fellow prospect Jan Carlos Rivera (4-1, 4 KOs). It was an easy night for Randall as he simply had too much experience and skills for his younger opponent. The scorecards were as followed: 59-55 and two scores of 58-56 all in favor of Randall.
Jahi Tucker vs Charles Garner
After a quick win his pro debut, Jahi Tucker (2-0, 1 KOs) picked up the second victory of his career just one month later. In the process he took away the undefeated record of Charles Garner (1-1, 0 KOs).
The 17 year old in Tucker did whatever he wanted to his man, whenever he wanted. After four rounds of fairly one-sided action, the Queens, New York product cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
Teofimo Lopez vs Vasiliy Lomachenko Predictions From Overseas
By: Oliver McManus
This weekend sees one of the most mouth-watering fights the sport has witnessed in many years. Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez pits someone with a solidified record as an all time great (amateur and professional) against his younger opponent who, surely, will go on to create his own illustrious record of greatness. Boxing Insider, assembled a panel of fighters and journalists to discuss and dissect the contest.
Oliver McManus (that’s me, follow me on Twitter @OliverGMcManus) –
“This is one of those rare offerings that I’ll neither complain about having to pay for nor the fact it’ll require staying up into the early hours of the morning for: Wilder vs Fury II aside this is the boxing Super Bowl of 2020. Teofimo Lopez has all the qualities of someone destined for exceptional success in the sport and has carried himself with an outrageous confidence for a man of his age. To date he’s backed up that confidence with equally outrageous performances in the ring: two rounds to obliterate Richard Commey highlighted the gulf in class between a ‘good world champion’ and an ‘exceptional challenger’. Of course part of his advantage is the weight at which Lopez walks around and, surely, he’ll step up the divisions as a matter of course throughout his career. The issue lies not in his skillset but who he comes up against. You’d favour Teofimo to sweep his way through the lightweight division with little bother, as Craig Scott mentions below, with the exception of Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Lomachenko is a boxer who mentally and physically defies all human logic and reason. Whilst Lopez has that size advantage he also seems to be far more emotionally invested in the fight than his Ukranian opponent (even if the investment is into how little Lomachenko supposedly means to Lopez). I think Vasiliy Lomachenko boxes as cooly and clinically as he has approached the fight and stop Teofimo Lopez around the 10th round.”
Brad Rea (unbeaten middleweight signed with VIP Promotions) –
“I think it’s impossible to be against Loma at the moment. He just seems to be so much better technically than anyone. I like Lopez and think he’s the best out of the young lightweights on the rise but think it’s just a step too far for him at the moment. He’s been running his mouth so I think Loma will punish him for that.
Jay Harris (Commonwealth flyweight champion and former European champion / world title challenger) –
“It’s a great fight but I’m going with Loma. I just can’t see anyone beating him.”
Aqib Fiaz (Matchroom Boxing super featherweight) –
“I think Lomachenko wins the fight, he’s got more to his boxing then Lopez most definitely. Lopez is bigger in size but lomachenko has shown us in the past how he deals with size in the fights with Linares and Campbell. In my opinion he’s one of the best ever. No one does the things he does in the ring and I can see not just a win but maybe even a late stoppage.”
John Thain (British and IBF European title challenger at welterweight) –
“I’ll say Lomachenko. He looks fired up for this and we’ve seen he can perform under pressure and in big fights (even against champions): Linares, Rigondeaux, Walters, Russell Jr, Campbell.”
Tommy Philbin (former Celtic super middleweight champion) –
“It’s a great fight and credit where it’s due Lopez has stepped up at a young age to fight an amazing fighter in Lomachenko but no matter who Loma fights I can’t see past him. There’s nothing he can’t do. Lopez is brilliant but Loma is even better. This loss will probably be the making of Lopez as losing to Loma is nothing to be ashamed of and he will become a much better fighter fighting the best. Fair play to him for stepping up.
Tyrone McCullagh (former WBO European and Celtic super bantamweight champion) –
“I’m gonna go for a mad one and say Lopez KO in the first half of the fight.”
Andy Clarke (Sky Sports Boxing commentator) –
“I rate Lopez as a fighter. And I like the fact that he wants to fight Lomachenko, because there are others who should want to but who quite clearly don’t. Having said that though I think it’s too soon for him. Similar to when Canelo shared the ring with Mayweather, Lopez just doesn’t know enough yet to be able to win rounds against a master craftsman like the Ukrainian. We saw Luke Campbell bring a highly skilled fight last year, he could hardly have performed better on the night and he was competitive throughout but turning competitive showings into round wins against Lomachenko is still very hard to do. A points win is the percentage call but I’ll go for a late stoppage win for Lomachenko rather than points because I don’t see Lopez settling for a points defeat at any stage, I think he’ll keep fighting for the win until the bitter end and as a result leave openings that Loma will be able to exploit.”
Craig Scott (contributor for Boxing Social and BWAA auxiliary member) –
“Everything we’ve seen from Teofimo Lopez suggests he’s a special, unique talent. Against anybody else in the division, I’d fancy him to win emphatically. But Lomachenko isn’t “anyone”, and I think he puts on a boxing clinic to win by a handful of points.”
Caoimhin Agyarko (unbeaten middleweight signed with Frank Warren) –
“I think it’s a very good fight: the fighters I see giving Loma trouble are the ones who can punch and have youth on their side. Lopez has both of them two, I do think Loma finds a way to beat anyone out in front of him: does Lopez have the experience if brought into deep waters? I’m not too sure. Lopez has nothing to lose as he’s young & can go again so I feel like all the pressure is on Loma to perform but when does he not perform? For me Loma stops him late but as long as Lopez is in the fight he has a puncher’s chance as he won’t outbox Loma but it’s a very interesting fight.”
Martin Theobald (articles and podcast for NewAgeBoxing)
“I was lucky enough to be in Madison Square Garden when Lopez stopped Richard Commey last December. As much as I wanted Richard to win on the night, there was no way I could envisage a Lopez stoppage win. But what we saw was outstanding – the ability to throw at the same time Commey threw and land his shot that decimated the iron chin of Commey. I was sold at that moment. New York erupted for Lopez, the Brooklyn native and a man who when you dig below the surface is more than just the flash, brash young man who has blown through the lightweight division. He is a man of substance and struggle, but his facia of excitement covers his story.
Lomachenko of course goes in as favourite. He simply has to. He may have shown his own frailties at times (ignoring the early loss – truly a learning fight), namely the Linares win when he met the canvas, but he has been a 9 out of 10 his entire amateur and professional career. To me, this is his biggest challenge. All the other opponents have an arguable asterisk; Linares too old, Rigondeaux brought up in weight, Crolla never at that level to name but a few. However, in Lopez he meets someone who is on a hot-streak. Perhaps this is too early in his career? At only 23 there is a long and I predict very successful career ahead, regardless of how this fight goes for Lopez.
I’m going to swim against the tide here and predict not just a Lopez win, but a Lopez stoppage. An explosive win, a destructive win. No doubt he will have to go through a storm to get there, but I see Lopez breaking out in the early hours of Sunday and solidifying himself as THE name in the lightweight division.
Cain Bradley (amateur boxing aficionado) –
“This is a can’t miss spectacle that boxing really needs. Lomachenko is getting towards the upper reaches of how far up in weight he can go. This may be the final weight division where he can dominate the top level fighters. Make no mistake, Lopez is a high level boxer. He was a well regarded amateur boxer and has gone on to show how well his skills have adapted as a professional by destroying Commey. He is fast and powerful, as well as having a significant size advantage over Lomachenko. Lopez is closer to a welterweight and will have a decent weight advantage come fight night. We have seen Lomachenko dropped by Linares, albeit with a superb shot. It would suggest that Lopez should be able to hurt him but it is only the second time he has been knocked down in his career.
However, we thought that about Nicholas Walters and Lomachenko ended his career. He has that ability to turn really good boxers into wrecks hardly capable of looking like they belong in his ring. He has such utter control of footwork and distance as well as accuracy and timing that Lopez will struggle to get opportunities to unleash that power. Lomachenko will not give easy chances to Lopez, he is simply too good for that. So Lopez will have to create those opportunities against one of the greatest technical talents of all time. I find that rather unlikely. I have not seen Lopez show he has that ability. Lomachenko will chose not to slug with Lopez but rather take the opening few rounds at distance before taking advantage of the opportunities he learns from his early forays. Lopez has shown himself to be hittable and as he gets desperate, I see him presenting opportunities to Lomachenko who will slowly take away everything he wants to do and then we will learn about Lopez. I see him losing a really wide decision unless the decision comes to pull him out.”
Eddie Hearn: “Vasiliy Lomachenko Will Win Every Round”
By: Hans Themistode
Most of the boxing world has been conflicted.
On some days, observers of the sport have been firmly behind unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko to win his clash against fellow belt holder Teofimo Lopez. But on others, the script is flipped as they believe Lopez will decapitate Lomachenko tomorrow night.
No matter which way most are viewing their contest, most, if not all, believe it will be a close contest from start to finish.
But while the boxing world continues to flip flop between their respective picks, promoter Eddie Hearn didn’t waste any time in making his.
“Vasiliy Lomachenko will win every round,” said Hearn to IFL TV.
Hearn, of course, has seen Lomachenko up close and personal on several occasions. In back to back fights in which the British promoter was apart of, he saw Lomachenko cruise past his fighters. The first occurred in April of 2019. Hearn sat back and watched his fellow Britt in Anthony Crolla get annihilated in four rounds.
Just four months later, Hearn would again be ringside as he watched another of his fighters, this time in Luke Campbell, get toyed with by the Ukrainian.
Lopez, to his credit, has done some impressive work over the years as well. The Brooklyn native rolled over his competition which subsequently led a second round stoppage win over then title holder Richard Commey in December of 2019.
Ever since the 23 year old has stepped foot inside a boxing ring, he’s grown a reputation for not only talking smack but also backing it up. During the build up of his contest against Lomachenko, Lopez has followed the exact same script.
In short, the knockout artist has done the sort of talking that has many believing in him. With that being said, Hearn isn’t one of them.
“Great fight, great fight. Lopez has done some brilliant talking. But Lomachenko will win every round.”
Lomachenko vs Lopez Is Here: Will Lopez Pull Off The Upset Or Will Lomachenko Remind Everyone Why He Is One Of The Best Fighters Pound For Pound?
By: Rich Lopez
One of the most anticipated fights of the year takes place this weekend. Lightweight supremacy is on the line when Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez square off on Saturday night, live on ESPN at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Not only are all the belts (WBC, IBF, WBA, and IBF) on the line but the winner will be king of the lightweights. The fight has all the ingredients to be explosive and entertaining.
Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KO’s) of Ukraine, is a gifted fighter. He has accomplished a lot as a professional in only seven years. He is recognized as one of the best amateur fighters of all time with an incredible record of 396-1. Also, add to the fact, he is a two time Olympic gold medalist. There was a lot of hype on Lomachenko once he signed up with Top Rank back in 2013 to start his pro career. The goal was for him to win a world title at featherweight in his second pro bout but he came up short in a split decision loss to seasoned veteran Orlando Salido. There was no shame in the loss as he was competitive with his man on the night.
Since then, Lomachenko would just get better. In his third pro fight, he won the vacant WBO World Featherweight title by majority decision over Gary Russell Jr. After three successful title defenses, he moved up to the super featherweight division. Lomachenko would have his most impressive run there and one that would build him as an unstoppable force. He stopped Roman Martinez with a fifth round knockout to win the WBO World Super Featherweight title. After that, he made four title defenses by making all his opponents quit. Those opponents were: Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga, and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Nicknames like the “Matrix” and “Nomaschenko” were being said to describe him.
Lomachenko kept the momentum going and moved up to the lightweight division. He won the WBA World Lightweight title by stopping Jorge Linares in the tenth round. He then defeated Jose Pedraza by unanimous decision for the WBO strap, knocked out Anthony Crolla in the fourth round for the Ring Magazine title and defeated Luke Campbell by unanimous decision for the WBC title. With only fifteen fights to his name, Lomachenko has won titles in three different weight classes and is considered one of the best fighters in the world pound for pound.
While Lomachenko was securing his legacy, Teofimo Lopez was both quietly and quickly rising in the lightweight rankings.
Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KO’s) from Brooklyn, New York, was an outstanding amateur fighter racking up a record of 150-20. His success in the unpaid ranks led to a 2016 Olympic birth as well. His run to the gold ended in the opening round via controversial decision to Sofiane Oumiha of France. Soon after the games, his talents were noticed and he was immediately signed to a contract with Top Rank in the same year.
Lopez kept a busy schedule and went from a top rising prospect to top contender and now, thanks to a deleterious right hand, a world champion.
With each step up in competition, the Brooklyn native has delivered. Lopez produced one of the knockouts of the year in 2018 when he blasted out Mason Menard in the first round. Last year, Lopez made a remarkable statement. In February, Lopez stopped Diego Magdaleno in seven rounds. With only a two month break, Lopez came back and stopped Edis Tatli in five rounds in April. In July, Lopez won a 12 round unanimous decision over Masayoshi Nakatani, although he did struggle with his unheralded opponent.
Finally, at the end of last year, laced his shoulders with gold as he defeated then title holder Richard Commey by blasting him out in the second round. Many observers felt Commey’s power and experience would test Lopez, but Lopez proved he was for real.
Now the question is: Who will win this battle?
The experts favor Lomachenko to win the fight by decision. This is expected as Lomachenko is currently the lightweight king and has the experience in big fights. Also, Lomachenko has a good ring IQ mixed with speed and great footwork. Lomachenko’s style is difficult to beat. Most people feel it’s too early for Lopez and needs more seasoning. However, an upset can happen and if it does, I won’t be surprised.
Lopez is the bigger fighter and a very big lightweight. On top of that, he’s a hard puncher and explosive. Also, I think he is quick enough where he can catch Lomachenko with big punches. We have to remember, even though Lomachenko has been successful at lightweight thus far, he has not been as dominant as in past fights and has been hit a little more now. Lomachenko has been dominant at featherweight and super featherweight but not so much at lightweight.
This is a 50/50 fight in my eyes which makes it the most anticipated of the year. Lomachenko said at the final press conference, that this fight will be a “chess match”. If it is and it goes the distance, I expect Lomachenko to win a decision. If there is a knockout in the fight, I see Lopez stopping Lomachenko within eight rounds.
So finally, will Lopez pull off the upset, or will Lomachenko remind everyone why he is one of the best fighters pound for pound?
Teofimo Lopez Sr. On His Son vs Lomachenko: “I Think It May Go One Or Two Rounds”
By: Hans Themistode
Throughout the short career of IBF lightweight belt holder Teofimo Lopez, he’s looked outstanding, unbeatable, mesmerizing and whatever other superlative you can think of.
In short, the Brooklyn native has been great.
As he continued to rack up the knockouts, it was becoming more and more obvious that although he is extremely skilled, a step up in competition was needed.
The raise in opposition that most were asking for, came in the form of then IBF titlist Richard Commey. Most were expecting Lopez to win, but not without a serious fight on his hands. That notion was quickly proven to be untrue as Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) flattened his man in the second round. The highlight reel level knockout not only presented the 23 year old with his first world title, but it also gave him the opportunity to fight for all of the lightweight marbles this Saturday night against Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Much like his win over Commey, Lopez’s father doesn’t expect his son to break a sweat when dealing with Lomachenko.
“It was easy for the Commey fight but this fight is even easier man.” Said Lopez Sr. to ESNEWS.
Lopez Sr. has always been braggadocious when regarding his son and nothing has changed. Throughout 397 amateur contests which include 396 wins, to go along with 15 pro contests, Lomachenko’s chin has stood up to some heavy hitters. In the case of Lopez however, his father believes that the highly praised defense of the Ukrainian and his punch resistance will fail him this coming Saturday night.
“There’s no question we’re going to get rid of this dude. It won’t go past six rounds. Getting closer to the fight I think it may go one or two rounds. Everything we worked for is going to pay off October 17th.”
Despite the disparaging words of Lopez Sr., his son is a prohibited underdog. With that being said, the oddsmakers and those who are backing the Ukrainian product to beat his son are fools. Lopez Sr. simply can’t wrap his head around a 32 year old with an already blemished record doing anything of note against his son.
“He already knows how to lose because he already lost to Salido. Plus he hasn’t looked good in the past three fights. It’s time for the new lion and it’s time for the old lion to go. Only the stupid people who don’t know boxing is going to bet against my son.”
Mauricio Sulaiman On Lomachenko vs Lopez: “For This Fight, The Winner Will Be Designated As The Franchise Champion”
By: Hans Themistode
It turns out that Devin Haney’s title run may have been a hoax.
This coming Saturday night, both Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez will look to settle their differences once and for all. For the past several months, their contest has been promoted as an undisputed title fight. Something that Devin Haney is incredulous too.
The 21 year old California product, currently holds the WBC lightweight title while Lopez is in possession of the IBF belt. Lomachenko on the other hand, has a stranglehold on both the WBA and WBO titles. The 32 year old did at one point have Haney’s world title but it was taken away from him in light of the WBC Franchise title.
Several fans, media members and even boxers are still confused over the exact meaning of the Franchise title. Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC, understands the confusion that the Franchise label gives off whenever it’s mentioned.
In order for either Lomachenko or Lopez to be considered the undisputed lightweight champion, a bout with Haney has to take place first. Or at least, that was the original thought.
Although Haney is technically listed as the full champion, his title reign could be considered a phony one.
“Lomachenko is the WBC lightweight champion,” confirmed Sulaiman during a recent conference call. “He won and petitioned for the Franchise designation. The Franchise is put above any champion in the lightweight category. So, Lomachenko is in fact champion with special attributes.”
Sulaiman went on to further clarify that although many find the Franchise tag a confusing one, without it, Lomachenko vs Lopez would never have taken place. At least, not so soon.
“Lomachenko doesn’t have to face the mandatories that normally come when you win a vacant title. He was named Franchise and he could go ahead and make this fight with Teofimo Lopez. The concept of the Franchise (champion) is to be presented to very fighters who have specific set of attributions, like Canelo (Saul Alvarez) and Lomachenko. They have been fighting in several weight classes. The Franchise designation with Lomachenko permitted him to have this fight with Teofimo Lopez.”
Although Haney would go on to become Interim champion late last year, he was quickly elevated to full champion once Lomachenko was officially Franchised. It appears that a road to undisputed does in fact still run through the Ukrainian Lomachenko and not Haney after all.
As mentioned on previous occasions by Sulaiman, the Franchise title is more of a designation rather than an actual title. It cannot be won regardless if said Franchise champion losses in the ring.
If the hard hitting Lopez manages to take home the win this upcoming weekend, the Brooklyn native would have been extremely unsatisfied with walking out of the ring with only three belts as opposed to four.
With that being said, team Lopez made it their duty that their man won’t be shorted a world title this Saturday night.
“For this specific fight, we received a request from Teofimo Lopez. For this fight, the winner will be designated as the Franchise champion. We have previously stipulated that this is not normally put on the line. But we are proud to have this event with all of the championships on the line.”
Vasiliy Lomachenko Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon: “I feel great and I feel young”
By: Hans Themistode
It’s been a great career for unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Through 398 amateur contests, the Ukrainian native picked up only one defeat, something he avenged on numerous occasions. His twin Olympic gold medals that he picked up in the 2008 and 2012 games have a permanent spot in his trophy case next to the numerous world titles that he’s won as a pro.
With so many miles on his boxing odometer though, many believe that the curtain call is coming on his hall of fame career sooner rather than later.
The whispers of “old” and “decrepit” however, have left him double checking his birth certificate.
“I’m just 32 years old,” said Lomachenko during a virtual press conference. “Who made the rules about age in boxing? It depends on the person’s lifestyle. Somebody [could be] old at 27 and at 30. Somebody [could be old at] 45, 47. I feel great and I feel young.”
Whether he feels young or not, the multiple division champion will face someone who will undoubtedly have youth on his side in IBF belt holder Teofimo Lopez.
On October 17th, both men will face off in an ESPN main event with all of the lightweight marbles on the line.
Lopez, 23, didn’t just join the chorus calling Lomachenko an aging fighter, he essentially started it.
“He’s on the way out of the sport,” said Lopez during an interview with Ak and Barak last month. “He’s old.”
Lopez has pointed out Lomachenko’s age as a contributing factor behind his seemingly slowed reaction time and reflexes in the ring. Yet, the Brooklyn native’s 88 year old promoter in Bob Arum is a bit incredulous to that statement.
With over a half century promoting some of the biggest names in the sport, Arum has seen his fair share of elderly fighters shrug off Father Time to pick up a few huge wins.
“Age is just a number,” said Arum during the presser. “That’s what George Foreman said – age is just a number, and he won the heavyweight championship at age 45.”
In no way shape or form is Lomachenko believing the narrative that he is an old fighter. But against Lopez, he will be the older fighter, and he’s just fine with that.
“You’ve got the old lion versus the young lion. winner takes all, and that’s what it comes to come October 17th. One fighter. Two go in that ring, one comes out undisputed world champion.”
Teofimo Lopez Truly Doesn’t Like Vasiliy Lomachenko: “I Just Think That He Is A Conniving Son Of A Bitch”
By: Hans Themistode
Trash talking in the sport of boxing happens often. It isn’t surprising considering both opponents are gearing up to punch one another in the face. Yet, no matter the amount of death threats that are lobbied towards one another, usually after there done busting each other up, both fighters embrace.
Animosity draws more eye balls to the television screen, but often times it’s manufactured. But in the case of Teofimo Lopez and his lightweight unification bout against Vasiliy Lomachenko, he simply doesn’t like the Ukrainian native. And there’s nothing fake about it.
“This is personal,” said Lopez to ESPN. “I think for sure it is. I just think that he is a conniving son of a bitch.”
Both Lopez and Lomachenko are different in every sense of the word. On one end, Lomachenko racked up an amateur record consisting of 396 wins against only one defeat. He also took home two Olympic gold medals. In the pro’s he was fast tracked to a world title, fighting for said belt in his second pro contest before winning it in his third.
Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) on the other hand, was completely different. His amateur career was an impressive one, holding a record of roughly 150 wins against just 20 defeats. He was also a 2016 Olympian, but fell short of obtaining any medals. Furthermore, he didn’t win his first world title until his 14th fight. Fast when compared to most, but a snails pace when juxtaposed to Lomachenko.
Merge those facts with Lopez coming from Brooklyn, New York while Lomachenko grew up on the other side of the world in the Ukraine and you’ll not only notice how different they are, but you’ll also notice that they aren’t likely to spend any quality time with one another.
With that being said, Lopez may not come from his world, or even speak his language, but the IBF belt holder knows the universal language of respect. Something that he believes Lomachenko knows nothing about.
“In order to get respect, you’ve got to give respect. I know he approaches me as more like a piece of gum in his shoes or something. Like who is this? Let me take it off, like eww this is nasty. I think it’s more like disgust, like I shouldn’t even be mentioned. I appreciate it though, don’t worry, its cool with me. Fuck you too.”
Teofimo Lopez Reveals Vasiliy Lomachenko Matchup Is A One Off: “There Ain’t No Rematch Clause”
By: Hans Themistode
There won’t be any time for an off night when unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko takes on IBF belt holder Teofimo Lopez.
With both men signing on the dotted line to face one another on October 17th, the pair have agreed that it will take only one contest to settle their rivalry.
“There ain’t no rematch clause,” said Lopez on the Ak and Barak show.
Rematch clauses are common practices in the boxing world. Whether it’s a unification matchup or a close, yet controversial ending to a tune up bout, rematch clauses are put in place in order to give the losing fighter a back up plan.
Although he didn’t exactly specify as to why none was placed into his contract, Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) believes he knows exactly why, but was mum on the subject.
“ I know why,” said Lopez. “But it is what it is.”
Lopez, 23, may have the same amount of pro contests under his belt as the 32 year old Lomachenko, but with nearly 400 amateur bouts to go along with two Olympic gold medals, the Ukrainian native is far more experienced and accomplished.
But while the endless list of achievements may have scared off countless other fighters from pursuing a matchup with him, Lopez not only jumped at the opportunity, but he damn there chased Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) to the negotiating table. Something that the Brooklyn native believes other fighters seldom do.
“Y’all see that I’m not the type of fighter to talk my stuff and not back it up, you know? And I step up to the plate all the time, you know? If you don’t like me, and I definitely don’t like you, we’re gonna make that fight happen. I’ll throw it out there. You know, I don’t duck or dodge no fighter. How do you expect to the be the best if you limit yourself? You know what I mean?”
Most observers, including oddsmakers, believe that Lopez will pick up the first loss of his career on October 17th. But the risk of blemishing his record when compared to the reward that could possibly be awaiting him was just too great to pass up.
“I didn’t need to take this fight. You know what I mean? I didn’t need to take this fight, but I wanted to take this fight. Not because of who I’m facing, but because of the achievements I’m about to get from it. You know what I mean? Becoming undisputed lightweight world champion. You know what I mean?”
Teofimo Lopez Isn’t Falling For The Vasiliy Lomachenko Hype: “Everybody That He Has Faced Already Believes The Hype Train And They Get Shook”
By: Hans Themistode
For the most part, Vasiliy Lomachenko has made things look entirely too easy inside of the ring. Even when he’s taken on world class fighters such as Guillermo Rigondeaux, Nicholas Walters and Gary Russell Jr., Lomachenko had things go exactly how he wanted.
But while most fans and boxing experts attribute his success to his abilities, IBF lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) doesn’t revere Lomachenko’s skill set, nor does he strike any fear into his heart.
“We don’t respect him or any of the fighters he has faced,” said Lopez to Fight Hype. “Like Anthony Crolla was in fear the whole time before their fight.”
The fight Lopez alludes to, took place in 2019. Crolla gave profuse praise to Lomachenko during the lead up to their contest and continued to do so even after getting annihilated in the fourth round of a one sided matchup. It was the actions of Crolla, coupled with Lomachenko’s consensus rating as the number one fighter in the world, that led him to believe that his opponents were defeated long before they stepped foot inside of the ring.
“Everybody that he has faced already believes the hype train and they get shook. But I’m the type of fighter that does not get shook. You can say he’s a man of steel but I don’t care. I don’t respect no man when I’m in that ring.”
Lopez of course, is set to take on Lomachenko in a unification matchup on October 17th. The Brooklyn, New York native has never minced words when questioned about how he believes this contest will play out. His father, Teofimo Lopez Sr., believes there is no way in hell that Lomachenko will be able to last five rounds with his son. Lopez on the other hand, scaled back on his father’s reaction of a quick knockout. Instead, the IBF belt holder believes there is more than one way to skin a cat if Lomachenko’s chin does in fact hold up.
“If you can’t take my shot then I’m going to take advantage of that. But if he can then there’s another plan that we got. There’s going to be a point in time in everybody’s career that there’s somebody that’s stronger than you, faster than you, so you have to work off of those things.”
Whether Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) is stronger or faster then Lopez is a question yet to be answered. With that being said, Lopez, 23, will undoubtedly be the younger man.
A nine year youth advantage isn’t what Lopez is banking on to pull out the victory though. He simply wants everyone to witness how great he is now and how much better he will ultimately become.
“Everybody has seen this man at his peak. I’m not even at my peak yet. What’s going to happen when I am in my prime? It’s going to be scary man.”
Teofimo Lopez Sr. Sets The Bar High For His Son: “We’re Going To Accomplish Even Bigger Things Than Floyd Did”
By: Hans Themistode
Vasiliy Lomachenko has seldom made a mistake inside of a boxing ring.
With 396 amateur wins against one defeat, something he avenged several times over, Lomachenko has been as perfect as you could possibly be.
His inability to lose in the unpaid ranks, coupled with twin gold medals in back to back Olympics allowed the Ukraine native to skip the line once he turned pro. In just his second fight, Lomachenko found himself fighting for a world title. Possibly a mistake considering he lost that contest to wily champion Orlando Salido via split decision.
Then again, with Lomachenko using that loss as a launching pad to three world titles in three separate weight classes and a consensus spot atop most pound for pound lists, the decision to face Salido proved to be a sagacious one.
Still, even with his mistakes seemingly a rarity, Teofimo Lopez Sr. believes he messed up big time this time around.
Both Lomachenko and the son of Lopez Sr. in Teofimo Lopez, will face off October 17th. Most have pegged it as a 50/50 matchup that can go either way. That notion however, is laughable to Lopez Sr. as he believes the beating his son will dish out will be life changing.
“My son is going to beat him so bad that Lomachenko is going to be out for of months or a year or so,” said Lopez Sr. during an interview with ABBoxing News. ”He’s going to be devastated.
Dumbfounded, puzzled and as previously used by Lopez Sr., devastated—are words that could be used by Lomachenko opponents. The two time Olympic gold medalist is ubiquitous inside of the ring. The footwork and angle’s he uses have given him the alias “The Matrix.”
Cool nickname, but something Lopez Sr. could care less about. His funky angles and fancy footwork may throw opponents off their A game, but it won’t mean a thing to his son.
“Lomachenko is used to winning. He’s used to lining people with all of these things that he does in the ring but that’s not going to faze my son. My son has no respect for him.”
For most, winning a world title and knocking off the best consensus fighter in the world would be reaching the crescendo. But for Lopez Sr., a win over Lomachenko isn’t the only thing his son is chasing.
The jumbled letters which form TBE form the sort of symbolism that only one man took on in recent years, Floyd Mayweather. The recently retired all-time great finished his career with a pristine 50-0 record, world titles in three separate weight classes and generally made his trips to the ring look easy. With over 20 years as a professional and nothing more to prove, he gloated over being the best ever (TBE). And although he has an argument, Lopez Sr. believes there will be a new TBE when it’s all said an done.
“My son is the first person to win a world title from Honduras. Sooner or later after he unifies the 140 pound weight division as well they are going to make a monument of him in Honduras. We’re going to accomplish even bigger things than Floyd did.”