Teofimo Lopez vs Vasiliy Lomachenko Could Take Place at The End of The Year
By: Hans Themistode
Once upon a time, the boxing schedule was filled with some of the interesting matches possible.
WBC and Lineal Heavyweight champ Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder were heading toward a third matchup against one another. Former Super Lightweight world champions Regis Prograis and Maurice were on the boxing docket as well. Even a woman’s super fight between undisputed Lightweight champion Katie Taylor and eight division champ Amanda Serrano was on the schedule as well.
Those aforementioned fights, coupled with plenty of others, was set to make the year 2020 one of the most memorable in recent memory. Yet with so many contests on the boxing program, there was one that seemed to stand above the rest. A Lightweight unification match against unified champ Vasiliy Lomachenko and IBF titlist Teofimo Lopez.
Originally, the two were scheduled to face one another with all the marbles on the line on May 30th, but with this global pandemic due to the Coronavirus, the IBF champ is pretty sure it won’t happen on the initial date.
“It’s not gonna be May 30th no more,” said Lopez. “It’ll be a whole new date. You’ve gotta think about it. They sent Lomachenko back home to Ukraine. And usually, us as fighters, we get ready within a two-month span, which would be right now. They don’t know when this thing is gonna be over. It could be over in April, and then you’ve gotta think it would be pushed back to June.”
“No matter what, put two, maybe 2½ months [after] that time. Some people expect September or October, maybe even November. They expect Wilder-Fury to happen in October, November. Same thing with Loma-Lopez. We’ve just gotta wait and see, honestly.”
It’s been a crazy four year career for Lopez so far. When he first stepped onto the scene in 2016, not only was he a knockout artist, but he was a major trash talker. It may not have won him a ton of fans, but it did win him a championship belt at just the age of 22. But, that wasn’t enough.
For years, both Lopez and his father/trainer have been calling for a contest against Vasiliy Lomachenko. A fighter who may have only 15 fights under his belt, but is mostly known as the best fighter in the world, regardless of weight classes.
A head turning, jaw dropping knockout over then champion Richard Commey gave him exactly what he wanted.
The Coronavirus may have placed the entire boxing landscape in a bleak situation, but Lopez still believes it’s just a matter of if, not when they fight.
“I believe the fight will be made,” Lopez said. “It’s just when now. We had May 30th. That was gonna be the date, but now it’s been postponed. Now we’re really just sitting, waiting for this to go away or slow down. Let’s everyone stay indoors. Let’s not make it worse and try to prevent this from growing to what it already is. But it’ll eventually happen sometime this year. Who knows? During the fall, maybe during winter again. That’s the only thing now.”
“We were getting close to camp,” Lopez said. “But obviously this happened, and they sent Lomachenko back to be with his family, which I totally understand. At times like these, you wanna be as close to your family as much as possible. But once this goes away, we can get the ball rolling again and make the fight happen. Obviously, the fans win when they get to see this fight in action. Even the media, you guys will love this. That’s the thing that gets me most excited, that I know so many people are gonna be watching this fight when it happens. The only thing now is for everyone to agree with each other and make the fight happen.”
Shakur Stevenson Gives Boxing Insider Radio His Thoughts on His First Title Defense and Star Filled Future
With Shakur Stevenson preparing himself for the first defense of his WBO Featherweight title, he took some time to stop by and give the crew at Boxing Insider Radio his thoughts on his upcoming contest against Miguel Marriaga and his future plans.
Aside from the normal cast, former undisputed Welterweight champion Zab Judah was also in the house to ask the young champ a few questions as well. To join the conversation simply subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify or on Boxinginsider.com.
An Olympic Silver medal, a Featherweight world title and several wins over high ranking contenders sounds like a pretty good career doesn’t it?
Some of the greatest boxers in the world have gone their entire careers without accomplishing half as much.
Ken Norton, who is universally known to have been one of the best Heavyweights in the world in the 1970s, challenged for the world title on three separate occasions and lost every single time. Through 50 fights, he never managed to attain championship status.
Benny Briscoe spent a 95 fight career without calling himself a champion as well, despite numerous cracks at it.
Briscoe and Norton may have come up short in their championship bids, but at least they were given an opportunity. Heavyweight Sam Langford stepped into the ring 313 times over the course of 24 years. Not once did he even challenge for a world title.
Yes, you read that correctly. Through 313 career ring appearances, Langford was never given the opportunity to call himself a champion. Yet in comparison, Shakur Stevenson did so in just 13 fights.
On Saturday night March 14th, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City, Stevenson places his title on the line against Miguel Marriaga. If the name sounds familiar, there’s a reason. Marriaga has fought just about everyone in the Featherweight and Super Featherweight division including Vasiliy Lomachenko and Oscar Valdez.
Not many are expecting it to be competitive. But even fewer are anticipating a Stevenson loss. Fighters have a tendency to drum up soft up touches as difficult matchups. Wanting the media and the fans to believe that a no hoper has a legitimate shot, but Stevenson isn’t trying to pull wool over anyone’s eyes here. He knows exactly what he’s dealing with.
“It’s a measuring stick sort of fight,” said Stevenson on Boxing Insider Radio. “I’m a beat dude up. I know that he’s tough since he fought Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez and Nicholas Walters so I know he’s tough but shit, tough ain’t enough.”
Stevenson isn’t exactly concerned with whatever Marriaga brings to the table. In fact, the Featherweight champ is already looking right through his opponent and on to his next fight and soon to be future.
“I’m trying to fight Josh Warrington to unify the division in England then I want to move up to 130, cause there isn’t really anybody here at 126. But when I get to 130 I’m hoping Lomachenko comes down so that I can beat up on him.”
Beating up on Lomachenko isn’t something that other fighters usually say so casually. He’s only a two time Olympic gold medalist, three division world champion, current unified Lightweight champ and oh yeah, he also managed to put together an amateur record of 396-1.
Regardless of the accolades that Lomachenko possesses that stretch around the block, there’s a reason why Stevenson wants a matchup with him sooner rather than later. The two may compete in different weight classes at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t shared the ring before. And by all accounts, Stevenson gained a ton of respect.
“I got the chance to spar with Lomachenko a few years and ago and it was good and competitive sparring. I try not to speak too much on sparring but Lomachenko respected me a lot because I was begging to go down there and spar him. They said I could go, but I wasn’t going to get paid but I just said okay no problem. By the first week they gave me a check and wanted to keep me for the whole camp. I sparred him for about 3 weeks straight and I was ready to leave but his team was saying that they wanted to pay me extra to stay so his team respects me and Lomachenko is a helluva fighter, but I think I am going to be the one to expose him.”
If current IBF Lightweight world titlist and former fellow US Olympic teammate Teofimo Lopez has anything to say about it, Stevenson will never receive his chance. That’s because both Lopez and Lomachenko are slated to face one another this coming Spring.
Stevenson has never been one to follow the crowd, but in terms of this matchup, his thinking falls right in line with mostly everyone else.
“I’m going with Lomachenko. I like Teofimo, don’t get me wrong but he has never been in the ring with that caliber of a fighter before.”
The same could be said about Stevenson. Sure he can officially call himself a world champion, but his resume leaves much to be desired. The lack of names on his ledger isn’t his own doing however. The 22 year old has asked for the biggest names in the division, but they aren’t exactly jumping for joy with the opportunity to face him.
Going up against Miguel Marriaga won’t send his profile through the roof. But just a few days after his contest, another Featherweight contender will step into the ring in Michael Conlan.
Conlan of course, is best known for sticking out his middle finger to the judges during the 2016 Olympic Games. As it stands, both Conlan and Stevenson share a few eerily things in common. For one, Conlan’s record of, 13 wins with zero defeats, with seven of those wins coming via knockout, is exactly the same as Stevenson. Conlan picked up the bronze medal in the 2012 Olympic Games, while Stevenson grabbed the silver in 2016. At 5 feet 8 inches, they even share the same height.
Still, even with so many things in common, Stevenson believes there is no comparison. But don’t expect him to be given the chance to show it inside of the ring anytime soon though.
“Bob Arum already said that we can’t fight cause he’s a small 126 pounder and I’m a big 126 pounder so he doesn’t want to see that fight happen. For this fight I actually asked to fight Michael Conlan because he’s about to be my mandatory for the WBO but Arum just doesn’t want to make it happen.”
Whether it’s a showdown with Conlan, Vasiliy Lomachenko or any of the other top names in or around his division, Stevenson wants them all. With the sort of talent that he possesses, it comes as no surprise that he is already being compared to some of the greatest fighters to ever lace em up.
This is common practice in the sport of boxing, but at this point, it could be considered malpractice as the pressure that is placed on the shoulders of these fighters often times are too much for them to bear.
So who is the historically great fighter that Stevenson has been compared to?
That isn’t too much of a lofty goal for Stevenson. After all, to live up those expectations all he has to do is become a five division world champion, beat some of the best fighters of all-time and go on to have an undefeated career over a 20 year span. Sounds easy enough.
The comparison to Mayweather might seem a bit far fetched, but in actuality, it may not be.
In 1998, a 21 year old Floyd Mayweather cruised to an easy victory over Genaro Hernandez for his first world title. In his most recent ring appearance, Stevenson, 22, made it look easy against Joet Gonzalez to take home his first world title as well. In 1996, Mayweather was forced to take home a bronze medal in the Olympic Games when many believed he was robbed of the gold. Stevenson shares a similar story.
In 2016, Stevenson managed to fight his way to the final contest of the Rio De Janeiro games. Many believed that he did more than enough to take home gold, but came up short against Robeisy Ramirez.
When Mayweather was given the short end of the stick, he vowed to never lose again. Nearly 25 years later and a perfect record of 50-0, Mayweather proved himself right. Now, Stevenson uses the same motivation for himself.
“That motivates me. That was just like one of the worst days of my life, like it felt like somebody important to me died. I had put my all into wanting to win an Olympic gold medal. I was just right there so to lose right there it kind of broke me. But when I decided to turn pro I told myself that I was never going to lose again.”
Through 13 pro fights, Stevenson has kept his promise intact. Gold medal winning Robeisy Ramirez however, hasn’t been so lucky as he lost the first fight of his career.
“It’s not for everybody,” said Zab Judah as he chimed in on why some boxers have more success in the amateurs than the pros. ‘I know a lot of great fighters that had great amateur careers and they were untouchable but when they got to the pros and that headgear came off ohhh man it was like a button that every time they got touched they just kept going down.”
“Yeah it’s not the same level as amateurs,” said Stevenson as he picked up where Zab left off. “You’re fighting with smaller gloves, no headgear. Being in shape and skill plays a major part as well but it’s just a major difference between the pros and the amateurs.”
For now, Stevenson is showing that there is hardly a difference at all. He was dominant in the amateurs and even more so in the pros. It looks as though there isn’t much of a difference at all. At least for him.
But truth be told, there are a number of young fighters who have come onto the scene and have made it look easy. Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez and Chris Colbert are already making major noise as professionals.
Stevenson also notices and see’s them all as future matchups. But there is one name that stands out amongst the rest.
“I want to go up eventually and see all of those guys. Like with Ryan Garcia I beat him in the amateurs so we have a little bit of history. But if I’m being honest I think me and Devin are going to be the last two fighters standing. I just think Devin is a helluva fighter.”
There are those who would advise Stevenson to not overlook Marriaga. 25 knockout wins over 29 overall wins would tell you that he’s dangerous. But the young WBO belt holder simply rolls his eyes.
“Man, he’s got no chance. I’m a beat him up.”
None of the Four P4P Best Were Born in the USA!
None of the Four P4P Best Were Born in the USA!
By: Ken Hissner
The European invasion has been going on for the past ten years in the USA. They are hungry like the Americans were in the 40’s and 50’s. They are action packed fighters from such places as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia and Nicaragua.
No. 4 is from Managua, Nicaragua and is currently 46-0 with 38 knockouts though only 5:03 and goes by the name Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. The former WBA Minimumweight, WBC Flyweight and now the WBC Super flyweight champion has just come off his toughest fight since becoming champion against Carlos “Principe” Cuadras, now 35-1-1 (27), of Mexico City, MEX. Both Gonzalez and Cuadras will be on the undercard Saturday night of the Golovkin-Jacobs main event at Madison Square Garden, in New York City. If both come boxers come out victorious as expected look for a return rematch.
The 29 year-old Gonzalez will be defending against the former WBC World super flyweight champion Wisaksil Wangek, 41-4-1 (38), from Thailand March 18th. He was 1-3-1 in his first five fights has only lost to Cuadras in the last seven years like most Thai’s has a lot of 13 debut opponents and 15 losing record opponents bringing a grand total of 28 of his 46 bouts. Gonzalez was 88-0 as an amateur it’s been claimed. He is 29 years-old. His trainers are Professor Arnulfo Obano and Luis Gonzalez. He is promoted by K2 Promotions.
A boxer who was on the wrong side of a one sided fight he should have been given that he deservingly was the victor but didn’t thanks to a bias referee named Robert Byrd who ignored 46 forced clinches by Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (see it on www.youtube.com) against my No. 3 pick Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev’s, 30-1-1, 26 knockouts, without taking one point away which would have made the scores even and Kovalev would have kept his three titles. This writer had it 116-112 for Kovalev who lost on “all” judge’s scores by 114-113 from Burt A. Clements, Glenn Trowbridge and John McKaie other words known as the “3 blind mice!” Ward is trying to avoid a rematch and may end up going back to super middleweight to do just that. Per Kovalev’s manager Egis Klimas Ward has nine months to give his fighter a rematch and no one else is to fight Ward prior to Kovalev. As an amateur Kovalev was 193-22 and the Russian Military champion and is 33 years-old. John David Jackson is his trainer and Main Events his promoter.
Klimas the “2016 manager of the year” from Lithuania has two of the four P4P top fighters of which one is Kovalev and the other from Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky, Ukraine, who won three Olympic Gold Medals equaling Laszlo Papp from Hungary and Teofilio Stevenson from Cuba named Vasyl “High-Tech” Lomancheko, 7-1 with five knockouts. He claims to have been 396-1 in the amateurs and is 29 years-old. He was fighting for a world title in his second fight and winning the same title which was vacant after he lost to Orlando Salido by split decision who then vacated that WBO World featherweight title to move up in weight and avoid a rematch with Lomancheko. He is trained by his father Anatoly Lomancheko and promoted by Top Rank.
Salido would go onto win the interim WBO World super featherweight title and then be defeated by Roman Martinez when he challenged him for the WBO super featherweight title. In the return match they battled to a draw. Lomancheko was to fight the winner who due to the draw was still Martinez. Lomancheko would defeat Martinez for the title and is this writer’s No. 2 P4P pick. He is scheduled April 8th to meet WBA World champion Jason Sosa.
There is a boxer from Karagandu, Kazakhstan, who in the amateurs defeated such boxers like Andre Dirrell (future 2-time super middleweight world challenger) in the 2004 Olympics, Daniel Geale (IBF Middleweight and WBA Super World middleweight champion) in 2001 East Asian Games, and in the 2003 World Championships defeated Russian Matvey Korobov (2005 and 2007 world amateur champion and 2008 Olympian who challenged Andy Lee for the vacant WBO 160 title), Ireland’s Andy Lee (future WBO 160 champion), Romania’s Lucian Bute (future IBF super middleweight champion), Cuban Yordani Despaigne (who in the 2004 Olympics defeated Jean Pascal future WBC 175 champion and Hungary’s Karoly Balzsay future WBA 168 champion, then losing to Dirrell who lost to Golovkin) and Golovkin defeated Russian Oleg Mashkin (who represented Russia in the 2004 Olympics) for the 2003 World championship.
He claims to have been 345-5 in the amateurs and is 34 years-old. Abel Sanchez is his trainer and Tom Loeffler of K2 his promoter. He is scheduled March 18th to meet WBA World champion Danny Jacobs.
Today Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, 36-0 with 33 knockouts holds the WBA, WBC and IBF world middleweight titles and is this writers No. 1 P4P pick. Golovkin has won his last 23 bouts by stoppage and will meet WBA World middleweight champion Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs this Saturday in defense of his three titles and for the title Jacobs has.
Today No. 1 Golovkin lives in L.A., No. 2 Lomachenko in Oxnard, CA, No. 3 Kovalev in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, while Gonzalez still lives in Nicaragua with his last four fights in the USA and this Saturday his fifth in the USA.
Betting Line Favors KO by Manny Pacquiao over KO by Floyd Mayweather
By Ivan G. Goldman
When it comes to scoring a knockout, Floyd Mayweather is a longer shot at the sports books than Manny Pacquiao.
At the Bovada offshore betting site, a bet on Mayweather winning before the bell rings to end the 12th round at is set at +550 in their May 2 mega-match in Las Vegas. An early Pacquiao victory is +400. That means $100 will win you $550 on Mayweather but only $400 on Pacquiao.
Yet Mayweather remains the overall favorite. Odds have settled in at +170 Pacquiao, -210 Mayweather, a fight that will almost certainly attract record action before it’s over.
The line reflects everything that’s known about these two fighters, and it’s no secret that Mayweather has been more likely to settle for a points victory while Pacquiao more likely to take risks in order to put his opponent on the canvas.
Yet on the over-under, a distance fight is still favored by -300 to +230 over a stoppage by either fighter. That’s to be expected when you have two welters who’ve scored only three stoppages in their last 20 outings.
Talk to ten people in the know and you’ll get ten answers on where the odds will end up, but Mayweather was a 3-1 favorite before the fight was actually signed, and the number slimmed down in reported heavy action.
Looking for a close fight and can’t decide who will pull out the victory? You’re not alone. Well, you could look for a draw. It pays 16-1.
In other interesting situations that pop up on the Bovada offshore site, look at light heavyweights Adonis Stevenson versus Sakio Bika Saturday in Quebec City. Not surprisingly, it’s -1600 Stevenson and +800 Bika. But a stoppage by Stevenson, the hometown favorite, is favored at -150. A Stevenson win by decision actually pays a premium at +140. That’s how certain bettors are that Bika, 32-6-3 (21 KOs), won’t make it to the final bell against a knockout artist who’s 25-1 (21 KOs).
But over on 5Dimes, another offshore site, you can get +150 betting the bout won’t make it past 7 and 1/2 rounds. I find that an intriguing bet. The over is -170.
On April 11, gamblers give Irish southpaw Andy Lee only a puncher’s chance against Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin in Brooklyn, -325 Quillin, to +250 Lee.
Lots of bettors can’t make up their minds on what promises to be an action-filled tussle April 18 between junior welter powerhouses Lucas Matthyse, -140, and Ruslan Provodnkiov, +110 in Verona, New York.
Look at Vasyl Lomachenko, a staggering -2500 versus Gamalier Rodriguez, +1000 on the Mayweather-Pacquiao undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. At 5dimes it’s +1900, -3800. When the spread is that wide it indicates the house doesn’t really want the action but will grudgingly book your bet. Within those odds is one of the looniest bets on the board. Would you really be willing to risk $3,800 just to win $100 on Lomachenko? But if you do want to bet Rodriguez, clearly 5dimes is the place to do it.
Finally we come to the 5dimes view of Willie Monroe versus crushing middleweight phenom Gennady Golovkin May 16 in Inglewood, California. It’s +2500 Monroe versus -7500 Golovkin. Now there’s a site that doesn’t want to bet against Triple G. A crazier wager you can’t find. Yes, Triple G is a lock, but you’ve still got to be nuts to risk $7,500 to win a mere $100.
Ivan G. Goldman’s 5th novel The Debtor Class is a ‘gripping …triumphant read,’ says Publishers Weekly. A future cult classic with ‘howlingly funny dialogue,’ says Booklist. Available in April from Permanent Press wherever fine books are sold. Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.