Shawn Porter thinks that IBF lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez isn’t ready to take on a fighter as seasoned as Vasiliy Lomachenko right now, and he can’t see him winning their October 3 unification contest this early in his career.
While Porter rates Teofimo (15-0, 12 KOs) highly among the top four younger talents to emerge in the lightweight division since 2016, he doubts he’ll beat WBA/WBC/WBO 135-lb champion when the two battle it out on ESPN in two months from now.
Top Rank still hasn’t finished negotiating the Lomachenko-Lopez fight, so it’s still not a given that the match will take place. Hopefully, for Teofimo’s sake that he doesn’t lose confidence if he gets beaten this early on in his career.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko lost his second pro fight to Orlando Salido in 2014 without it hurting his career, but that was a different story. With the 400 amateur fights that Lomachenko had before turning pro, he was a lot more experienced than Teofimo is now. He was a lot older.
Porter doubts Lopez beats Lomachenko
“I love the fight because it’s going to be exciting, but I do think Teofimo is premature for Lomachenko, but we’ve seen it all in the sport, and you’ve heard it here first,” said Shawn Porter to Fighthype.
“It’s a fight that I would love to see Teofimo win, but I don’t know if he can. I don’t think that he can. I’m going to go ahead and say that Lomachenko wins the fight, but if it goes completely the other way, trust me, I’m going to be jumping up and down,” said Porter.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens if Lopez beats Lomachenko on October 3, as there will be a lot of shocked boxing fans who will need to reassess their original thoughts about this fight.
It’s still going to be difficult for Teofimo to win unless he catches the slippery-eel-like Lomachenko with a huge shot.
“Out of the four guys, Devin Haney, Teofimo, Shakur Stevenson, and Ryan Garcia,” continued Porter. “I personally think Teofimo is a little bit ahead of Shakur Stevenson. I believe that Devin Haney falls into third, and I believe that Ryan is at the backend at fourth.
“I think right now of all those guys that have any chance of beating Lomachenko; it would be either Teofimo or Shakur Stevenson. I do love that fight [Teofimo vs. Lomachenko], and I can’t wait to see it because I think there are some elements that we won’t know until fight time,” said Porter.
Of the four young fighters Porter mentions, Teofimo has the best shot of defeating Lomachenko because he’s the only one that can punch with either hand. Although Ryan Garcia has a lot of power, it’s only in his left hook.
He’s like another Jeff Lacy-type of fighter that only has only one tool in his toolkit to beat a guy like Lomachenko. That’s not going to work against a guy like him because he’ll easily take away Ryan’s left hook, and batter him until he quits.
“We can compare resumes and look at what guys have done,” said Porter. “And we can say what I’m saying now that Teofimo is fresh out of the Olympic program four years now. He worked with me, and I saw first hand that there’s something special about that dude,” said Porter.
Teofimo has components that could cause problems
“So there are some components that we won’t know until they get in the ring, and I’m looking forward to that one,” said Porter. “He’s [Teofimo] has got it all. He has the fast-twitch where he can feint; he can come in, and fast-feint you and step off.”
The 23-year-old Teofimo’s speed, reflexes, and his huge punch will be the biggest worry for the 32-year-old Lomachenko because he’s not as fast as him or as young. Lopez is like a welterweight in terms of his frame and power.
Lomachenko has never been by anyone in his pro career with the power that Teofimo will be hitting him with on October 3, and he may fall apart.
“He’s in and out very, very quickly, and that’s rare,” said Porter on Teofimo. “You don’t see a lot of guys with that. His explosiveness and his ability to be aggressive very quickly in an instant make him trouble and makes him a problem for anyone that’s lined up against him.
“Those are the biggest attributes to me, how explosive he is, and how quick he is and how intuitive he is. I can see how intuitive he is inside the ring. Those three things make him a big weapon inside the ring against anybody, even Lomachenko.
“We look at that as a possibility to win the fight,’ said Porter about Lomachenko getting dropped by Jorge Linares. “But is Lomachenko not studying that, and is Lomachenko not learning from that?
“Has Lomachenko not changed since that? There’s a lot of things that we go through in the ring that stick with us. Our job is to fix the bad things and let go of them and hold onto the good things,” said Porter.
The mistake that Lomachenko made against Jorge Linares in 2018 is he got overconfident after dominating him in the first five rounds. It was so easy for Lomachenko that he was walking straight in, and he paid for it in the sixth when he got dropped.
Loma will be up for this fight
“We all speak highly of Lomachenko and have for a long time,” Porter said. “Would you put that past him not to improve that particular thing that we saw one time? He’s got a guy that is talking [Teofimo] and will bring his A-game,” said Porter on Lomachenko.
Let’s face it; both fighters will be motivated for their fight on October 3, and the contest won’t be decided on emotion. It’ll be decided on boxing skills, and possibly on youth, speed and power if Teofimo wins. Lomachenko is 32, but he looks like he’s closer to 38. That’s pretty old for a fighter, even a highly skilled one like him.
“He’s young and fresh,” Porter said of Lopez. “How could he not, and why would he not? I think Lomachenko sees a guy that is very similar to him in terms of his explosiveness, in terms of his abilities from quickness and speed standpoint, and again the power.
“So how could he not get up for this fight? I can’t either [wait for the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo fight], I think I really hyped it up,” said Porter.
Ther reason boxing fans are so excited about the Lomahenko vs. Teofimo fight is it’s the first one for the Ukrainian fighter in which his opponent has a chance since his second pro fight against Salido in 2014.
“I don’t want a tune-up, but I’m waiting for them to give us the official word,” said Porter about his next fight,” said Porter.
Former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) is fighting this month in a tune-up match against Sebastian Formella (22-0, 10 KOs) on FOX on August 22. The fight is an IBF/WBC 147-lb title eliminator.
Lopez lacks seasoning
“Lomachenko can do it all,” said Kenny Porter. “I’ve actually been up against him in the world championships in the corner against him. I had a kid [Jose Ramirez] that’s over with Top Rank.
“We had Jose Ramirez, and he fought a great fight, an excellent fight, but Lomachenko was on another level and had been to an Olympics already and had already medaled by the time we saw our guy.
“So I still think for the young guys that are just coming out with only four years in, he’s that much further ahead than everybody than doing what they’re doing right now.
“In a testament, in his second pro fight, he fights for a world championship [against Orlando Salido]. He beats Gary Russell Jr in his third fight. I don’t think it’s fighting one way for him.
“He can move side to side; he can move in, move out, he can fight on his back foot. I think he’s got some unbelievable reflexes, and his intelligence is very high. I think he’s ahead of those guys.
“Those guys [Ryan Garcia, Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney, and Teofimo] don’t need to be fighting each other right now. But I wouldn’t rush any of those guys to fight him either. It’s a seasoning thing,” said Kenny Porter.
Obviously, Teofimo lacks seasoning, as he’s young and he’s only been a pro sine 2016. During his four years in the pro game, the best names on Teofimo’s resume are these guys:
- Masayoshi Nakatani
- Richard Commey
- Diego Magdaleno
- Edis Tatli
“Lomachenko,” said Ellerbe in predicting a win for the two-time Olympic gold medalist over Teofimo. “Nah, Lomachenko has too much experience. Lopez is a very good young fighter, but Lomachenko has too much experience. The timing right now works in Lomachenko’s favor. They’re fighting now.”