Mikey Garcia is giving Teofimo Lopez a good shot at beating unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in their fight on October 17th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The former four-division world champion Garcia had noticed that Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) isn’t the same dominating fighter at 135 compared to when he was competing at 126 and 130.
It would be a significant upset for the 23-year-old IBF lightweight champion Teofimo (15-0, 12 KOs) to beat Lomachenko because he’s not viewed as being ready to take on a fighter with Loma’s experience. Teofimo’s size, speed, youth, and power gives him a chance.
Mikey Garcia giving Teofimo a shot
“I keep saying that Teofimo has a chance. He’s a big guy, he’s solid, and he’s strong,” said Mikey Garcia to Fighthype in analyzing the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight.
“Loma isn’t the badded at 135. He’s not the same as he is in the lighter weight classes. So I give Teofimo a chance, and I wouldn’t be surprised,” said Mikey.
Indeed, Lomachenko isn’t the same fighter at 135 that he was at 126 and 130, but part of that reason is he never fought anyone as useful in those divisions as he’s been doing lately.
Apart from Gary Russell Jr. and Orlando Salido, Lomachenko never fought anyone that compares to the fighters that he’s been battling at 135 since moving up to this division in 2018.
The only soft-touch Lomachenko has had at lightweight is Anthony Crolla, who he blew out in four rounds in April 2019.
WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko is getting up there in age at 32. For a fighter in the higher weight classes, that isn’t old, but for a smaller fighter, that’s advanced age. Many great smaller fighters in the past were shot by the time they reached the age Lomachenko is at now.
Lopez Sr. defends Loma being made Franchise champ
“Lomachenko is seeking belts, and he knew if he fought Devin Haney, he would never get that opportunity to fight whoever won between Teofimo and Richard Commey,” said Teofimo Lopez Sr to AB Boxing News.
“So why stop everything and fight a kid that hasn’t done anything in the sport [Devin Haney], when you’re Franchise champion, as Mauricio Sulaiman told me, you fight the best.
“That’s why they implemented this law [about Franchise], and I’m with that law because we don’t want to see fighters fight people that we have to fight, and haven’t done anything in the sport. We don’t have to.
“Franchise people don’t have to fight mandatories. The reason why they play that out is that the companies lose money. Everyone wants to see the biggest fights, and nobody wants to see Lomachenko vs. Devin Haney,” said Lopez.
While it may seem like a good thing for the WBC to create a Franchise champion, it hurts the sport because it narrows down the number of fighters that boxing fans get to see a famous guy like Lomachenko face. Instead of fans seeing Lomachenko face a boxer like Devin Haney, we see him fighting Teofimo, and after him possibly Jamel Herring or Carl Frampton.
It makes sense for Teofimo Lopez Sr to be okay with Lomachenko being made the Franchise champion by the World Boxing Council. The move benefits them.
Teofimo taking the risk Tank wouldn’t
“Everyone wants to see Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez,” Teofimo Sr continued. “That’s why this fight is so huge. That’s why we got out of the WBC and went towards the IBF because we only needed to beat two people with the IBF to get to Lomachenko.
“We know that Lomachenko wouldn’t have the time to get that IBF belt unless he fought Commey or us. It just happened t be that my son destroyed Commey within two rounds. That’s the thing that’s going to happen to Lomachenko on October 17th.
“We’re willing to take the challenges that Gervonta Davis isn’t ready to take. He passed up the fight a couple of years ago when Lomachenko wanted to fight him at 130.
“We’re taking all the challenges that these guys aren’t taking, so I don’t really understand what’s going on. All I’ve got to do is train my son and beat those in front of us.
“That’s what we’ve been doing, and that’s what we’re going to keep on doing. We’re [Teofimo] doing it the best way we can do by beating everyone in front of us,” Teofimo Sr said.
Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis would have likely agreed to fight Lomachenko two years ago if it were his choice, but his promoters at Mayweather promotions chose not to make that fight.
Top Rank is a promotional company that doesn’t mind having their fighters take risks. Hence, we see the 23-year-old Teofimo face Lomachenko.
The upside is enormous for the winner of the clash because their popularity will go through the roof.
Teofimo has no respect for Lomachenko
“On October 17th, they need to put it on the table and give it to us once we beat his [Lomachenko] a** because that’s what we’re going to so,” Teofimo Sr continued.
“My son is going to beat him so bad that Lomachenko is going to be out for a couple of months or a year because he’s going to be devastated from what’s going to happen.
“Lomachenko is used to winning, and he’s used to lying to people with all these things he does in the ring. Those things aren’t going t phase, my son.
“He [Teofimo] has no respect for him, and come October 17th; the whole world is going to find out all that I was saying is the truth,” Lopez Sr. said.
For Lomachenko to be put out of commission for months after Lopez beat him, that would be a shock. Lomachenko is hard to hit, and he’s not going to stand there and let Teofimo land his shots.
Teofimo’s accuracy and timing will need to be top-notch for him to land his big power shots on the chin of Lomachenko.
Critics make Lopez Sr happy
“I love the hate,” said Teofimo Sr about how he likes hearing fans that are critical of his son. “Please keep hating on my son because he just wants to show the whole world that they’re wrong,” Teofimo Sr said of Lopez’s critics.
“That’s what happened after the Nakatani fight. After the Nakatani fight when we were back in training because he didn’t give a damn about that fight.
“After we got back in training for the Richard Commey fight, he said, ‘Dad, I’m going to shut everyone’s mouth of up.’ I said, ‘That’s what we need to do.’
“He’s always been like that. They did it to us in the amateurs, they did it to us in the Olympics, and they did it to us with Nakatani, and look what happened.
“Every time they bash him, he comes back stronger. He needs that. That just hypes him up more. One-third of the people are against him right now. This fight [against Lomachenko], he’s supposed to lose.
“These are the best fights for us because this is where he shows he can beat anybody. Right now, he’s going to fight the media, he’s going to fight the fighter, he’s going to fight the judges, and he’s going to fight the haters.
“That’s what he’s going in there with. That’s a lot of pressure, but he loves to be under pressure. Come October 17th; we’re going to shut everybody up,” Lopez Sr continued.
The critics are only pointing out the obvious about Teofimo’s fights. It’s not personal with them. Lopez’s performance against Masayoshi Nakatani in July of 2019 left a lot to be desired.
Although Lopez won by a set of complete scores, the boxing public saw the fight as a lot closer. Nakatani would likely do poorly against a fighter like Lomachenko.
Teofimo will take over after he beats Loma
“I can’t wait. I cannot wait. My son does better against guys that are good fighters, you know?” said Lopez Sr. “He does better against guys that know how to fight because he can read them than a guy that doesn’t know what he’s doing and is throwing punches all over the place.
“I think after we beat Lomachenko, he’s going to be boxing. He’s going to be the shot-caller, and I think that’s why people are scared.
“They’re scared of that, and we’re looking at the glory. We’re looking to fight the best. My son doesn’t want to hear it in his ear, ‘Someone is better than you.’
“That’s why he’s challenging himself. I know my son is going to beat everyone they put in front of him. I know my son. And know what he can do. He has a lot of tricks.
“He’s a genius when he goes into that boxing ring. Big things are coming, especially now that we’re going to have all four belts. It’s going to be crazy, man.
“Sooner or later, once he unified the 140-lb weight division, they’re going to do a monument of him in Honduras because no one has ever done things like this.
“He’s going to accomplish big things as Floyd did. Iw ant him to be the best boxer that ever lived,” said Teofimo Sr.
Before Lopez can take over the lightweight division, he’s going to need to beat these fighters:
- Gervonta Davis
- Devin Haney
- Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell winner