Teofimo Lopez proved many of his doubters wrong in dominating the betting favorite Vasily Lomachenko beating him by a comfortable 12 round unanimous decision to become the undisputed lightweight champion age 23 last Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lomachenko, as talented as he is, couldn’t do much of anything because of the size, speed, and power of Teofimo.
In the first half, Loma didn’t even try to fight because he didn’t have the power to compete at that point. Lomachenko had to know that he was losing the fight because he wasn’t throwing enough.
When Lomachenko finally did start coming forward beginning in the 8th, he walked into right hands and powerful uppercuts from Lopez.
Lopez handily beat Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) by 116-112, 119-109, and 117-111.
The 119-108 score was one that many boxing fans didn’t agree with, as Lomachenko fought well in the championship rounds and deserved at least four rounds if not five. The judge scored it 119-109; Julie Lederman saw Lopez winning 11 rounds 1.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is one of many that didn’t agree with Lederman’s 119-109 score, and he’s recommending that fighters ask not to have her work as a judge to their fights. Whether that’ll happen or not is unclear.
She did give the win to Arums fighter Teofimo, but the margin was a tad bit wider than how the other two judges saw the fight.
In the big scheme of things, he picked the right guy in selecting Teofimo as the victor in the fight, but she had very wide for him and didn’t give Lomachenko a lot of credit for his rally in the championship rounds.
“Julie Lederman, what kind of fight was she watching,” Arum said via Yahoo Sports News. “These judges are the craziest. … Lopez won the fight, but [Lomachenko] won four of those rounds in the back end.”
“I would advise any fighter I would have to ask the commission not to appoint her,” Arum said.
Lomachenko was helpless to do much of anything in most of the rounds. When he would attempt to get close to Teofimo, he’d walk into a right hand or powerful left hook, would send him fleeing.
The body shots that Lopez was landing on Lomachenko reddened his midsection, and he was bothered by those punches.
After looking tired in the 10th and 11th, Teofimo came out on fire in the 12th and tagged Lomachenko repeatedly with lead right hands. One of them appeared to buzz Lomachenko, causing him to back up against the ropes.
In the tenth round, Lomachenko attempted a matador move in leaping out of the way of a body shot. By doing that, Lomachenko was caught with a shot below the belt that hurt him.
The punch was aimed correctly by Teofimo, but it was the leaping up by Lomachenko that caused him to get hit low. That was just one of many times in the fight that Teofimo hurt Lomachenko.
The surge that Lomachenko made in the championship rounds wasn’t enough for him to come all the way back because he’d given up the first seven rounds.
Also, Lomachenko was still getting hit with the better shots from Teofimo in rounds 8 through 11, making them close enough where they could go either way. In other words, Lomachenko didn’t conclusively win any of the rounds in the second half. The ones that Lomachenko was given by two of the judges were close enough.
In the final seconds of the 12th round, Teofimo clashed heads with Lomachenko, which opened a big cut over Lopez’s left eye. The referee Russell Mora wasted time stopping the fight in the last 15 seconds to examine the cut. The little rest break gave Teofimo more energy to continue to thrash the smaller Lomachenko.
After the fight, Lomachenko surprisingly didn’t talk about wanting a rematch, which you would expect. Although Loma did say that he thought he was winning, he didn’t push for a rematch. It didn’t matter, though, because Teofimo said that he wouldn’t give him one.
He’s going to move on. That might be a good thing for Lomachenko because he’s not big, fast, or strong enough to beat Teofimo.
Lomachenko looked like he was three divisions smaller than Teofimo last night. It was like a featherweight taking on a light welterweight.
If you ever wondered how Lomachenko would do fighting a 140-pounder, you saw what the results would be last night. Teofimo was too big for Lomachenko, and he showed that weight classes are there for a reason. Lomachenko would be better off if he moved back down to 126 and left the bigger fighters alone.
Had Lomachenko been in there with Gervonta Davis, he would have likely suffered the same fate. Even Ryan Garcia would be dangerous for Lomachenko because he would get hit a lot by him, and he might be able to take his kind of power.
Lomachenko now has two defeats as a professional, and he needs to decide where he wants to go from here. He can stay in the glamourous lightweight division where the paydays are bigger, and he has a chance for big fights. But if Lomachenko stays, he may suffer more defeats, and that would hurt his career.
Staying at 135 means that Lomachenko will suffer a lot of punishment from the bigger and more powerful fighters in the weight class. If Lomachenko moves back down to 130, he could have just as many problems. Shakur Stevenson, Oscar Valdez, and Miguel Berchelt won’t be easy outs for Lomachenko, and he could lose to some or even all of them.
If Lomachenko is frozen and not letting his hands go against them, he’ll get outworked as he did against Lopez.
If Lomachenko stays at 135, boxing fans are going to expect him to fight these guys:
- Gervonta Davis
- Ryan Garcia
- Javier Fortuna
- Rolando Romero
- Jorge Linares
With his “Takeover,” Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) now holds the IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO lightweight titles, and he’s interested in taking on WBC champ Devin Haney or moving up to 140 to fight Josh Taylor or Jose Ramirez for the undisputed championship.