Teofimo Lopez told us all along he would be the man to solve the riddle, the man to enter The Matrix & takeover, we didn’t listen!
The outspoken, cocky, confident Brooklyn native was too young we were told, too in experienced we were told, that Vasyl Lomachenko would simply be too much, too soon for the 23 year old but Lopez made a mockery of the doubters & the naysayers.
From the opening bell his vast size advantage was obvious, his bulking shoulders & bulging biceps were more akin to a super welterweight & he dwarfed his esteemed foe. Lopez took control, boxing at his pace, using his speed & jab to offset the magician in front of him. Coming into the middle rounds the great Lomachenko looked bereft of ideas, befuddled by the challenge in front of him, dare I say he looked human?
But then in rounds 8, 9 & 10 the Ukrainian had his first fledgling moments of success & it seemed as though he’d awoke from his early fight slumber, landing some crisp shots but Lopez rarely looked troubled. A desperate, reckless Loma would surely play into the hands of the brilliant counter punching Lopez.
Heading into the championship rounds for only the second time in a 15 fight ledger Lopez was indeed slowing, gulping big mouthfuls of air but even then he was ever confident & willing to stand toe to toe with the p4p rated champion, a slight cut in the closing seconds of round 12 the most troubled he’d looked through out. A closing salvo from Lomachenko, standing & frantically trying to land something of note in a bold last stand was simply not enough, it was too little too late.
The scorecards were emphatic (116-112, 119-109, 117-111) & we looked on at a new ruler of the lightweight division, a leader of a new era of young, brash fighters, Teofimo Lopez.
Write Vasyl Lomachenko off at your peril, the 3 weight world champion tasting defeat for just the second time as a professional but it was the manor of the defeat that will send reverberations around the boxing world, the cautious approach in the first half of the fight leaving with a mountain too big for even his wonderful feet to climb.
Team Loma will no doubt pick the bones but for now this is Teofimo Lopez‘a defining moment.
The King is dead, long live the king.
📸(Courtesy of Top Rank)
By Luke Carney of SimBoxx
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