Lomachenko vs Lopez Preview & Prediction
By Oliver McManus
Very rarely, in this era of pay-per-view proliferation, are we presented with a card that is almost universally acknowledged as bonafide PPV. Old school pay-per-view: the days where that honour was reserved for the likes of Ali vs Frazier, Leonard vs Hagler and future Hall of Famers.
This is one of those rare offerings that I’ll neither complain about having to pay for nor the fact it’ll require staying up into the early hours of the morning for:
Wilder vs Fury II aside this is the boxing Super Bowl of 2020.
Teofimo Lopez has all the qualities of someone destined for exceptional success in the sport and has carried himself with an outrageous confidence for a man of his age.
To date he’s backed up that confidence with equally outrageous performances in the ring: two rounds to obliterate Richard Commey highlighted the gulf in class between a ‘good world champion’ and an ‘exceptional challenger’.
On paper Teofimo Lopez should be everything required to give Vasyl Lomachenko an absolute nightmare. The 23 year old is the younger fighter seemingly uninhibited: boxing with genuine enthusiasm and every bit as bold and brash as he carries himself outside of the ring
Refreshing in an age where too many people are preoccupied with retaining that undefeated records. Here we have someone, in reality, just getting started as a professional (and as a champion) and already willing to fight THE best. It’s not improbable that, come retirement, this could well be the hardest fight of Lopez’ career. It will be a defining one, too.
The narrative and nature of the fight is somewhat similar to that of Mayweather vs Canelo. You’ve got Lomachenko who’s already a solid great and shoe-in Hall of Famer against someone who surely, as the years go on, will progress into an exceptional talent of his own.
Lomachenko seems to be at his ceiling in terms of weight divsions where he can really dominate. The opposite is true for Teofimo Lopez who could quite comfortably advance through to welterweight as his career progresses.
The confidence of Lopez is admirable but to what extent is it showmanship? Throughout the build up there seems to have been minimal respect shown for the achievements of Lomachenko.
Teofimo is, on the surface, emotionally invested in his contest as though his career and legacy depends on it. Of course a win transforms his career over night but, again, he is 23 with the attributes to go on to achieve illustrious greatness of his own. It might not seem like it in the moment but this is a win-win fight simply because he has had the balls to fight, and learn, against the best in the business.
Lomachenko is keeping to that typical ice-cool demeanour that has, all too often, beaten his opponent before the first bell even rings. He is a boxer who operates on a whole different level, both mentally and physically, that seemingly defies all human logic and reason.
For me he boxes as clinically as he has dealt with the build-up and stops Teofimo Lopez around the 10th round.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank