Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is boxing’s next superstar. Lopez is now the unified IBF, WBO, WBA, WBC Franchise and Ring Magazine Lightweight champion of the world.
Lopez defeated former three-division champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) via unanimous decision on Saturday, October 17, 2020 by scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 119-109.
Three things we learned from the Lomachenko vs. Lopez showdown are; Lightweight is Lomachenko’s ceiling, Lopez has gym homework and Lopez wants to be the face of boxing.
1. Lomachenko’s Ceiling
Lomachenko has reached the ceiling of his world-title weight class climb. The former three-division champion has won belts at Featherweight (126 lbs.), Super Featherweight (130 lbs.), and Lightweight (135 lbs.). Lomachenko is a natural Featherweight fighter. Moving up to Super Featherweight was a logical move, and he breezed through the competition.
Slight struggles were evident in his Lightweight debut against Jorge Linares (47-5, 29 KOs). Lomachenko was dropped, before going on to win the fight via 10th round TKO. He has never been known for his power, and in most cases moving up in weight, your power diminishes as the opponents are naturally bigger.
Lomachenko was clearly very wary of Lopez’s power and was extremely cautious in the first six rounds of their fight. He didn’t want to trade shots with the bigger, more powerful fighter early and risk taking any damage.
Look for Lomachenko to possibly move back down to a more comfortable weight class for himself, whether that be Featherweight or Super Featherweight.
2. Lopez Has Homework
Teofimo Lopez did not look good in Rounds 7 through 11. While he did win the fight, and his struggles in the later rounds didn’t reflect on the scorecards it was apparent.
Lomachenko figured out that Lopez struggled while being pressured. Lopez was extremely uncomfortable fighting off of his back foot, his defense was poor, he let the smaller man in Lomachenko walk him down and land punches at a high percentage.
This can be a major problem if it isn’t addressed immediately. Especially with the idea of moving up into the Super Lightweight (140 lb) division.
Elite fighters like Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs), Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs), and Terence Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) can all fight as the aggressor or going backward. Lopez wants to be great and needs to hit the gym and work on this part of his game to do so.
3. The New Face of Boxing?
Lopez has all the tools both inside of the ring and outside to be the next superstar of boxing. At only 23 years of age, he has the power, speed, size, to go along with the charisma, attitude and willingness to be great.
Lopez wants to face Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) to officially become the undisputed Lightweight champion of the world. Outside of that fight, he also called for the winner of the Jose Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) vs Josh Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs) Super Lightweight unification fight. Lopez is willing to challenge whomever the undisputed Super Lightweight champion is, that alone shows his greatness.
Teofimo Lopez will be in boxing headlining fights for years to come, and boxing fans should be excited.