Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) defends his Lightweight WBC Franchise, WBA, and WBO belts against the IBF Lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) in a unification bout on October 17, 2020.
This Lightweight unification bout has been talked about for years, and it’s finally about to go down. Lopez has been asking for Lomachenko as he wants to cement himself as the best Lightweight in the world before possibly moving up in weight to the Super Lightweight (140lb) division.
Lomachenko is in for a battle against Lopez, as Lopez is the biggest puncher he will have faced as a professional fighter. On paper it looks like a slight mismatch as Lopez is the taller, longer, boxer-puncher, facing the natural Featherweight (126 lbs.) Lomachenko.
Lomachenko is the current king of the sweet science of boxing, he hits you and makes you miss. He needs to implement a Floyd Mayweather Jr. like fight gameplan on Saturday night to be victorious.
He is capable of doing so but needs to be wary of Lopez’s aggressive style. Lomanchenko’s three keys to victory will be; counter punching, combination punching, and his defense.
Key 1: Counterpunching
Lomachenko’s counter punching will be a key part of his gameplan, and necessary to win this fight. Lopez will be the aggressor in this matchup, and should make Lomachenko fight off of his back foot the entire fight.
For Lomachenko to win rounds, he will need to make Lopez miss and make him pay. Lomachenko lives off of this style, and has been one of best counter-puncher in the sport.
Key 2: Combination Punching
Lomachenko’s combination punching is key number two in this fight. This may be dangerous as Lopez is the power puncher. However, Lomachenko will need to intelligently pick his spots to get off three to four punches, and get out of Lopez’s range.
Simply making Lopez miss, and firing back with only one or two punches will not be a good look in this fight. If Lomachenko can turn his counter-punching in combination punching, Lopez will be in for a long night.
Key 3: Defense
Lomachenko’s overall defense must be perfect on Saturday night against Lopez. Defense in boxing is much more than simply not being hit. Lomachenko will need to utilize range, footwork, head movement, and faints to try to nullify Lopez’s big punch power.
Lomachenko will need to get in and out of range, as Lopez is the taller and longer fighter. This will take a few rounds to find the right spacing in the ring to ensure he is safe to throw his punches, and get out of the way.
Footwork and head movements are second nature to “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko. We see highlights of his movements, creating angles, making fighters look silly before firing off his own punches. He will need to do just that against Lopez. Never giving Lopez the same look more than once, and continuing to have great footwork to put him in position on both defense and offense.
The three keys of, counterpunching, combination punching, and defense will be at the forefront of Lomachenko’s gameplan against Lopez. These are all skills we’ve seen Lomachenko display in every fight. Lomachenko is the betting favorite in this fight. He must stick to his defensive Mayweather Jr. like style. If he does, Lomachenko will come out on top as the unified Lightweight champion of the world.