Lomachenko say Teofimo Lopez might quit in middle of fight
By Aragon Garcia: WBA/WBO lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) thinks unbeaten contender Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) is using his name to get attention from the media and the boxing fans.
Lopez says he would be more than glad to face the 21-year-old Teofimo inside the ring, but he needs to least become a mandatory challenger before he does so, Loma said in an interview at boxingtalk.com.
Lomachenko further said he wouldn’t be surprised if Lopez quits during the fight, which would put him in the same company as some of Loma’s previous opponents like Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa and Guillermo Rigondeaux.
“I will not be surprised at all if he quits in the middle of the fight,” Lomachenko said about Lopez to Boxingtalk.com. “He needs to, if not become a champion then put himself into a mandatory position.”
It’s quite possible that Teofimo will be in the mandatory position for the WBC lightweight title if the WBC let’s him fight Luke Campbell for that spot. Teofimo vs. Campbell would be a great fight for the WBC interim lightweight title if the sanctioning body decides to make that move. They got to do something, because WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia might not want to strip off all the weight that he’s put on in bulking up for his fight against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. next month on March 16. It’s taken Mikey so much hard work to put all that weight on. To take it all off and come back down to lightweight to defend his WBC title against Teofimo might be too much for him to be able to stomach.
Lopez has the kind of power that could change Lomachenko’s game all the way around like Orlando Salido did in beating him with body shots. Lomachenko couldn’t handle the power of Salido, and spent the entire fight holding onto him to keep him from hitting him to the body. Lomachenko has no punching power to speak of. He’s stricly a volume puncher, who uses a lot of angles to try and keep from getting hit. The first thing that Lomachenko would have to change from his game to keep from getting knocked out quickly by Teofimo is his high work rate. Lomachenko couldn’t do that against Teofimio, being that he would be harm’s way too frequently and that would be bad for him. The second thing that Lomachenko would need to change from his game is his habit of trying to sit down on his shots every now and then.
For Lomachenko to fight aggressively against Teofimo, it’s going to put him in a situation where he’s going to need to trade. That’s bad news for Loma if he tries to trade with Lopez. Thirdly, Lomachenko won’t be able to run from Teofimo like he did against Salido, because he’ll get walked down and stopped with body shots. Teofimo, 5’8″, is an inch taller than the 5’7″ Lomachenko, but he’s got a three inch reach advantage. Teofimo will get to Lomachenko if he runs from him.
Teofimo says he sees flaws in Lomachenko that he can exploit, with the way he does the same thing repeatedly in his fights. Teofimo says he’ll take that fight if it’s offered to him by his promoters. He wants to grab the World Boxing Council lightweight title, but he’ll face Lomachenko now if Top Rank let’s him have fight fight.
If Lomachenko is serious about being willing to share the ring with Teofimo, then he needs to put his actions into words by getting on the phone and calling his promoters at Top Rank Boxing for them to put the fight together with Lopez. They’re both promoted by Top Rank. Bob Arum, the head boss for that company, is interested in putting Teofimo in with Lomachenko in 2020, if not sooner. Lomachenko needs to keep up with what Arum is saying, because that’s a fight that is just around the corner. Lomachenko needs to take the fight now if he doesn’t want to be at a disadvantage against Lopez when he’s hitting his prime. Lomachenko looks ike he’s lost soething from his game in a serious way. We saw that in the way he was dropped in the 6th round by Jorge Linares last May.
Lopez and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis are both looking like real threats to the aging Lomachenko right now. Whatever Lomachez did in the past in beating guys like Rigondeaux, Sosa, Walters, Miguel Marriaga, Roman Martinez and Gary Russell Jr., it has no bearing on a fight against unbeaten 21-year-old Lopez. He’s bigger, stronger and younger than all of those guys. Lopez is a young phenom, and star in the making. He’s clearly a future star. Lopez says
Lomachenko, 30, will be fighting on April 12, but he’s not sure if it’ll be his WBA mandatory challenger Anthony Crolla or not in that fight. Lomachenko was supposed to be taking on IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey, but he got hurt in his last fight against Isa Chaniev earlier this month. He won’t be available for the April 12 date. Lomachenko plans on still fighting, but whether it’s Crolla or not is up in the air.
Teofimo will be fighting on ESPN on April 20 against an opponent still to be determined at Madison Square Garden, in New York. He, of course, wants to fight a good opponent so he can show off. Teofimo recently went to meet with the World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman this week to have him fight for the WBC lightweight title if champion Mikey Garcia vacates the belt. The current #1 mandatory challenger is Luke Campbell. If Mikey vacates, Campbell will need to fight someone for the WBC belt, and that could be Teofimo.
Many boxing fans see Lomachenko’s days as numbered as the WBA/WBO lightweight champion. Top Rank knows Teofimo wants to fight him, and they can’t keep him on the leash for too much longer. Teofimo is ready for the “takeover”, and Lomachenko is in his way. If Lomchenko is ready to take on the young lion, then so be it, but he might regret it afterwards. No one would blame Lomachenko if he vacated his WBA/WBO lightweight titles and moved back down to super featherweight, a division that was more suited to his body type. Lomachenko is struggling too much at lightweight for this to be a good division for him. If he moves back down to 130, he might be able to extend his career a lot longer than if he stays at lightweight and has to fight off young lions like Teofimo and Gervonta Davis. Those guys are ready to beat Lomachenko right now. The longer those fights are put off, the better it’ll be for Gervonta and Teofimo.