Lomachenko tells Teofimo Lopez he’ll fight him if he has a belt
By Chris Williams: Unbeaten highly ranked lightweight contender Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) can forget about getting a fight against Vasyl Lomachenko anytime soon unless he can pick up a world title. That’s the requirement for him to get a fight against Lomachenko. The reaction from Lomachenko when Teofimo’s name was brought up as a potential opponent for him was if he was jolted by electricity. Lomachenko doesn’t seem to want any part of Teofimo for some reason.
The size and punching power of Teofimo, who is big for a lightweight and punches like a welterweight, would make him a real threat to Lomachenko. Lopez’s power is kryptonite in reducing Lomachenko to that of a mortal man.
(Credit: Mikey Williams /Top Rank)
That’s going to be a problem for the 21-year-old Lopez, since he’s still not ranked enough by the World Boxing Council to force a world title shot against WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia.
Unless Garcia vacates his WBC title, which he’s not indicated that he plans on doing, then Lopez could be waiting for a long time before he gets a chance to fight for that belt.
Lomachenko is only interested in fighting guys for world titles unless he’s required to defend against them with them being his mandatory, which is the case with his next opponent Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs), who he’ll be facing next month on April 13 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
“No problem. I’m ready for anyone, but I need a belt. If you have a belt, you can come in the ring. I fight with you,” Lomachenko said to the boxing media when asked if he would be willing to fight unbeaten lightweight contender Teofimo Lopez.
Top Rank might be able to coax Lomachenko into defending against Teofimo Lopez if they make it clear to him that he’s one of the biggest fights out there for him in the lightweight division right now apart from a possible fight against Mikey Garcia. Few boxing fans see that fight as a doable one due to politics.
Lomachenko seems less than excited about his upcoming title defense against former WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla next month on the 12th of April.
Winning titles against less than popular fighters isn’t helping Lomachenko become a bigger name. The casual boxing fans didn’t are when Lomachenko beat Jose Pedraza recently to win the WBO lightweight title. The fans won’t care when Lomachenko fights IBF champion Richard Commey soon. The fans want to see Lomachenko fight against good opposition that they’ve heard of, and care about. Lomachenko getting hung up on unifying the lightweight division thinking that it’ll make him a bigger name is a wrong idea.
“I want to fight the best. But now, Crolla is the best choice,” Lomachenko said. “He is the mandatory challenger and wanted to fight me. That is why I accepted this fight.”
Lomachenko didn’t have much choice when it came to the Crolla fight. Since Lomachenko cares so much about unifying the lightweight division, he couldn’t swerve the Crolla fight once his original target IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey was unavailable to fight him due to a hand injury.