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Terence Crawford and Teofimo Lopez bring in HUGE ratings for their fights on ESPN

Vasyl Lomachenko

By Kenneth Friedman:  Terence Crawford and Teofimo Lopez both brought in big ratings for their respective fights against Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Richard Commey last Saturday night on ESPN+.

According to @Mike Coppinger, Teofimo had a peak average of 1.429 million viewers. I think he meant a peak average though. There isn’t an average for a peak. 1.429 million viewers is an excellent peak. Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) destroyed IBF lightweight champion Commey (29-3, 26 KOs) in a 2nd round knockout in their co-feature bout at Madison Square Garden in New York.

I think it’s fair to say that Teofimo, 22, stole the show from Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) by putting in the most impressive performance on the card. That’s not a knock on Crawford. He performed well in knocking out the previously unbeaten Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) in the 9th round. Teofimo’s power punching was fun to watch, and made quick work of Commey.

Crawford vs. Kavaliauskas had a peak of 1.512 million viewers, and those are good numbers. Very few boxing fans were excited about this fight, and it might have been better for Crawford to have vacated his title.

— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) December 17, 2019

Atlas comparing Teofimo to Pacquiao

“The traits that I saw from Lopez is he’s got quick hands, he’s got power, but he’s got quick movements, and quick feet,” said Atlas on
THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas. “I made the comparison to Pacquiao. I saw the same abilities with Lopez, which I saw was the perfect storm for him against a guy that he could explore those abilities on the stage.

“He’s 22-years-old, he can punch like a son of a gun, punchers are born and not made, and he’s got that natural power,” said Atlas about Teofimo. “Are there some advantages over Lomachenko? He’s 22-years-old, he’s the naturally bigger guy. Lomachenko has moved up three weight classes, right? And he’s the naturally physically stronger guy.

“You can say that even if he loses the fight competitively, he can still put a flag in the ground,” Atlas continued about Teofimo. “He’s obviously got a lot of road to move up on and rumble, and ramble down that road, and still be all the things they want him to be. But you can also say it’s too soon to put him in with a guy like Lomachenko,” said Atlas.

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Lopez is more of a raw power puncher than Pacquiao pound for pound.

Teofimo isn’t as mobile as Pacquiao was in his prime, and he doesn’t have the same shifty movement as he did. Lopez is a good fighter, but he’s mostly a stationary fighter. Lomachenko moves better than Lopez, but he lacks his power. Lopez will need to find a way to land his shots on Lomachenko, because he’s going to be using a great deal of movement to evade his shots.

Lomachenko is getting older 

“He’s not experienced enough, and he’s not ready,” said Atlas in saying that Lopez might not have the experience for Lomachenko. “Yeah, he’s got power, but guess what? I got news for you. Lomachenko makes a living out of dismantling guys with power, and with ability and are aggressive and has all those abilities.

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“Lomachenko is being touched by father time,” said Atlas. “If they waited a little longer, it would probably be advantageous to Lopez. Lomachenko had 400 amateur fights, and that’s where you can have a little bit of Father Time touching you, but he has the type of style where he doesn’t take a lot of punishment. But in his last few fights, you can argue that he’s being touched a little bit more,” said Atlas.

Teddy makes sense in bringing up the obvious about Lomachenko, as far as him getting older. He’s getting hit more than he did in the past, and that’s a problem for him. The biggest issue Lomachenko has at 135 is the power of the guys he’s facing, which is giving him issues. Although Lomachenko makes his opponents miss a lot, they still wind up hitting him quite a bit. All the shots that Lomachenko is getting hit with now is marking him up, and he’s coming out of his fights looking worn.

Lomachenko’s last opponent Luke Campbell moves better than Teofimo, and he was able to do a good job of neutralizing Lomahenko’s mobility. The height, reach and the power of Campbell made it hard for Lomachenko to dominate. Teofimo, 5’8″, isn’t as tall as Campbell, and he doesn’t have his long reach. The things that Campbell was able to do against Lomachenko, Teofimo may not be able to match.

Lopez lacks the experience for Lomachenko fight

“That could be the thought of Lopez. If I can touch him clean, I can win,” said Atlas in giving his theory on the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight. “But for me, Lomachenko is the surgeon that takes guys apart. He doesn’t care about power, and he doesn’t care about speed or youth.

“He goes systemaically, and he takes people apart,” said Atlas. “And he starts with the physical part of doing that. He removes the will out of you to pull that out of you where he removes your will. Lomachenko and his father are too smart to let this fight wait too long.

“If Lopez wants to get a ride in it, it’s probably going to need to be now. Lomachenko isn’t waiting for them to get old. Lomachenko has the persona, confidence, and everything,” said Atlas.

Lopez doesn’t have the experience in fighting against a highly mobile fighter with the boxing skills that Lomachenko possesses. However, Lopez probably wouldn’t get the experience no matter how long he hung around the sport. Lomachenko is the type of fighter that you don’t see, and therefore it would be impossible for Lopez to get that experience.

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