Vasyl Lomachenko has “agreement” on paper for Teofimo Lopez fight in April
By Aragon Garcia: Vasiliy ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko has announced that he has an “agreement” on “paper” for a unification fight against IBF lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez in April 2020 for the undisputed 135-lb championship. Lomachenko, 31, states that the exact date and the venue for the Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) fight has yet to be decided, but it WILL be taking place in April.
Loma doesn’t foresee any difficulties in getting the Lopez fight finalized for April, since both guys want it, and they share the same promoter in Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing promotion.
Lomachenko anxious to face Lopez
The two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko says he’s looking forward to meeting up with Lopez inside the ring. He says he observed many flaws in his game in his recent 2nd round knockout win over IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey on December 14. Coming into that fight, Lomachenko had predicted a victory for the 32-year-old Commey (29-3, 26 KOs), but his prediction failed to happen.
Lomachenko says Lopez’s victory was the product of a “lucky punch” in the 2nd round. Loma thinks if that shot hadn’t landed, it might have been a different story with Commey coming on to beat Teofimo at some point in the fight.
Teofimo has the size, punching power and the self confidence to defeat WBA/WBC [Franchise]/WBO lightweight champion. If Lopez lands one of his big shots on Lomachenko, it could be a good night for him.
This is easily the biggest puncher Lomachenko will have faced as a professional AND as an amateur. Lopez is more of a 140-pounder than he is a 135, and Lomachenko hasn’t fighters that big as an amateur or as a professional.
Lomachenko reveals agreement on paper with Teofimo for April
“I have a huge desire to enter the ring with him. We’ll meet in April,” said Lomachenko to LOMA Official TV on his unification fight with Teofimo. “The fight is going to take place. It depends not only on the manager, the promoter, but also on one boxer and the other boxer as well.
“On paper, there is an agreement that the match is going to happen, and it’s going to happen in April. However, they have not yet established a date. This fight is happening in April. I think that for them, it’s a win-win in any case,” said Lomachenko when asked if Top Rank supports Lopez or him.
“If I win, I confirm my title as the star of this promotion company. If I lose, they [Top Rank] got a new star, a mega-star. Not that they are supporting anyone. I’m not saying that. But I think from a business perspective, they would prefer Lopez, because he’s a more profitable figure,” said Lomachenko.
There’s little chance this fight won’t get made, because it’s what Top Rank and both fighters want. It’s too bad that the Lomachenko-Teofimo winner won’t be considered the clear undisputed lightweight champion. Devin Haney is the WBC 135-lb champion.
Lomachenko gave up his WBC belt when the World Boxing Council elevated him to their Franchise champion, and that’s like an honorary thing. The Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight will still need to fight Haney to become the undisputed lightweight champion, and that might not happen. Teofimo wants to move up to 140 after facing Lomachenko, and Loma says he wants to move down to 130.
Lopez beat Commey on “lucky punch” – Lomachenko
“I didn’t have enough time to fully understand what happened,” said Lomachenko to LOMA Official TV on Teofimo’s 2nd round knockout win over Commey. “But in the two rounds that I saw, I got the feeling that Lopez has problems and flaws in defense. In the first round, he managed to take so many of Commey’s punches, and many of those didn’t need to be taken.
“He [Lopez] could not get collected, and manage the distance he had to maintain,” Lomachenko on Commey fight for Teofimo. “In the end, by some miracle, in the second round, he hit Commey and finished the fight. I think that if it hadn’t been for that lucky punch, because I call it a lucky punch for him, then we would have seen plenty of interesting things in the course of the fight. And I am not very impressionable as far as my future rival goes.
“I cannot be objective about it and say how much I was impressed by the knockout. He hit the target, he got a knockout, he won, and he won the world championship and got the [IBF] title. Of course, I counted on Commey to win, but so much the better, because this fight is made to be sold out,” said Lomachenko.
Teofimo was hitting Commey with big shots from the 1st round, and there was nothing lucky about those shots landing. Lomachenko might be trying to mess with Lopez’s head by downgrading his performance, because it wasn’t a mistake that he beat Commey.
Lopez doesn’t possess the defensive skills that Lomachenko has, but he’s a knockout artist. That goes with the territory. Guys that look for knockouts tend to get hit a lot more than defensive fighters, who look to do the minimum to win.
Lomachenko says Commey had flaw in his defense
“Of course, we’ve had an example already,” Lomachenko said about how he was dropped by Jorge Linares. “We had a case where I took a hit, and relaxed on defense, and gained too much confidence too early, and believed too much in my victory, and relaxed my defense, for which I was immediately punished.
“Yes,” said Lomachenko when asked if it was a flaw on Commey’s part to get knocked out by Lopez. “You know as they say, it’s the style that makes the fights. Here we had two different puncher’s styles, and in this fight [Lopez vs. Commey] someone definitely had to fall, and someone had to get the knockout,” Lomachenko said.
Teofimo and his trainer/father studied Commey’s past fights, and they came up with a great game plan in how to beat him. You can’t say it was “lucky” that Teofimo beat Commey using their game plan, because that ignores the training that he’d done to prepare for him. Commey had a flaw with the way that had liked to throw wide shots, and Teofimo took advantage of that.
Lomachenko still hasn’t become a superstar despite having lots of talent. He’s not as much of a showman as Teofimo, and his fighting style involves too much movement and defense.
Boxing fans in the U.S prefer the power punchers like Gennadiy Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez and Deontay Wilder. Teofimo has a fighting style more suited to the average American fan than Lomachenko.
Lomachenko doesn’t see age as being an advantage for Teofimo
“Well, I never thought about it in those terms,” said Lomachenko when asked him being 32 and Lopez being 22. “Imagine if we talk about it that way, I was 10 and he was a newborn. Or I was 20, and won the Olympics, and he was 10 in junior boxing.
“Is he really 22-years-old? Wow, he talks as if he were 30 or even 40,” said Lomachenko on Teofimo. “He talks very confidently, and he’s very sure of himself. Yes, I think it’ll be the first time,” said Lomachenko about it being the first time he’s faced someone 10 years younger than himself.
“It’s the first time I’ve thought about someone I boxed about how much younger or older they were than me,” Lomachnko continued about Lopez’s age difference to him. “I never paid attention to that. And I look at the boxer, and see what he can do in the ring. I watch what he does in the ring, and measure where my advantages and his advantages are. I never thought about age, said Loma about his age.
Lomachenko sounds like he’s a little bit in denial about his age being a potential factor in his fight against Lopez, as it could hurt him. With close to 400 amateur fights, Lomachenko has miles on him that make his age work against him in the Lopez fight. With close to 400 amateur fights, Lomachenko has miles on him that make his age work against him in the Lopez fight.
Lomachenko is trying to play off that his age isn’t a problem, but it might be. That’s even more reason for Lomachenko to try avoid getting caught in a war against the younger fighter, because he lacks the youth and the power to win that type of fight.
Teofimo will need to back up his talk – Lomachenko
“Now that you told me about it, it’s indeed interesting that I am 10 years older,” Lomachenko said in belaboring the point. “I think that’s going to be reflected in this fight. It’s almost like, you know, I study at the university, and he still goes to school. Now we have the moment of truth for them.
“I’m sure that they never think about it, and never think in those terms, that one must follow through on what one says,” said Lomachenko. I think they don’t attach much importance to that. but for me it’s the opposite. It’s going to be very interesting to box with him,” said Lomachenko about his April fight with Lopez.
All the trash talking that Teofimo has done about Lomachenko clearly bothers him, since his past opponents haven’t done that. Gary Russell Jr. did some trash talking before his fight with Lomachenko in 2014, but Teofimo is expected to do far more.
Teofimo will have the spotlight on him heading into the Lomachenko fight, and everything he says will be echoed by the media. Lomachenko won’t be able to win the war of words against a guy like Lopez, because he’s good at cutting down his opponents.
Gervonta Davis fight interests Lomachenko at 135
“Now that he’s transferred into this category , we are all in equal conditions. Yes, that is correct, of course,” Lomachenko said when asked if a fight against Gervonta Davis is the most attractive one for him,” said Lomachenko.
For Lomachenko to fight Tank Davis, he’s going to need to stick around the lightweight division a little longer. If Lomachenko moves back down to 130 after the Lopez fight, then the fight with Gervonta won’t happen.
Fighting Gervonta Davis (22-0, 21 KOs) won’t be enough for Lomachenko to avoid being criticized by boxing fans, because they’re going to want him to face WBC 135-lb champion Devin Haney after that. There’s already a ton of people that believe that Lomachenko is running scared of Haney, due him accepting the Franchise tag.
The 25-year-old southpaw Davis will be a really tough fight for Lomachenko, as his left-hand punching power is devastating. Gervonta punches like a heavyweight with his left hand, and Lomachenko hasn’t been hit by anyone that packs that kind of a wallop in their shots.