By Chris Williams: Tyson Fury is one of IBF lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez’s biggest fans, and he’s convinced that WBA/WBC [F]/WBO 135-lb champion Vasiliy Lomachenko CAN’T beat him. Fury says the 5’8″ Teofimo has an upper body like a heavyweight, and power that could surpass his own.
Teofimo is coming off of a quick 2nd round knockout win over IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey (29-3, 26 KOs) on December 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Going into that fight, Lomachenko predicted that Lopez would lose to Commey. But Teofimo proved Loma’s prediction wrong by dropping Commey with a big right hand in the 2nd round.
After a badly shaken Commey got back up, Lopez finished him off right away. Lomachenko still didn’t give Teofimo credit despite him proving his prediction wrong. It would have been nice for Lomachenko to take the high road by praising Lopez after his victory, but he chose not to. Lomachenko clearly views the young upstart Lopez is clearly a threat to his reign.
Not too many boxing fans are picking Teofimo to beat the 31-year-old Lomachenko, however. Unlike Fury, a lot of people believe it’s too soon for Lopez to be taking on Lomachenko at this early point in his career.
Lopez has that Deontay Wilder type of finishing ability. He’s not another Wilder, but he’s got the power to change the direction of a fight at any time.
Does Teofimo have the experience to beat Lomachenko?
Teofimo has only been a professional since 2016, and it’ll be a major undertaking for him to beat the 2-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko, who Top Rank promoter Bob Arum compared to Muhammad Ali. That’s the young Ali, not the old version that Arum compared him to.
Aside from Teofimo’s win over Commey, these are his best wins:
- Masayoshi Nakatani
- Edis Tatli
- Diego Magdaleno
- Mason Menard
- William Silva
Tyson likes the self confidence that the 22-year-old Lopez possesses, and he believes he’s got the tools to go far in boxing. Teofimo (15-0, 12 KOs) will be likely be facing Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) in a unification fight in April on ESPN.
The date and venue for the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight has still yet to be determined, but it’s expected to be revealed soon. With January now half over, it’s important that Top Rank, the promoters for Lomachenko & Lopez, make an announcement soon. They need to start marketing the important fight already.
Teofimo Lopez is the BIGGEST little man I’ve seen – Fury
“Let me tell you; Richard Commey is a very good fighter, and I’m a big fan of him as well,” said Fury to IFL TV. “Little Teofimo just walked right through him. He’s the biggest little tiny man I’ve seen in my life. And he’s a heavyweight on midget legs. He’s got two legs like that [Fury points to the lower part of his leg from knee to feet], and he’s got my-sized body.
“And he’s the biggest little man I’ve ever seen,” continued Fury about Teofimo.”And he’s the biggest heavyweight on the planet, barring nobody, and I’ve got to back what he says. There isn’t any 135 or 140-pounder that can beat him. No Lomachenkos or nobody, because he’s a heavyweight on two tiny legs with speed and power,” said Fury about Lopez.
Fury is going a little overboard with his description of Teofimo, and he’s clearly off base in saying he’s got “midget legs.” Like a lot of fighters in the lighter weight classes, Teofimo has a big upper body. He’s definitely got a lot of power in both hands that could trouble Lomachenko.
If Teofimo is able to land his shots, he’s going to have Lomachenko second guessing the idea of him standing in front of him. Lomachenko has developed a habit as a professional of beating his opponents with high volume punching to make them quit. They tend to give up because of all the shots that Lomachenko is hitting them with, as well as the showboating that he does.
The way that Lomachenko outclasses his opponent, they lose concentration, and give up on themselves. We saw that in Lomachenko’s wins over Jason Sosa, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Jason Sosa and Nicholas Walters. However, those fights took place at super featherweight, not at lightweight. Lomachenko isn’t as good a fighter at 135 as he was at 130, and he’s older now.
Fury says Teofimo can probably punch harder than him
“He probably hits harder than me as a featherweight,” said Fury in further complimenting Lopez. ‘I seem really high on him. I’ve got good reasons. He’s a good little fighter, he believes in himself, he’s got knockout power, and he’ll fight anybody. And he’s been calling for the Lomachenko fight for the past 4 or 5 fights, and he’s only had a few fights. He’s 21-years-old. He’s had all these amateur fights, and he knows what he’a doing.
“And he’s got his dad behind him, and like his dad, he’s very confident,” said Fury in talking about Teofimo and his father/trainer. “I know his dad tries to get him to talk a bit more, and maybe he should listen. No one gets anywhere from being Mr. quiet, and now it’s time calling out Lomachenko properly, and putting on people. That’s an exciting division,” said Fury.
Lopez definitely sits down on his shots better than Fury, and he’s more explosive with his punches. What makes Lopez so dangerous is the speed and the concussive force of his shots. When Teofimo sees an opening, he unloads with often devastating effect. However, Lopez failed to knockout Masayoshi Nakatani last year, and he looked bad in that fight. When Teofimo can’t land his shots, he’s not as impressive. The movement, speed and all the different angles that Lomachenko will be using against Lopez will create problems for him.
Lomachenko-Lopez is one of those match-ups where anything can happen. With the power that Lopez has, he can bail himself out with a single shot late in the fight. If he connects cleanly on Lomachenko’s chin in the 12th, it’ll be all she wrote.