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Lomachenko: I’m going to cause Teofimo pain

Image: Lomachenko: I'm going to cause Teofimo pain

By Chris Williams: Vasily Lomachenko doesn’t like all the trash-talking that Teofimo Lopez has aimed towards him. He’s anticipating getting in the ring to cause pain to the American on October 17th.

Lomachenko isn’t accustomed to his opponents NOT showing him great reverence, and he’s been taken aback by Teofimo’s insolence in the run-up to their fight.

Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) wants to hurt IBF lightweight champion Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) if he gets the opportunity next month in their fight on ESPN at ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Does Lomachenko have enough youth left to win?

What WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko doesn’t realize is he’s facing a not only a younger fighter but one with far more hand speed and punching power than anyone he’s ever fought before in the pro ranks.

Loma is an old 32, and he’s facing a guy that is a decade younger than him in Teofimo. That’s the chronological age. With the wear and tear Lomachenko has taken with his 400 amateur fights, you can argue he’s closer to 40 than 32.

Lomachenko had many problems in his fights against Gary Russell Jr and Orlando Salido years ago in 2014, and those guys were smaller and weaker than Teofimo. Those fights took place during the prime of Loma’s career, and he’s no longer the young, spry fighter he once was. He was forced to battle hard against those talented fighters, and the wins over them came hard.

Image: Lomachenko: I'm going to cause Teofimo pain

Lomachenko wants to dish out pain

“In my country, if you insult somebody, you’d better be prepared for them to hurt you. If we were in my country, he’d learn pretty quick he can’t run his mouth,” said Lomachenko to Top Rank Boxing on his opponent Teofimo and his trash-talking. “If I get a chance to cause him pain, I’m going to do it.”

“Since you got to lightweight and have been a dominant champion and won all your fights, the bigger fighters have presented more of a challenge to do,” said Max Kellerman to ESPN in talking to Lomachenko. “Do you think of yourself as a full lightweight or are you fighting bigger fighters at 135 pounds.”

“Of course, 135 is not my weight class,” said Lomachenko. “For me, my weight class that is more comfortable is 130, but I need four belts. I need to be undisputed world champion. That’s why I moved to 135,” said Loma.

For Lomachenko to dish out pain on Teofimo the way he wants to his idea of giving him pay-back, he’s going to need to put himself in harm’s way during the fight.

As we’ve seen in Lomachenko’s matches at 135 against Luke Campbell, Jose Pedraza, and Jorge Linares, he’s not unhittable. Loma took big shots in each of those contests, and he looked like he’d been put through a ringer by the time those fights ended.

Are we about to see the changing of the guards?

Assuming that Lomachenko is serious about wanting to cause “pain” to Teofimo, he’s going to have to be ready to take a lot in return. If Lomachenko gets hit a lot by Teofimo, as he was in his fights against Linares and Pedraza, there’s a good chance he’ll get knocked out.

If Teofimo can put hands on Loma with the same regularity that Pedraza and Linares both did, we could see an upset brewing. You won’t even be able to call it an upset, though, as Teofimo is a world champion and the MUCH younger fighter of the two.

Hi-Tech ready for Lopez

“At 135, as I mentioned, you’ve beaten many good fighters so far, but you have been hit more at 135,” Kellerman said to Lomachenko. “You were dropped by [Jorge] Linares, even as you were collecting the belt.

“By the end of the fight, there was no doubt that you are the winner. But now you’re fighting Teofimo Lopez, a big strong fighter with fast hands and real punching power. What are your thoughts about Teofimo Lopez?”

“He is an excellent puncher, he has a high boxing IQ, he is younger, but we have the same fights on the list,” said Lomachenko in analyzing Teofimo. “I have a vast experience during my fights in 12 rounds. So we will see how he can hold his brace during the fight,” Lomachenko said.

“In over 400 amateur fights, you had one loss that you avenged twice, to gold medals,” said Max about Loma. “You were one of the greatest amateur fighters. If not, you are on the shortlist of the greatest amateur fighters of all time, and so far, you’ve been near the top of the pound-for-pound list in the pros.

“Teofimo is relatively inexperienced; he does not have your experience. I remember a year ago; you were saying, ‘Who is this Teofimo Lopez? Why are people talking about him? Why is he talking about me? What has he done?’ Do you feel that he’s done enough now to earn this shot against you in this fight?”

“Now he is a world champion, and now he talks too much,” Lomachenko continued about Lopez. “Of course, he deserves this fight. He do all of these fights. I mean, his trash talk.”

Image: Lomachenko: I'm going to cause Teofimo pain

It sounds like Lomachenko is emotionally invested in this fight with Teo, and he’s not approaching it in a cool, calm, and collective way. What that tells Chris Williams is that Lomachenko has too much pride and ego weighing him down. That’s poison.

Lomachenko is starting to remind me of another Julio Cesar Chavez, who acted in similar ways, going into his contest with the young lion Oscar De La Hoya in 1998. Chavez wanted to punish the young upstart De La Hoya, but once Chavez got in the ring with De La Hoya, the hand speed and the youth was too much for him, and he ended up losing by an 8th round stoppage. Is Lomahchenko transforming himself into another Chavez Sr?

Lomachenko will provide answers on October 17th

“Vasily, what strikes me when you talk about Teofimo now, he’s obviously fast, and he has big punching power,” said Kellerman.

“When I hear Vasily Lomachenko say, ‘He has a very high boxing IQ,’ that means something to me because certainly, you do. When did you start to gain respect for Teofimo’s boxing IQ?”

“I started to watch his fights, and I started to learn [about] him. I saw his boxing IQ, and he understands what he needs to do,” said Lomachenko about when he started to respect Lopez’s boxing IQ. “He starts to feel his opponents very well. So we’ll see. It’ll be a very interesting fight for all of the boxing family,” said Lomachenko.

“Vasily, you don’t talk a lot or make boastful predictions, and neither does your father,” Kellerman said. “You’re both very confident, and your father has a whole school of boxers from Ukraine, who seem to be achieving great success at the highest levels of the professional ranks.

“Teofimo’s father doesn’t have a whole school of boxing. He has his son, but he has talked about you and how great he [Teofimo] is going to be. In some ways, this seems to be as much of a match-up of fathers as it is with their sons. Can you talk about your father and what he’s meant to you as a fighter?”

“I give all the answers to all the people after the [Lopez] fight,” said Lomachenko. “I just do my job, and my father shows what we can do and who we are in the ring and who we are in boxing. That’s it,” Lomachenko said.

Lomachenko may need to swallow some humble pie on October 17th if things don’t go his way against Teofimo. It’ll be a sour look on Loma’s part if he comes off bitter and making excuses as we saw after his loss to Orlando Salido in 2014.


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