Anthony Crolla: Lomachenko will try to humiliate Teofimo
By Sean Jones: Former WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla predicts that an angry Vasily Lomachenko will be looking taunt and humiliate Teofimo Lopez en route to stopping him in the eighth or ninth rounds this Saturday night.
Teofimo has said too much, and his father/trainer Teofimo Sr towards the 32-year-old Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), and he’s going to want some payback.
Lomachenko destroyed Crolla in 2019
Crolla (35-7-3, 13 KOs), who was knocked out in the 4th round by Lomachenko last year in April 2019, feels that all the talking that IBF lightweight champion Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) has done during the build-up to this fight will result in Lomachenko wanting to embarrass him this Saturday night utterly.
WBA/WBC/BO Lomachenko will be facing Teofimo on October 17th in their match on ESPN at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Crolla isn’t ruling out a shock knockout victory for the hard-hitting 23-year-old Teofimo on Saturday. If Lomachenko gets careless, Teofimo could make him pay by landing one of his massive power hots like the one he hurt former IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey last December in New York.
Teofimo has to keep a cool head
“Honestly, I thought I fought perfectly then. He’s constantly got you thinking, and thinking makes you tired,” said Anthony Crolla to BT Sport Boxing about his fight against Lomachenko in 2019.
“He [cutman Russ Abner] said, ‘He’s the best I’ve ever seen. It’s like he’s planning moves three or four moves ahead,” Crolla said of Lomachenko. “He sees them 20 seconds before they happen, and that’s what I feel like.
“Ben [Davison] mentioned his non-punching activity. He’s constantly got you thinking, judging at a distance and the way he’ll switch it up. That’s what makes him so hard.
“If you can deal with it, then you have a chance. But knowing it and dealing with it first hand in life is much different. He’s a very unique special fighter. With many fighters, you’ll get one sparring partners that can replicate that fighter to a decent level.
“But with Lomachenko, there are so many things he can do. You need three or four sparring partners. That’s what we had because there’s not one fighter out there that can do so many things that Lomachenko does
“With him, I was surprised at a few things. I was never going to outbox Lomachenko. And I wish I had put Lomachenko on the back foot earlier. The way that he judges distance is unbelievable.
“He hits harder than expected, but what he does is he dresses his power up very quickly. And he hits spaces really well, and he creates those spaces. Even when you’re watching, you’re thinking, ‘Wow.’ But if you can keep a cool head, which I didn’t do, once he’s putting it in action,” said Crolla.
Anthony Crolla was considered a paper champion in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans when Lomachenko beat him a year ago. Crolla looked like he didn’t belong inside the same ring with Lomachenko last year.
Vasily could walk into a big shot
“You see things that have been said in the build-up, and it seems like Lomachenko has taken things a little bit personal,” Crolla continued.
“I think that’s going to come out, and he’s going to look to put it on Lopez, which might put it in Lopez’s favor.
“This is the chance where I don’t see anyone outboxing Lomachenko. I know [Orlando] Salido fought him, but it probably helped him out hitting below the belt a few times as well.
“He’s [Lomachenko] totally different [since losing to Salido in 2014]. He’s always ambitious in the second fight, no matter how good he was. I don’t believe he’ll hold his feet, but if he looks to put it on Lopez a little bit more.
“He [Lomachenko] might be there to be hit, and there’s no denying that Lopez is a world-class puncher. You know that right hand that [Jorge] Linares placed him [Lomachenko] on to.
“Whether it’s complacency. If Lopez hits him with that same shot, could we be in for a big shock? Some people might not see it for a shock, but we could be in for that if Lomachenko walks into one of those,” Crolla continued.
If Lomachenko gets overconfident and starts dominating, we could see him try and walk straight in like he tried to do against Jorge Linares when he was getting the better of him in the sixth round. Linares taught Linares a lesson by dropping him with a right-hand shot.
If Lopez hits Lomachenko with that same shot, he might not get back up. Lomachenko will probably be too smart to make the same mistake against him, especially when he starts getting nailed by his punches early on.
Crolla: Lomachenko will look to embarrass Lopez
“It could be very different from Linares,” said Crolla about Lomachenko. “But I believe Lomachenko will target the body. Lopez is big at the weight, and there’s no denying this.
“After this, I think he might move up and win a world title at a different weight . I believe he’s [Lomachenko] will hit the body, and I believe he’s going to work it hard.
“And I think he’s going to look to go on the front foot, Lomachenko. I think he’s going to be teasing Lopez to throw, and I think he’s going to be taunting him and look to humiliate him.
“That’s what he does a lot. He’d look to humiliate Lopez. That what Lomachenko does. He makes you feel a little bit useless, making you miss with shots. He’s letting you know when he hits you with a good shot.
“Every good shot that he lands, he’s going to let Lopez know that he knows he landed. I see him busting Lopez up, and around 8th or 9th rounds, we’ll see a towel or a stoppage.
“And I think we’re going to see a statement from Lomachenko on Saturday night and a big one. I rate Lopez highly, I really do. I believe he’s [Lomachenko] going to catch up to him and look to put a beating on him.
“And I see a little bit of taunting, and I believe he’s going to go out there and look to put on a proper show,” said Crolla in predicting Lomachenko taunts Teofimo.
Lomachenko has taken a lot of the stuff said about him too personally, and he hasn’t rolled with the punches. He’s not used to Teofimo and his dad, Teofimo Sr, who are from New York, and they have a different way of interesting.
In New York, people are more direct, and that’s jarring for some who aren’t from that area.
Lomachenko can’t get complacent
“I think it’s key that Lomachenko doesn’t get complacent, and it’s a real difficult one,” said trainer Ben Davison.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Lomachenko really takes over and starts going through the gears, and it becomes a one-sided dominant performance.
“But I wouldn’t be overly surprised if he gets a little bit complacent and walks into one as well,” said Davison.
Lomachenko, 32, likes to showboat a little too much in his fights, and that makes him vulnerable at times. The time-time Olympic gold medalist appears to switch off mentally and get bored when he’s outboxing his opponents.
Lomachenko was fighting to outwork or stop his opposition in the amateur ranks, but those were shorter fights. Loma was forced to battle hard every minute in those matches.
But in the pro ranks, Lomachenko has 12 rounds to work with, and he starts showboating once he’s figured out his opponents. It’s when Lomachenko is showboating that he gets hit a lot.
On Saturday, Lomachenko will need to stay focused and play it seriously the entire time because Teofimo hits too hard for him to get careless. Lomachenko isn’t fighting Nicholas Walters or Miguel Marriaga.
Unlike those guys, Teofimo isn’t going to give up and stop trying to win mentally. He’s going to be mentally shifting gears and going after Lomachenko until the end.
Loma will need to stay focused and make sure that he doesn’t run out of gas because Teofimo can still punch even late in his fights. It might work against Lomachenko if he’s expecting his showboating to cause Lopez to quit like Marriaga, Jason Sosa, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Walters all did.
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