By Mark Eisner: The younger fighter Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) was too young and too strong for Vasily Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) in beating him by a decisive 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night to become the undisputed lightweight champion at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Loma rallied in the second half of the contest, but Teofimo sealed the victory by hurting him in the 12th round with a big shot. Teofimo went all out in that round, and Lomachenko couldn’t handle the power.
After tasking Teofimo’s power in the first round, the 32-year-old Lomachenko, who looked closer to 40, went into his turtle shell and gave away the first half of the fight.
When Lomachenko finally did start showing a little bit of life in the 8th, he was far behind and in need of a knockdown or knockout to win. That didn’t happen, and he ended up tasting defeat for the second time in his career.
The scores were 116-112, 119-109, and 117-111. Boxing News 24 scored it for Teofimo 117-111. The 119-09 score was a little too wide in Teofimo’s favor, seeing that he didn’t appear to win 11 rounds the way the judge scored it.
Lomachenko fought reasonably well in rounds 8, 9, 10, and 11, but he didn’t sweep those rounds, as Teofimo landed the harder shots and appeared to hurt him to the body in the 10th.
Lomachenko looked scared to let his hands go in rounds one through six, and he lost the fight by not at least trying to win some of those rounds. The size, speed, youth, and power of Teofimo looked like it was too much for Lomachenko.
If Teofimo was smaller and weaker, Lomachenko would have dominated him like he’d been doing with his other opponents at 135.
The hand speed of Teofimo gave Lomachenko problems, as well as his body punching. Lomachenko was using a lot of head movement, but it was useless with the shots to the body that Teofimo was throwing.
It would be good to see a rematch between Loma and Teofimo if Top Rank wants to run it back again in 2021. There would be a lot of boxing fans that would like to see them fight again.
Lomachenko is probably disappointed for his slow start in the fight, as he might have won if he’d fought hard in the first six rounds. But we don’t know if Loma came into the fight with an injury or if he felt uncomfortable with the punching power of Teofimo.
In the first round, Teofimo caught Lomachenko with a right hand to the head that had knockout written all over it. The shot was the same type that Teofimo hurt Richard Commey with last December in the second round.
In this case, Lomachenko took it, but he appeared to go into his shell after that, and he stayed there until the 8th By that point, it was too late for Lomachenko to win a decision, and he should have gone all out, which he didn’t do.
Again, Lomachenko was perhaps afraid of getting clipped by the bigger and much stronger Teofimo. Lomachenko wanted to win, but his mind wouldn’t let him take the risks that he needed to.
Arnold Barboza Jr defeats Alex Saucedo
In the co-feature bout, undefeated light welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr (25-0, 10 KOs) defeated Alex Saucedo 30-2, 19 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision.
Barboza Jr was dropped in round seven, but he still fought well the rest of the way. The scores were 96-93, 97-92, and 97-92.
“This was like a championship fight to me,” said Barboza. “It’s all because of my father, not me. I did this for the kids and my father. My dream is to get a house for my kids. I came that much closer today. I want a championship fight. No more messing around. No more tune-up fight.”