Chris Algieri: Lomachenko isn’t slipping; he’s in the wrong weight class

By Boxing News - 10/25/2020 - Comments

By Sean Jones: Chris Algieri is one of the few that doesn’t believe that Vasily Lomachenko is starting to slip following his loss to Teofimo Lopez on October 17th.

Former WBO light-welterweight champion Algieri feels that the 32-year-old Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) is fighting in the wrong weight class for his body size at 135. A lot of boxing fans agree with Algieri about Loma being too small to fight at 135.

Algieri says Lomachenko needs to return to the super featherweight division to fight guys his own size because he’s too small for the 135-pounders.

We saw how much bigger Lopez looked against Lomachenko. Teofimo had the size of a 140-pounder taking on a 130-pounder in Lomachenko, and there was no way that the Ukrainian talent could handle the size.

Algieri does whether Lomachenko is mentally slipping, as he didn’t take risks against Lopez until the second half of the fight. If Loma isn’t mentally willing to take risks, Algieri says he needs to retire from boxing.

Lomachenko isn’t slipping

Image: Chris Algieri: Lomachenko isn't slipping; he's in the wrong weight class

“I don’t think Loma is slipping. I just think he’s in the wrong weight class,” said Algieri to Fighthub. “And I think from here, he either goes back to 130 or hang it up.

“There were points in the fight where I was watching it and thinking, ‘He’s not willing to bite down on his mouthpiece and possibly go out on his shield to try and get this win.’

“When you have that in your mind, you don’t believe, you either aren’t willing to do that, you don’t think you can do it, and that could be because he’s outsized.

“Lopez is the bigger guy, or he doesn’t have it that way [mentally], then okay, retire. If you’re not willing to do that, you shouldn’t be in there. Going in half-cocked is very, very dangerous.

“Being willing to go in and get knocked out is safer than trying not to get hurt. When you try not to get hurt, that’s when you really get hurt.

“I think him going in there with that guy [Teofimo] in front of him; he was just too big, too fast, too explosive with too much power.

“So go back down to 130 where you feel more comfortable where you’ve been saying that for years or maybe that’s it,” said Algieri about Lomachenko.

Loma showed the classic signs of a fighter that didn’t want to walk through fire against a bigger guy. We saw that in Roman Gonzalez’s rematch against the bigger fight Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Lomachenko looked like he didn’t want to go through the pain required for him to fight hard early on against Teofimo.

Lomachenko not likely to beat Teofimo in rematch

Image: Chris Algieri: Lomachenko isn't slipping; he's in the wrong weight class

“I don’t know if he’ll beat Lopez in a rematch either. I don’t think it’s necessary,” Algieri said when asked if he thinks Teofimo should give Lomachenko a rematch.

“It was a great fight, and I’m curious to see what would happen if Loma started things a little bit earlier. But I don’t know if it’ll make a difference or maybe it’ll make a difference and help Lopez.

“It could create openings for those counters because even when Lopez was fighting off his back foot, he was swinging some very dangerous punches.

“He was getting right there and clipping Loma at times, which gave Loma, ‘Okay, I can’t be completely reckless.’ So I don’t know how much it would make a difference if there was a rematch.

“I also want to see Lopez against all the other top 135-pounders out there. I think the kid is a true superstar.

“Doing what he did and doing it the way he did it too. For him to box that smart, set the traps he set and counter him the way he did and outbox a boxer the way he did, that’s a different thing,” said Algieri about Teofimo’s wins over Lomachenko.

The lack of size for Lomachenko isn’t going to get any better in the second fight with Teofimo, and he could get hurt if he tries to press early. When Teofimo is fresh early in the fight, he’ll be dangerous for Lomachenko.

Algieri had Lopez winning 7 to 5

Image: Chris Algieri: Lomachenko isn't slipping; he's in the wrong weight class

“I had it 7 rounds to 5 for Lopez, but he needed to win that last round to get away with a draw,” said Algieri.

“The rounds that Teofimo won in the beginning when Loma wasn’t throwing was very distinct in who was winning the rounds. And then the rounds that Loma won were he was pressuring in 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11; it was a fight.

“They were going back and forth. Lopez was very much in the fight and was trying to win rounds. I just think he was getting outworked by Loma in those rounds.

“Lopez impressed me in the 12th round, where he bit down and was till throwing counter shots and making Loma reset just enough to win the round.

“It was clear to me that Lopez won the fight. I think the Lopez team understood their strong points. ‘We’re bigger; we’re stronger, we’re longer, we’re faster .’ It kept Loma having to reset, and then something big would happen, and he would have to start over.

“So I think he got started a lot later than he expected. When he started coming on in the eighth round, he was always too deep in the hole.

“I think he was handcuffed by the power, the speed, and the precision counter-punching by Lopez. I thought Lopez fought a brilliant fight and made the fight hard for Loma,” said Algieri.

Seven rounds to five for Lopez is the same score that a lot of boxing fans had. The judge that scored it 119-108 for Teofimo seemed to be watching a different fight than the fans.

Loma wasn’t willing to take risks early

Image: Chris Algieri: Lomachenko isn't slipping; he's in the wrong weight class

“I think Loma wasn’t willing to take the risks early,” said Chris. “Later on, he was walking through fire to get there and took big shots a well, but was able to get his shots off.

“His precision was incredible. When he did throw, he landed and landed well [44% connect rate]. But you can’t win rounds if you don’t throw punches. I thought he had Lopez hurt at times, especially to the body, in a couple of rounds.

“He [Lomachenko] was the stalker; he was pushing him back. At times, he was bullying him inside and bullying him against the ropes.

“I really do believe Loma had a good account of himself in the second half of the fight. My shoulder was hurt when I fought Pacquiao.

“I never said a word about it,” said Algieri in making light of Lomachenko’s shoulder injury excuse.

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“If you’re willing to step in the ring, then you’re 100 percent. And if it was that bad, he’d pull out. If you don’t, then I don’t care.

“I thought Loma was going to win the fight. I thought it was a little bit too early for Teofimo. It’s not disrespect for Teofimo. I just think it’s early,” said Algieri.

The decision not to take risks early in the fight showed that Lomachenko wasn’t mentally ready to fight hard. Something like that isn’t going to go away, and Lomachenko needs to think about retiring.

If moving back don to 130 doesn’t solve the problem, Loma may need to retire. Moving back down to 126 would help Lomahchenko, but he might not be able to make that weight any longer at his age.