Lomachenko has undergone shoulder surgery following loss to Teofimo Lopez

By Boxing News - 10/20/2020 - Comments

By Jim Maltzman: In news that won’t make Teofimo Lopez happy, Vasily Lomachenko underwent right-shoulder on Monday to repair an injury that occurred six weeks ago during training camp for his fight last Saturday night.

According to Yahoo Sports, Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) won’t resume training until the latter part of January 2021.

Lomachenko’s doctor met with him six weeks about his right shoulder problem after he hurt it in training camp. The surgery was performed last Monday night in Los Angeles, California, by Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache. He treated the 32-year-old Lomachenko after he came over to the U.S from his native Ukraine six weeks ago.

He said that Lomachenko felt pain in his injured right shoulder during the course of his fight with Teofimo, and it hurt when he would throw punches.

Arum didn’t know about Lomachenko’s injury

Loma’s surgeon told Yahoo that his injury was to the same shoulder that he had surgery on previously in the past.

What’s interesting is that Lomachenko’s longtime promoter Bob Arum Top Rank didn’t know about his shoulder injury, according to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports News. Lomachenko was a trooper and took the fight with the shoulder injury and did the best he could with one good arm.

Image: Lomachenko has undergone shoulder surgery following loss to Teofimo Lopez

“When he came in from Ukraine for his last stages of preparation for the fight, he was having some difficulty with the shoulder,” ElAttrache said to Yahoo Sports.

That was roughly six weeks before the fight, and we got him to where he was comfortable enough to train. He said he could train OK, but it continued to cause him pain during the fight.

The injury might explain why Lomachenko didn’t throw many punches in the contest’s first six rounds. There was speculation on social media during the fight Loma came into the contest injured and wasn’t able to throw punches the way he normally does.

Lomachenko didn’t reveal his injury to Arum before the contest. It would have been useful if Loma had told Arum because he could have postponed the fight until mid-2021.

Lomachenko expected to make a full recovery

“It turns out he had badly bruised the rotator cuff and chipped a piece of cartilage, which we didn’t realize at the time. But we knew he’d badly bruised the rotator cuff and badly bruised the bone where the rotator cuff attaches to the shoulder,” Dr. ElAttrache said.

“He had what we call a hemorrhagic thickened bursitis…On the inside of the shoulder where he had previously dislocated the shoulder, he had chipped the cartilage on the inside of the socket. That was right next to the [previous] repair so I did a small touch-up of the repair. I wouldn’t expect he’d have any limitation after this one for what we were able to do.”

Lomachenko’s shoulder injury news is bad for Teofimo, and it now makes it even more necessary for him to give him a rematch. I mean, Teofimo isn’t going to get any credit from boxing fans now after they find out that Lomachenko fought with an injured shoulder.

Image: Lomachenko has undergone shoulder surgery following loss to Teofimo Lopez

To get full credit, Teofimo will have to fight Lomachenko in early 2021 and prove that he can beat him injury-free. Understandably, Lomachenko hasn’t said anything about wanting a rematch. Immediately after the fight, Lomachenko wasn’t in the position to talk about a rematch.

It’s safe to assume that Lomachenko will be demanding a rematch once his right shoulder has healed and he’s ready to resume training. That could be bad for Teofimo because he barely beat an injured Lomachenko. If Lomachenko was able to come close to beating Teo with one arm, what are his chances of success with two healthy shoulders?

Teofimo won’t receive credit from fans now

Lomachenko obviously knew at the time that his shoulder was injured, and he perhaps realized that there’s uncertainty when having surgery on that kind of problem.

Former WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko lost to IBF champ Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The scores were 116-112, 119-109, and 117-111.

Image: Lomachenko has undergone shoulder surgery following loss to Teofimo Lopez

All the credit that Teofimo has gotten since his victory will now be viewed as undeserving by boxing fans, who will see his win as tainted because he did it against an injured fighter.

What makes Teofimo look especially bad is Lomachenko got the better of him in rounds 7 through 11, and that was with one arm.

The news of Lomachenko’s injury, which was a preexisting one, puts a damper on the celebrations of Teofimo and his fans. The boxing world has crowned Teofimo as the king of the 135-pound division and the new star in the sport. Unfortunately, this revelation about Lomachenko’s bad shoulder injury spoils the party.

Now it appears that Teofimo’s victory was helped by Lomachenko being injured, making you wonder whether he could have beaten a healthy Loma.

Loma almost beat Lopez with an injured shoulder

Image: Lomachenko has undergone shoulder surgery following loss to Teofimo Lopez

Even though Lomachenko fought with an injured right shoulder, many boxing fans had him winning five rounds. Of course, not with the set of judges that worked the fight. They were giving most of the rounds for Teofimo, even the championship rounds.

Arum told ESPN earlier today that he thought it would be a good idea for Lomachenko to move back down to super featherweight [130] because he felt that the lightweights were too big for him. But if Lomachenko was fighting with an injured shoulder, size has nothing to do with losing to Teofimo.

In Lomachenko’s previous fight, he beat the 5’9″ Luke Campbell, who is bigger than Teofimo, and punches almost as hard. Lomachenko looked sensational in beating Campbell, but he was healthy at the time. That’s the difference.

We’ll have to see what Lomachenko wants to do now with his career. Maybe he doesn’t want to fight Teofimo again. I have a hard time believing that, but anything is possible.

It will work in Teofimo’s favor if Lomachenko doesn’t fight him again because there would be no chance of him losing. At the same time, Lomachenko has muddied the water with his shoulder surgery being revealed. There’s no way that Teofimo comes out of this looking good.

Teofimo will need to beat Lomachenko again

Image: Lomachenko has undergone shoulder surgery following loss to Teofimo Lopez

You’ve got to feel sorry for Lopez, as he’s been walking about like a proud peacock since beating Lomachenko last Saturday, and now his win lost all meaning. The only thing that boxing fans learned from last Saturday’s fight is that Teofimo is good enough to beat an injured Lomachenko but just barely.

In a rematch, it’s anyone’s guess who wins. Common sense would tell you that a healthy Lomachenko beats Teofimo, and perhaps even stops him.

If Teofimo chooses to stubbornly resist giving Lomachenko a rematch, then his worries are over. He’ll never have to prove himself again. The downside of Teofimo taking that immature stance is obvious. He would own a tainted victory, and he’ll never receive credit from fans that he seems to badly want.

In looking at social media, Teofimo’s loyal boxing fans are taking the news of Lomachenko’s shoulder injury really hard. It’s going to take some time for them to accept that Teofimo didn’t beat Lomachenko at his best. For him to do that, he’ll need to give Loma a rematch with him completely healthy.