Andre Ward says Vasily Lomachenko proved doubters wrong, Teofimo rematch = 50/50
By Sean Jones: Andre Ward feels that Vasily Lomachenko proved he’s still in the prime of his career with his ninth round knockout win over Masayoshi Nagatani last Saturday night. Loma disarmed the dangerous 5’11 1/2″ Nakatani, knocking him down twice.
It was an efficient performance for Lomachenko, 33, as he didn’t take a lot of punishment as he had in some of his fights at 135.
The way that the former three-division world champion Lomachenko looked, creates a demand for a second fight between him and lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez.
More importantly, the fight showed the media and the fans that Lomachenko 15-2, 11 KOs) has the chance of beating Teofimo in a rematch.
Before last Saturday’s fight, many people weren’t interested in seeing him and Teofimo fight again because they felt that it would be the same result as last time.
But after Loma’s performance against Nakatani, boxing fans are now eager to see him and Teofimo fight again.
Lomachenko changed the perceptions
“Yeah, I think he answered the doubters,” said commentator Andre Ward of ESPN to Fighthype when asked if Lomachenko looked like he was still in his prime against Nakatani.
“Great fighters, they relish those moments. Less talk more action, I love to see it and I know what I’m looking at.
“That’s how a great fighter responds to any questions people may have and the questions were warranted.
When you’re an elite guy, you’re going to be looked at through an elite lens and there’s not a lot of room for air. It comes with the territory. Yeah, he did what he’s supposed to do.
“I can’t call that one, but what they did and Bob [Arum] called it,” said Ward when asked who wins the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez rematch.
“Before the fight, I didn’t think Lopez was interested in a rematch based on what he said this whole time. ‘I already did that, I’m not interested,'” said Ward.
The reality is, Teofimo doesn’t have a lot of great options for big money fights before he moves up to 140. If the talk of the ticket sales being poor for Teofimo’s fight with Kambosos Jr is true, that makes him look bad.
Top Rank would have a tough time setting up fights between Teofimo and Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, and Devin Haney.
Lomachenko is the easiest fight to make for Teofimo and his promoters at Top Rank, so it makes sense for him to take the fight with him.
Teofimo needs to impress against Kambosos
“Yeah, Loma hadn’t fought [Nakatani yet]. So then Team Lopez comes out publically,” said Ward.
“Junior [Teofimo] is the boss, so he has to confirm what his dad says, but if he confirms it, that lets you know that they want it.
“Then Loma puts on a performance like that, now it’s demanded. So it’s a different stratosphere now because the performance demands it from the media and fans.
“You got the team acknowledging it. So it’s a super fight over the horizon, but it puts more pressure on Lopez because he not only has got to win, but he’s got to show out against Kambosos because Loma certainly did tonight.
“No, there’s no favorite,” said Ward when asked if there’s a favorite in his eyes in the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo rematch.
“Normally in normal circumstances, you’d give the champion Lopez the edge, but Loma looking like he did tonight, I think it’s a 50-50 fight,” said Ward.
The size advantage that Teofimo has going for him against Geroge Kambosos Jr will likely be more than enough for him to win that fight easily.
With Kambosos’ excellent chin and punch resistance, he could drag Teofimo into the second half of the fight and make him look bad. Kambosos will likely lose, but he can embarrass Teofimo if he makes it into the championship rounds.
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