Gifted prospect and top-contender 🇺🇸Teofimo Lopez (14-0-0, 11KO) goes 12 rounds for the first time as he was forced to by the IBF’s top-contender 🇯🇵Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1-0, 12KO), coming over from Japan to put on a game effort, but didn’t quite put together enough moments in action to overcome Lopez for the decision.
The scorecards were way too wide and not reflective at all on how the fight mapped out, but throughout the first 2/3rd’s of the fight, Nakatani displayed some canny ability to vary up his attack, and get the long right hand to land effectively against Teofimo’s shell defense that wasn’t properly used, with his backhand not in the correct position to pick off the incoming rights while his left hand stayed low to protect the body. Teofimo later on realized that added feints and movement stifled and froze Nakatani in place, making him more susceptible to his right hands and left hooks, so he essentially rode that wave to tack on the points he needed in the last 4 rounds of the fight. With this victory secured, Teofimo is now all-but-guaranteed a shot with power-punching dynamo & IBF World Titlist 🇬🇭Richard Commey (29-2-0, 26KO) as the second leg of the Lightweight unofficial tournament that is currently underway.
THE COLD HARD TRUTH – Teofimo Lopez is a good, solid prospect, but it is very obvious that he is still green behind the ears and is in the process of learning his craft, so the talk in the boxing pantheon with comparisons to someone like a ♛🥇🥇🇺🇦Vasiliy Lomachenko have no merit, and has no place AT ALL, so that has to be cut directly at the source. At this point in time, he is 2-dimensional, with much room to grow in his technique and his boxing IQ, and for his maturation, there comes a point where you can’t, and shouldn’t rely on your God-given ability to punch. The focus needs to be on your variation of attacks, and being able to identify what is in front of you. The good thing about tonight is that this was the first time that Teofimo has fought a full-on 12 round fight, and it came in the variety where he had to experience some push back from a suitable opponent who proved himself to be a good contender tonight on a global stage. The potential troubling news though however for Teofimo is that while he is trying to learn on the job at an accelerated rate, his time is essentially up, as he is now pit in a position to face the big time…and one wonders if he can mature enough in various areas of his arsenal in time for a dangerous, athletic skilled Champion like Richard Commey. That is entirely up to Teofimo & his team to try and reach that plateau before that fight ultimately comes about.