Next week is the week where the hardcore viewers of the sport get their blockbuster, as dangerous unbeaten IBF Lightweight Titlist 🇺🇸Teofimo “Takeover” Lopez (15-0-0, 12KO👊) will step on the elevator, taking it to the top floor of boxing’s skyscraper, and looking to bring credence to his nickname, by challenging the Lightweight Champion of the World & P4P Monarch 🥇🥇🇺🇦Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko (14-1-0, 10KO👊), who will put his RING-MAGAZINE, WBA, and WBO Title belts on the line (while also possessing the WBC “Franchise” Title), in pursuit of another piece to the puzzle toward completing his 📈ultimate goal.
LOMACHENKO GETS BACK TO BUSINESS – WANTS TO FURTHER UNIFY DIVISION
With 2020’s perils perpetuated by the presence of covid-19, and last-minute hard 💵negotiations taking place once boxing made its way back to our living rooms, we are very fortunate to get to this point, as this fight will be fought with no more obstacles standing in the way. For Loma, this will be his 15th consecutive Title fight in a row in a history-laden campaign spanning 3-divisions from Featherweight, to Lightweight.
Lomachenko’s (now 32 years of age) focus remains fixated on becoming an Undisputed Champion in the professional ranks, and his opponent not only has a trinket of a title in which he covets, but also has an opportunity to quiet a challenger that has constantly 🥚egged him on in the last couple of years, looking to work his way into position to get this fight.
TEOFIMO GETS CHANCE OF A LIFETIME – GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY AT THE GOLD
Teofimo Lopez has been hellbent on getting the opportunity to fight the best, and he will ultimately get his 💭dream fight, looking to do everything in his power to make sure that it doesn’t result as a nightmare, which is customary for most Loma opponents. The 23 year old budding star in Lopez packs 💥serious power, quickness, and athleticism that he plans to bank on to try and win this contest, to pull off the upset as he will come in the preeminent underdog in this contest.
Lomachenko noted that he would only have had interest in fighting Lopez if he were to nab a title at the world level, so that’s exactly what Teofimo set out to do to strengthen his positioning. Lopez got his chance against quality then-world titlist 🇬🇭Richard “RC” Commey on the Crawford/Kavaliauskas undercard, and destroyed Commey within 2 rounds, getting a TKO victory, and nabbing the red belt – doing so in style.
FURTHER CONFUSION SPEARHEADED BY THE MAURICIO SULAIMAN AND THE WBC
As Loma last year defeated 🥇🇬🇧“Cool Hand” Luke Campbell to nab the WBC Lightweight belt, the general consensus was that Vasiliy Lomachenko would go the traditional route and go for the gusto to unify all the world titles together.
Then on June 26th, 2019, Sulaiman dropped a brand new belt on the boxing public that they weren’t asking for, that being the WBC “Franchise” Title, that was immediately relegated to Middleweight World Champion 🇲🇽Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Lomachenko then became the second (and only other) boxer to hold this title, which further prompted question from confused boxing fans on the new titles protocol.
A FULL EXPLANATION TO HOW THE TITLE WORKS, AND WHAT IT ULTIMATELY MEANS
No matter how you slice it, the WBC “Franchise” title does not make “complete” sense, but we can make some sense of it. The title basically makes that fighter (in the division that he occupies at the time of being awarded) a WBC Champion for the rest of his career, regardless whether he wins or loses. That last tidbit isn’t well received by fans (neither is it for us here at Project Combat), but hey, we don’t make the rules.
It also grants the recipient the privilege to walk into any WBC title fight in a differing division at his own desire, which works if they are looking to give their super-Champs perks. The verbiage used when Canelo and Lomachenko were given the titles were that they were “upgraded” to Franchise status, which means that they were graduated to a higher rank, instead of being stripped of their regular WBC titles.
🎧🎤Reporters who were eagerly seeking answers from WBC President 🕴️Mauricio Sulaiman on what that would mean for the overall title picture, shook him down and got him to answer some lingering questions. When prompted about the Undisputed picture, he stated that yes, whoever has the WBC “Franchise” Title, if he were to win the WBA, WBO and IBF titles, that they would be acknowledged as an Undisputed Champion, which makes sense given that the WBC “Franchise” Title sticks with you as a fighter throughout till retirement.
Now with all that being said, it means that Lomachenko vs. Lopez 📍(upon revelation by Mauricio Sulaiman, and the WBC’s involvement), will produce an Undisputed Lightweight World Champion – something that people were worried about once this title crept into the picture, and Lomachenko opting to take it. You can essentially deem this Lightweight showdown as pivotal in having ALL the chips on the table for the winner.
EXTRA INCENTIVE IN TITLES, & ANIMOSITY
It has been made abundantly clear by both fighters that they do not particularly like each other, most of that coming from 🔊Teofimo’s side, as he finds Vasiliy to be arrogant and pompous, who also holds all of the chips that Teo would love to take from him. Lomachenko initially had no ill will towards Teofimo, but after Lopez nonstop quotes and taunts over the last couple of years, Vasiliy decided to 👂hear what’s said, and internalize them to try and prove a point to his opponent and turn his words against him come Saturday night.
In all of professional sports, whenever there is organic “honest” animosity towards one another, it tends to create a more special outcome – especially in boxing, and this fight all but promises to produce some riveting moments for boxing fans who have been starving to see a major fight (on the men’s side) since the coronavirus pandemic hit worldwide.
Fortunately for all of us, this will NOT be shown on the ESPN+ app – instead, it will be on 📺REGULAR ESPN for everyone to tune in to a high stakes fight, that all but guarantees a good deal of action to manifest, tune in for the mega bout.