Sparring Session🥊🥊: (Week of October 17th)

By Jon Uddin & Tré Berry III🖊️🖊️ | 10/14/2020

Tré Berry and Jon Uddin goes deep into thought about the impact of the upcoming Vasiliy Lomachenko/Teofimo Lopez contest, the interesting dynamic between both father-son / fighter-trainer relationships between the Lomachenko’s and the Lopez team, and what is expected of Edgar Berlanga going forward now that he is garnering a good deal of attention from his rapidly rising fanbase.



TRÉ BERRY III – This upcoming Saturday, we have a blockbuster Lightweight unification showdown between Ukranian maestro 👑🥇🥇🇺🇦Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko, and brash, confident  🇺🇸Teofimo “Takeover” Lopez Jr. that has garnered not just widespread interest in the realm of hardcore watchers, but it has also captured near universal interest from the more casual contingent of fans, sitting as a fixture for watercooler talk in all job settings, gatherings, and random conversations of likeminded individuals who enjoy combat.

A path to Undisputed Lightweight Champion culminates here as the end of the 🛣️road, with Lopez holding the IBF belt, while Lomachenko brings with him the WBA, WBC (Franchise), and WBO titles.  Me personally, this is the most excited that I have been about any boxing match within the last half-a-decade, and from where I stand, all arrows point to us getting a guaranteed high action, entertaining scrap throughout the bout.  As for you, when was the last time that you have been this excited about a contest and its lead-up to the fight?

JON UDDIN – This was a close decision for me but I’ll go with another Lomachenko fight, that being his 2017 matchup with 🥇🥇🇨🇺Guillermo Rigondeaux for Loma’s WBO Super-Featherweight crown. A title being on the line is always a staple of a big matchup, but in that fight, so much more was on the line than the hardware as nearly the entire boxing community viewed that fight as the battle for pound for pound supremacy.

It’s up for debate, but Lomachenko is still viewed by many as the pound for pound king, and a win making him Undisputed Lightweight Champion over the younger, hungry, and naturally bigger Lopez should solidify that spot. As for Lopez, becoming Undisputed Champion with a win over Lomachenko is career defining, and puts him in the top 10 pound for pound, but not number one, as he doesn’t own the catalog of wins Loma does.

I expect a tactical battle here, not all out toe to toe war, but it should still be edge of your seat type stuff as there will be spurts of action and Teofimo can change the whole night up with one shot. Another interesting note is that this is the first fight since Rigondeaux, where Loma has shown irritation towards his opponent as the brash Lopez has continuously taken verbal shots, letting everyone know there is no love lost. Undisputed status, pound for pound stakes, and good old fashioned mutual contempt, what’s not to love about this one?



TRÉ BERRY III – Equally as intriguing at this fight is, I find it astonishing how differently each Head-Trainer (both fathers of their respective fighters) conduct their business in terms of how they guide their sons, and in how their personalities shape their conduct.  What do you think of the wide contrasting differences between the two leading tandems, and what makes 🇺🇦Anatoly Lomachenko and 🇭🇳🇺🇸Teofimo Lopez Senior polar opposites in their approach to the sport, and in how they convey their messaging to the masses?

JON UDDIN – Polar opposite approaches seems like an understatement here as you may be able to count on one hand, and may not need the whole hand, the amount of times we have heard Anatoly speak. In contrast the boisterous Teofimo Sr is never short on quotables and isn’t shy about sharing them on camera.

While the Lopez style may annoy and rub some fans the wrong way, it feeds the marketing beast of boxing and as long as it’s backed up in the ring it makes a promoters job easier. Does anybody think Lopez cares what people think of his brashness? Hell no. But he does know how it helps on the end of selling tickets and since it flows naturally for him all the better.

Anatoly’s quiet demeanor is just as natural as the bombastic one of Lopez. Popachenko loves the sport, but approaches it scientifically, to a tedious level some would say. But the proof is in the product, and the track record and in ring performances of his son do the talking.

Popachenko is respected in boxing but he chooses not to steal or even share in the spotlight before or after his son fights. In Lopez’s case he has become sought after for his trash talk and guarantees which has garnered plenty of attention for him and Jr. thus far. People will be ready to pounce if/when a loss comes. It may be even more interesting to hear him during adversity.



TRÉ BERRY III – Intriguing powerpunching budding Super-Middleweight prospect 🇵🇷Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga has been making his presence felt as a frequent addition to undercards on Top-Ranks banner on marketable headliners.  Up to this point, Berlanga’s drawing hook to the public has been in him mowing down opponents with his vaunted power, knocking all 14 of his opponents out in the first round – and also as a Puerto Rican young prospect during a time where Puerto Rico is starving for representation, as there are no Champions at all currently on the men’s side of the sport.

The conundrum he faces is that while fans enjoy knockouts (which he has delivered in abundance in the 1st round), you as a boxer and entertainer can sometimes get sidetracked into that narrative over constant improvement in the ring by facing multiple situations, especially as a young guy.  What would you like to see Edgar Berlanga do next, pending on if he wins his fight on Saturday against 🇺🇸Lanell Bellows?

JON UDDIN – In all honesty face a durable vet. Someone proven durable that can survive rounds not just on the merits of toughness, but on defense as well. Who provides that at 168 right now? I’m not sure.  I’m curious as to how he will react when an opponent feels his power and keeps coming. Sooner or later we will see how how Berlanga’s endurance and conditioning hold up as he goes deeper in fights, as well as how well he catches when taking return fire from a power puncher.

I’m really curious to what Top Rank has planned for Berlanga in 2021. They may get aggressive with his matchmaking in hopes of putting him in the mix for title by next fall. The older vets like a Ronald Gavril, Porky Medina, and Roamer Alexis Angulo are tough guys, but also sitting ducks in their styles. Could he be matched up against a vet that packs a punch like Jose Uzcategui, or other up and comers in the division like Anthony Sims and Vladimir Shishkin?

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