By Jon Uddin🖊️ | 10/20/2020
We got 12 rounds of championship boxing before crowning a new king of the lightweight division, so here are 12 quick thoughts from this past weeks boxing action.
- Wrong! Heading into this matchup I favored Vasiliy Lomachenko by decision. Did I think it was impossible for Teofimo Lopez to pull the upset? No. But I definitely felt the edge was held by the more experienced vet. I believed Lomachenko just needed to navigate the dangerous early rounds and once he did that, he would own the brash 23 year old from Brooklyn.
2. A dud? I’ve seen some (media and fans) say that after all the build up this fight fell flat for them. As expected in their eyes the blame for this falls on the shoulders of Lomachenko, for not letting his hands go in the early rounds. I can see their side of things, but, even in those early rounds I was glued to my television knowing that at any moment we could have fireworks, particularly if Lopez landed a crushing shot. The fight won’t be archived with any legendary battles of boxing past, but between the tension of the early rounds, and the exchanges late I was entertained.
3. More than just power. A knockout. That was the only path that I and many other boxing observers saw for Teofimo Lopez to defeat the Ukrainian three division champion. However, the presumably unthinkable was done as Lopez displayed his boxing ability en route to a unanimous decision victory and becoming the youngest four belt champion in history.
4. Overrated. Apparently that’s what the three division champion who totes two Olympic gold medals has been over the past seven years of his pro career. Sometimes it’s funny to see the ridiculous takes we get from boxing fans, but all you have to do is look at Lomachenko’s opposition to know this officially goes into the ridiculous box.
5. The “Takeover” is underway. The power and explosiveness was never a question for Lopez. What we know now is that he carries those two things along with a high boxing IQ and mental toughness, all future opponent are now on notice.
6. Cocky? This is a label that was planted on Lopez from the beginning, as he has never been lost for words, a trait he shares with his even more outspoken father. After Saturday’s performance perhaps it’s time to move the cocky meter to confident as he has backed up his talk and stands firm in his belief of his destiny to greatness.
7. Head strong. Boxing fans and media became licensed psychologists and body language experts all week leading up to the fight. Much was made of any sudden twitch, shift of the eyes, and who looked away first at weigh in (it was Lopez). By the end of the fight we realized that Lopez didn’t have an ounce of fear in him and was ready for the moment. Lopez never had any mental lapses and didn’t lose his way, staying composed when the crafty veteran found his rhythm and turned up the heat.
8. The Closer. Feeling his moment was near, Lopez was not content to take his father’s advice of just out boxing Lomachenko in the 12th and final round. Lopez was assertive and brought the fight, putting the results in his own hands. Although the highlight reel knockout he is known for didn’t present itself, he still closed the show by winning the round on aggressiveness.
9. Going up? While many wonder if a rematch looms, it seems highly unlikely. For one there was no clause built into the original contract, secondly with Teofimo bursting at the seams weight wise, Team Lopez seem ready to take the elevator up to the Super-Lightweight division, a fight with Devin Haney being the one encounter they are interested in hanging around at 135 for.
10. Going down? Lomachenko can still make 130 with ease and with plenty of good fights to make there it seems probable that we see him make the move down. With Miguel Berchelt and Shakur Stevenson owning hardware, the matchups at Super-Featherweight should entice him and boxing fans alike.
11. One and done. Top Rank matchmakers can’t seem to find a dance partner that can make it to the end of the first round against Super middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga. The power Berlanga carries is real but unfortunately the depth in the division is not. Names like “Porky” Medina and Ronald Gavril, both grizzled vets, will be thrown out there but in my opinion their both sitting ducks for the heavy handed Brooklyn based 23 year old. In my opinion Berlanga may not be challenged until he faces a younger fighter who presents good footwork, someone like an Anthony Sims, but who’s to say Sims handlers are anxious for that? Maybe a vet like Jose Uzcategui can at least test Berlnaga’s chin?
12. Did you see the fight? Outside of Teofimo Lopez’s strong outing, the other news from that fight was the lopsided scorecard of Julie Lederman who turned in a score of 119-109 in favor of Lopez. While few if any will argue that Lopez did enough to win, few if any will agree with Lopez winning 11 of the 12 rounds in the fight. I couldn’t help but notice Lopez’s team and backers who were present let their voice be heard anytime he seemingly landed something of note. This was way more prominent than it would have been with a normal boxing crowd present, and could have potentially made her think she saw something that wasn’t there in a couple of rounds. This scenario only relates to the lopsided card of Lederman as I think Teofimo was the rightful winner, but an account should be given for the score she arrived at.