WBO, WBA, and WBC “franchise” lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko will face IBF 135-pound titleholder, Teofimo Lopez, in a bout that decides the next undisputed lightweight champion. The two champions will square off on October 17, 2020, at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card will be aired starting at 10 PM ET via ESPN.
Lopez had been calling out Lomachenko for quite some time. Loma didn’t bother answering back at Lopez at first but after the latter won the IBF lightweight belt, he has caught the eye of Lomachenko, whose goal is to become undisputed lightweight king. This bout took some time to complete and book due to the pandemic but now that it’s here, it stands to be one of the best of the year.
Lomachenko will be the best opponent that Lopez has ever faced. Meanwhile, Lopez has the skillset to become the most dangerous foe that Loma has ever fought. With a lot of bad blood between these two, fireworks are expected in what could be the 2020 Fight of the Year.
Let’s take a look at how these two fighters stack up and make our boxing betting predictions:
Vasyl Lomachenko is the WBA (Super), WBO, The Ring, and lineal lightweight champion. Loma is a three-division world champion who is widely considered as the greatest amateur boxer of all-time. As an amateur, Lomachenko had a record of 396-1 with his lone loss avenged twice. He won consecutive gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.
He made his professional debut in 2013 and captured the WBO featherweight title in only his third professional bout, tying the record for the fewest fights to win a world title. Except for his professional debut, all of his bouts have been world title fights. Lomachenko achieved main event status in only his second professional bout.
The 32-year old from Ukraine stands 5-7 tall and has a reach of 65.5 inches while fighting out of the southpaw stance. Loma has a record of 14-1 with 10 knockouts. His only loss came at the hands of Orlando Salido in his second professional bout. In his last bout, Lomachenko defeated Luke Campbell to win the WBC lightweight title on August 31, 2019.
Loma is known for his exceptional hand speed, timing, accuracy, creativity, athleticism, defense, and footwork. He is currently the no. 2 ranked pound for pound fighter by the Ring and the BWAA. Lomachenko was also the BWAA’s 2017 Fighter of the Year.
Teofimo Lopez is the current IBF lightweight champion. The Brooklyn-born son of Honduran migrants won the U.S trials for the 2016 Olympics. But since Carlos Balderas had already secured the United States’ lightweight slot, he became the alternate. He would end up trying out for the Honduran boxing team because both his parents are Hondurans. He made the team and represented Honduras in the 2016 Olympics where he lost to eventual silver medalist Sofiane Oumiha.
Lopez signed with Top Rank in 2016 and made his professional debut in the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas in November of the same year. Lopez defeated Mason Menard in a Knockout of the Year candidate in 2018, announcing his arrival in the world stage. Three fights after knocking out Diego Magdaleno for the NABA and USBA lightweight titles, he stopped Richard Commey inside two rounds to win the IBF Lightweight title in his last fight last December 14, 2019.
The 23-year old from Brooklyn, New York, is 5-8 tall and has a reach of 68.5 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. Lopez is undefeated in 15 bouts with 12 knockouts. Six out of his last seven bouts have ended in a knockout including his stoppage of Commey. He has gone 12 rounds only once in his career.
Lopez will be the hardest puncher that Lomachenko has ever faced. He could easily be fighting at 140-pounds and still knock out the opposition. The Honduran-American has deceptive skills and he has the unparalleled motivation to win. He is younger than Lomachenko and is definitely the hungrier fighter in this bout.
Both these fighters have a 15-fight professional boxing career. Loma has lost once while Lopez is undefeated. However, Lomachenko has the edge in resume over Lopez because he has fought better quality opposition. Lopez has fought only one southpaw in his pro boxing career and he’s fighting one this weekend. And Loma is no ordinary southpaw. He is only one of the best pound for pound fighters on the planet. This should be a factor in the fight.
Lopez though packs plenty of power, and he can put Loma to sleep if he connects clean with his big straight right hand. If you compare Lopez to Loma’s previous opponents, he is much like Jorge Linares who took 10 rounds for Loma to stop. The key here for Lopez is that he has both height and reach advantage. He is also nine years younger than Lomachenko so when it comes to natural physical advantages, Lopez has the edge over Lomachenko.
Both fighters are coming off the longest layoff of their careers. It will be interesting to see who is in better shape and who gets his timing first. Lopez is young and active so he may need more time to adjust. Loma’s been fighting forever, and his extensive amateur background only helps him adjust from this dormancy.
I expect a war here. However, I don’t see these fighters standing in front of each other in a brawl. This will be a very calculated war between two of the best lightweights today. Lomachenko uses his footwork and movement in order to negate Lopez’s reach advantage. He’s going to frustrate Lopez by picking his shots and making the longer fighter miss. I don’t think there will be a knockout here with Lomachenko being cautious of Lopez’s firepower.
Prediction: Vasyl Lomachenko via decision
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