Teofimo Lopez Jr: He Talked It & Walked It

Teofimo Lopez Sr. once boldly proclaimed his son would win a belt by his 15th fight. He was right. He said his son by his 16th fight would have all of the belts, when they “beat the shit out of Lomachenko”. One thing is clear, we cannot call the elder Lopez a liar. When all the dust had settled and all the smoke had cleared, there was a new lightweight king. At just 23 years old, Teofimo Lopez became the youngest four belt champion since the creation of the WBO in 1988. To many, this would be considered an upset. Going into the fight, many felt that the experience of Lomachenko would carry the day and lead him to victory. Lopez had other plans.

Over the first half of the fight, Lopez used his size to keep Lomachenko at bay. He kept the smaller Lomachenko at the end of his jab while banging away at his body to try and slow Lomachenko down. Lomachenko did not help matters at all by providing minimal offensive output early on. Probably feeling he was behind (and he was) something awoke in Lomachenko in round 7. That is the round where we saw the fighter that we were accustomed to seeing. He was throwing his trademark combinations, and keeping the pressure constant on the young challenger. Once the 11th round came around, it seemed that Lopez might crack under the pressure. He was tired and Lomachenko was surging. To his credit, Lopez dug in and dug deep. He fought the 12th round as if the verdict of the fight was up in the air. He came out aggressive, took the fight to Lomachenko and sealed up the victory.

The final scorecards were 116-112, 117-111, and an absurd score of 119-109. Regardless, the verdict was correct and Teofimo Lopez was awarded a unanimous decision victory. With the victory, Lopez picked up the WBA/WBO/Ring Lightweight titles, and cemented himself as boxing’s next star. The “Takeover” was complete.

What’s Next?

For Lopez, he is now the king of the division, which gives him his pick of whomever he likes. There are names such as Gervonta Davis, Luke Campbell, Ryan Garcia, or even a rematch with Lomachenko. It seems however that he made his intentions very clear. He called out Devin Haney, even referring to Haney as a “two-time email champion”. That would be a highly anticipated clash, but Haney has to make sure he handles his business with Yuriorkis Gamboa in November first.

Lomachecko’s future is not as clear. I think the general public (myself included) would like to see a rematch considering the competitive nature of this bout. The problem is 1.) There was no rematch clause so Lopez does not have to agree to another bout. 2.) This was Lomachenko’s last contracted bout with Top Rank, making him a promotional free agent. Should he choose to sign with another promotion, that could hurt his chances at securing a rematch or getting opponents via Top Rank (especially since most promoters like to make fights in house.) A move back to super featherweight could also be a possibility, especially with many feeling that he was undersized to be able to handle the elite fighters at lightweight.

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