Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez Title Fight Preview
There are only a handful of boxers alive today that illicit the same buzz as Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lomachenko is likely to go down as one of the all-time greats, although you might not think it given his 14-1 record with 10 knockouts. The 32-year-old Ukrainian is considered the best or second-best pound-for-pound boxer in the world by nearly everyone, and he will look to add another belt to his waist this Saturday when he takes on Teofimo Lopez. Lopez is a sizable underdog per the boxing betting odds, but he is 15-0 with 12 knockouts in his career.
This lightweight unification title fight will take place on Saturday, October 17, from the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Coverage will start at 10 p.m. ET with the undercard featuring Arnold Barboza Jr. and Alex Saucedo. A fight of this magnitude would typically be an exclusive PPV event, but it will be broadcast on ESPN for anyone to watch.
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez Betting Odds
Vasiliy Lomachenko -420
Teofimo Lopez +340
Rounds: Over 10.5 -185, Under 10.5 +155
It’s hard to find the right adjectives to describe Lomachenko’s storied career. He is the most decorated amateur boxer of the modern era. Lomachenko posted an absurd record of 396-1 across the featherweight and lightweight divisions before turning pro, and he has several gold medals. Lomachenko claimed the gold medal in the featherweight division at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and he followed that up by winning gold in the lightweight division at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Additionally, he won gold medals in both weight classes at the world championships, and his silver medal finish at the 2007 World Championships was his only loss as an amateur.
That kind of success meant Lomachenko didn’t have to deal with rising the ranks as a professional. His first fight as a pro was for the WBO International featherweight belt, and he made short work of Jose Ramirez to win that belt. Lomachenko was stunned in his next fight though, losing a split decision to Orlando Salido for just the second loss of his entire career. In his third bout, he bounced back to beat Gary Russell Jr. for the WBO featherweight belt, and he was off and running from there.
Since that victory, Lomachenko has gone on to win five more titles. He moved up to junior lightweight and dispatched of five different contenders within nine rounds, and then he began his domination at lightweight back in May 2018. Lomachenko has defeated Jorge Linares, Jose Pedraza, Anthony Crolla, and Luke Campbell to currently hold the WBA, WBO, and The Ring lightweight belts. His power hasn’t been as devastating at lightweight though, as two of his four victories came by decision.
Teofimo Lopez was not as accomplished of an amateur boxer as Lomachenko, but he won the US Olympic Trials in 2016 and claimed the 2015 National Golden Gloves. That led to him turning pro shortly after the 2016 Summer Olympics at the age of 19.
Lopez finished four of his first five opponents in the second round, and that led to a relatively quick title shot. He made the most of the opportunity by winning the WBC Continental Americas lightweight belt over William Silva in July 2018, and he added another strap by beating Mason Kenard in a first-round knockout that December.
He continued to look dominant in victories over Diego Magdaleno, Edis Tatli, and Masayoshi Nakatani. Those wins led to Lopez earning his first major fight in December 2019, as he took on Richard Commey for the IBF lightweight belt. Lopez landed a devastating right hand to beat Commey in the second round by TKO, setting up a date with Lomachenko.
While Lopez is a talented boxer with a bright future, Lomachenko is on an entirely different level. He has superb footwork and his tendency to switch stances gives him an enormous amount of ring control. Lomachenko has the power to send opponents to the canvas if they try to get inside on him, and that should lead to a knockout win for the Ukrainian.