Vasyl Lomachenko is seen by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet and in the early hours of Sunday morning, he gets another chance to prove that in the lightweight division as he faces the hard-hitting American Teofimo Lopez.
Precision Versus Power
With his sublime footwork and tremendous hand speed, Ukrainian fighter Lomachenko is a joy to watch but is also a nightmare opponent for those who share the ring with him.
A highly-decorated amateur, arguably the most successful ever, Loma fought 397 times and won 396 times. Competing in the featherweight and lightweight divisions, he won a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships, gold at the 2008 European Championships, consecutive golds at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and successive golds at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.
He is able to create obscure angles and produce rapid and accurate combinations and is flawless technically but does surrender clear power to his younger opponent here. That should not be too much of an issue, however, and Loma is rated a
1/5 shot for the win.
3/1 to cause an upset and he has registered 13 knockouts in his 15 wins to date. The 23-year-old is undefeated since turning professional back in 2016, although his future undoubtedly lies in the super lightweight division given he is huge at 135lbs, and with that size comes brutal power.
Lopez snatched the IBF world title from champion Richard Commey in devastating fashion back in December when last in action as he announced himself as a world champion with a stunning second-round stoppage.
He will need that power to stop Lomachenko running away with this contest on the scorecards. A Lopez knockout is his best hope and that is
Can Lopez Hold Off Lomachenko?
Lomachenko, 32, has longed to become the undisputed champion and, although that is not officially on the line after Devon Haney was awarded the WBC title when the Ukrainian was elevated to ‘Franchise’ champion status, this is the best in the world taking on the second-best and that hunger for legendary status is what has helped make this fight with less money on the table due to the current global pandemic.
Lomachenko’s defence and footwork are a key part to this fight, but make no mistake, there will be no reluctance from him to step forward here.
During his 14-fight unbeaten run, four times in a row his opponent retired during the fight due to his relentless barrage of combinations. Most notable of those was during the super fight with unbeaten Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux three years ago, when the well-regarded Rigondeaux quit on his stool after the sixth round.
Lopez will need to deal with the frustrations of hitting air as the elusive Lomachenko evades him, but the biggest question of all in this fight is how will the hungry young fighter cope with an opponent returning fire in such huge volume?
Lomachenko’s prohibitive odds are unappealing and punters may instead edge for a points win at
*All odds correct at time of writing