This Saturday night live on ESPN and ESPN+, Top Rank presents the Battle for Lightweight Supremacy as the unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1) takes on the IBF title holder Teofimo Lopez (15-0).
This is a fight of the year on paper and will be marked as a “SuperFight” by fight time.
The lightweight division is stacked with a tremendous amount of talent. Although it didn’t seem possible, Top Rank was able to get both men in the position for an undisputed bout.
As we approach the weekend, the hype train will go from 60 to 100 MPH… Let’s take a quick look at both men and some of the things to look for on Saturday night.
Teofimo Lopez is coming into this one with a ton of confidence. Adding Joey Gamache after the Masayoshi Nakatani fight was the best move Teofimo could have made. Credit to Teofimo Sr. for pushing personal pride to the side and allowing someone in to work with his son. To me, that has taken Teofimo’s game up to another level.
When he fights, two things stand out to me: the quick looping left hook and the straight right hand. These have been his weapons of choice that present themselves after doing some really good body work and establishing appropriate distance. The things to pay attention to will be how low he keeps that lead left hand and his stamina in the middle to late rounds. That low right hand can cause some trouble especially from that quick Loma right jab.
Also, Loma is going to test Teofimo’s stamina and he won’t have as many of those break opportunities that he’s been able to get with his other opponents. Teofimo will surely have his hands full but is in a battle that I believe is winnable.
Many of the boxing public and media see him as the P4P king. Loma is the master boxer in the squared circle. At Featherweight, he is probably unstoppable but at Lightweight, we have seen some chinks in the armor. Nothing wrong with that as the fighters are just simply a lot bigger at that weight class and hit harder. Loma will definitely try to use his legs to tire out Teofimo and outwork him with jabs and combinations. Loma will try to find that weak point when processing the data within the first few rounds.
I don’t think he believes he can knock out Teofimo so he will try to outwork him. The things to pay attention to with Loma would be the distance that he maintains. He also has to avoid coming straight in as often as he does. The times Loma has been vulnerable was when he miscalculated distance and he would come straight in with an open guard. Lastly, he is closer to 33 than 32 and with his extensive amateur career, one has to question whether Saturday night will be the day he gets old in the ring.
My Three Cents:
Agent Smith: Mr Anderson, welcome back, we’ve missed you. You like what I’ve done with the place?
Neo: It ends tonight.
Agent Smith: I know it does, I’ve seen it. That’s why the rest of me is just going to enjoy the show, because we already know that I’m the one that beats you. (The Matrix Revolutions)
Loma is often referred to as “The Matrix,” specifically the character Neo, who has these super-natural abilities and is able to do things most people can only imagine. This fight feels like the last scene to the “Matrix Revolutions” movie where the showdown is between Neo and Agent Smith. Teofimo is Agent Smith as he is Neo. Loma is faster, smaller and agile while Teofimo is bigger, stronger but less agile.
The battle of Neo vs Smith is a legendary one with ebbs and flows, which is what we are going to see on Saturday night. Will this be the end of Neo (Loma) in the Matrix or will Smith (Teofimo) get destroyed because of his overconfidence? The battle of these two titans takes place Saturday night and you DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT!