Boxing: Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez preview and pick
Boxing's present will face its future, when Vasyl Lomachenko takes on Teofimo Lopez on Saturday, Oct. 17.
We have you covered with a preview and a pick for the big fight.
Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez
Sun, October 18 2020, 3:00 AM
Lomachenko's incredible talents have seen him conquer three weight classes, but many consider Lopez to be his biggest challenge yet. A skilled sharpshooter, who can easily transition from defense to offense, Lomachenko has an uncanny ability to fire at odd angles and keep himself away from the danger of a counter shot. There is no doubt Lomachenko has more skill than Lopez may ever have, and the Ukrainian will need it.
Considering Lopez's power, Lomachenko needs a disciplined performance, by constantly turning the bigger fighter and peppering him with shots. The odds suggest Lomachenko should run away with this fight, but they don't tell the whole story.
What is troubling for Lomachenko is that, at lightweight, he will take considerably more punishment, despite his tactical excellence. Lomachenko came out of fights with Jose Pedraza and Luke Campbell — fighters well below his level — looking like he was blindsided in a bar fight. Lomachenko was also troubled by the speed of a fading Jorge Linares, though he scored a knockout while behind on the cards.
Lopez could easily be fighting at junior welterweight. He is the biggest puncher Lomachenko has faced, with deceptive skills and unparalleled motivation to win. Lomachenko can stick and move for 12 rounds to flummox Lopez en route to a decision, but he's bound to stand and fight. If at any point they stand and trade, Lopez's chances for a knockout increase exponentially.
It is incredibly hard to bet against Lomachenko in most cases. The Ukrainian possesses too many tools to be outsmarted, but if he has lost a step and is going in against a fighter whose style is problematic, he might find himself in the kind of physical fight he needs to avoid.
Lomachenko will get drawn into a war of attrition with Lopez, and those big shots will shut him down for a shocking 10th-round TKO upset.