For the first time since the COVID-19 Pandemic began, boxing fans have a truly elite-level fight to get excited about. Vasyl Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez is the type of matchup that has become increasingly rare in the sport of boxing: the consensus best in the division squaring off to establish supremacy. With Lomachenko holding the WBA, WBO, and Ring Lightweight World Championships, and Lopez having won the IBF World Championship last December, this unification bout will solidify not only divisional rule, but also determines the fighters’ place among all world class fighters on the mythical Pound-for-Pound list.
Beyond the merits of unification, this fight contains numerous classic narratives that make such contests all the more compelling. Lomachenko, the humble and professional Ukranian, has had to endure the trash-talk of a cocky Brooklynite in Lopez. There is also the sense that Lomachenko is slightly undersized at the weight, while Lopez’s bigger frame will soon outgrow the division. And though he’s only 32 years old, an extremely long amateur career positions Lomachenko as the old racehorse trying to secure his legacy against the fire of youth in 23-year-old Lopez.
Above all else, fans know it’s a truly even fight where anything can happen.
When gamblers and prediction league addicts make their picks for the winner, they’ll have more than a few factors to consider. Most professionals seem to give Lomachenko the edge based on his dazzling skill and deep reservoir of experience. Few fighters in history have been able to display the well-roundedness and fluid footwork of the two-time gold medalist. But Lopez is not an ordinary opponent. Despite having only 15 professional fights (12 of them knockouts), Lopez has shown a maturity beyond his years, placing his heavy-handed shots with precision and patience. Will Lopez be able to catch Lomachenko slipping, his sharpness perhaps worsened by the pandemic-induced layoff? Fans will remember Jorge Linares and Luke Campbell revealing vulnerabilities in Lomachenko that didn’t seem to exist in previous fights in lower weight classes. Or will Lomachenko rise to the occasion and overwhelm Lopez with tricks he’s never seen? Despite a fast rise to the top of the division, Lopez has not been immune to frustration, having to put in more effort than usual against the awkward Masayoshi Nakatani.
Who is the Off the Hook community picking? Let’s hear straight from our members:
“Loma UD. Lopez will be very dangerous early but the longer it goes the gap in ability will be evident.”
“Loma UD. Too seasoned and too much variety tactically. Don’t see Lopez following through on his threat of an aggressive gameplan, and when looking for counters he’s going to get twisted up by Loma’s feints.”
“Loma by comprehensive schooling. I think he’s going to make a statement in this one.”
“Who wins? No one. Fight ends a draw with Loma winning more rounds but getting put down twice to equal the scoring.”
“Lomachenko stops Lopez in rounds 7-9. It will be a dismantling round by round, Loma starting slow but getting more and more dominant as it goes on.”
“Too early for Lopez this. Unless Lomacheko has got really old since he’s last been in the ring, Lopez might ended up like Jeff Lacy.”
“Lomachenko shows his seasoning, Lopez will attempt to push Lomachenko back and put the pressure on, but after initial brief success he will be picked off at the end of exchanges the more the contest unfolds.
In a competitive fight Lomachenko wins on points but Lopez shows in a gutsy performance he will come again, he takes a lot of plaudits in defeat but Lomachenko most importantly takes home the belts.”
“Lopez deserves a ton of credit for taking the fight, but I can’t see anything other than a Loma UD.”
“Loma has to climb off of the canvas to win a MD.”
“I think Loma on points.but Lopez will land some big shots early on.The technical ability of Loma, as well as the experience will be the difference here, IMHO.”
“Lopez will drop Lomachenko early on, Loma gets up and rallies back, stopping Lopez with a crippling body shot in round 10.”
“Loma wins a decision but has to work for it. Lopez lands early while Loma figures him out. Some adjustments are made and Loma takes over the middle part of the fight. But the hard shots and constant pressure wear Loma down a bit and Lopez rallies late to make the cards a little closer.
“Lomachenko on points. Lopez does himself justice. Will be an entertaining fight.”
“Loma will have to survive a few scares and maybe even get up off the floor to win on points”
“Loma by late stoppage after suffering an early wobble or two.”
“I think Ultimately Loma wins a decision of late stoppage. BUT , I think he gets his chin checked at some stage.
Lopez has very good speed and power and actually disguises his shots quite well. I can see him connecting.”
“Lomachenko wins. I think the movement of Loma is going to frustrate Lopez. Ok he isn’t as rangey as Nakatani was but I think Loma being elusive is going to have a similar effect to what Nakatani was able to do. Then as the fight progresses I think we will see Loma step up the offensive. Fairly wide win for Lomachenko in my opinion.”
“I think Loma stops him in the later rounds. I think Lopez will find himself struggling to land throughout the fight and Loma’s superior footwork will pay dividends.”
“Any person who has watched Lomachenko in his last few fights will know he is on the way down. Lopez knocks him out. 100%.”
“I’m taking Loma on points like most are, but I’m far from certain on that. For me win or lose I’d like to see Loma move back to 130lbs as I think he’s miles too small at lightweight.
Lopez has got a real chance here, and I’d not be surprised to see him land something and take Loma out. I think it’s probably a little early for him, and if Loma can see out the first 6 rounds he will start to take over in the back end.”
“Lopez solves the Matrix by punching his head in.
Lopez KO inside 4.”
“I’m going to put a bet on Teo KO. We’ve seen Loma get hit and put down before, then he adapts and dominates. It’ll be tough to adapt to Teo if he starts landing.”
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