This is the first article of a new series I am starting where I make fight predictions for boxing and MMA. This prediction is for Lomachenko vs. Lopez which is happening October 17th on ESPN.
First, this is going to be a great fight for fans. This is a title unification bout that will be shown, not on pay-per-view, but ESPN. It’s between the two most exciting fighters in the division.
Vasyl Lomachenko is widely considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the game. Teofimo Lopez might be the hardest puncher to ever stalk the lightweight division.
Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) is considered the best pound-for-pound boxer alive. The hype is justified in my opinion. Loma had close to 400 amateur bouts and two Olympic Gold medals before he turned pro. He is a three-weight division world champion. He currently holds the WBA, WBO and The Ring lightweight belts. Loma earned the nickname, “The Matrix” for his technical boxing wizardry.
Teofimo Lopez (15-0) is a fiery, heavy hitter from Brooklyn. Lopez is a lightweight that punches like a heavy weight. He stopped Richard Commey in the 2nd round on December 14, 2019 to win the IBF lightweight title. Lopez deserves big respect.
I give the edge to Loma based on these factors.
Loma is the more experienced fighter. He is 32 years old with two Olympic Gold medals, almost 400 amateur fights, and experience in three professional weight divisions. More importantly he’s been tested by tough opponents. His toughest test was his second professional fight against Orlando Salido. Salido was the older, heavier, more seasoned fighter who repeatedly delivered low blows throughout the match to win a controversial decision.
Loma’s boxing ability is unmatched in any division. Loma literally makes other fighters quit in the middle of the match. He’s proven time and again that if he doesn’t knock you out, he’s a puzzle that overwhelms you.
I give mental toughness to Loma. He’s gone through difficult opponents to prove his mind is equal to his body. His only professional loss was against Orlando Salido. The fight is infuriating to watch because Salido came in over-weight, and then repeatedly cheated by throwing intentional low blows throughout the match. Neither Loma nor his corner complained, and he used the loss to become stronger.
We haven’t seen Lopez endure anything like this. So, the only way to be fair is to say I don’t know how strong he is mentally. I define a fighter’s mental strength by how well they handle adversity.
What we do know is that Lopez has a difficult family life. Like Loma, Lopez is trained by his father. However, Lopez senior has very public demons. It’s known that he’s struggled with depression and substance abuse. These types of father son relationships are as old as sports and the emotional burden can weigh on the athlete.
Despite Loma’s advantages, Lopez has a punchers chance. He’s proven that he can stop a fight with one punch. Loma shouldn’t over look this, and I doubt he is.