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Teofimo Lopez Jr. vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko results, takeaways: Lopez backs up conversation as ‘Loma’ fights early

In boxing’s biggest fight since the global COVID-19 pandemic, Teofimo Lopez Jr. won. a lightweight World Cup match against Vasiliy Lomachenko in a rather shocking sadness. The common thinking before the fight was that Lopez could only beat Lomachenko by knockout, with Lomachenko being the better “pure” boxer in the fight.

Instead, Lopez won a wide decision as Lomachenko slowly came out of the gate and gave laps away from the jump, letting his younger, more dynamic and obviously bigger opponent pile up an early lead. In the end, Lopez walked away with the WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight world championships, while Lomachenko was left wondering how his game plan coming into the match will ultimately change the biggest match of his career.

Here are the three big takeaways from the massive lightweight association that saw Lopez establish himself as a man among the sports elite.

Lomachenko shot himself in the foot

One of the standard talking points about Lomachenko is that he is willing to give a round or two away to “download”

; data about his opponent. It is not unique to Lomachenko and is actually very typical of elite boxers. What he could not afford to do against Lopez, however, was to give away half of the fight against a true elite opponent. Lopez is not just “an opponent”, he is a rare elite talent who was ready to face without a doubt the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet despite being only 23 years old.

So when Lopez knocked round after round in the first half of the match, it started to feel like Lomachenko let the biggest match of his career slip away. During an association match on ESPN, Lomachenko landed single-digit strokes round after round, while the young stud was able to ease into a match under the brightest lights he has ever seen. There is an elite boxer who wants to find out your opponent and who lays an egg while the world watches. Unfortunately for Lomachenko, his performance fell into the latter category.

Lopez delivered several years of trash talk

It’s hard to save a situation where you – and your very obvious father – spent many years in the trash and talked and pounded a pound-for-pound good about how you have his number. Coming short with a poor performance is the kind of thing that is hard to come back from. If Lopez had been overwhelmed by the moment or been pulled by the man considered the best fighter in the sport, it would have been hard to come back from years of great talk and refer Lopez to a potential boxing version of Brian Bosworth.

But Lopez never looked overwhelmed at the moment. When Lomachenko was willing to give away early rounds, Lopez gladly put points. When Lomachenko started coming on late in the final third of the match, Lopez delivered a giant round 12 that showed he could compete with the best of the best when it matters most. This was a massive performance in the greatest moments for Lopez as he took control of the history of his career and simply beat Lomachenko without much doubt.

Let’s hold on to a rematch

Somewhere boxing never fails to shoot itself in the foot holding endless rematch. Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder have spent much of 2020 on a dance around a completely unnecessary rematch, while more appealing matches have been available. Lopez beat Lomachenko, there is no real doubt about that. We can play “What if?” game about Lomachenko who chooses to step up and fight earlier in the fight. But he did not. He gave laps away to a younger enemy who had spent years driving him down. It is not an effort that requires an immediate rematch.

For all the talk about the broadcast of the fight for “four belts”, Lopez vs. Lomachenko a fight for three of the four recognized world lightweight championships. Lopez was quick to call WBC champion Devin Haney out after his win. Lopez, who fought with Haney to unite all four recognized world championships, would be a very interesting and meaningful match. Let Lomachenko fight his way back to a title shot – consider it a fine to give rounds to the lightweight second elite under the brightest lights of the boxing “pandemic era.” The last thing the sport needs is to be pulled down by promotional shenanigans again.

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