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PICK EM FRIDAY | LOMACHENKO VS. LOPEZ!

Paul J Daley – LOMACHENKO DECISION – 2020 will not be a year that is reflected upon with fondness for our sport but instead as one that as decimated the boxing landscape with high profile fights failing to materialise, falling by the wayside leaving us fight fans in a miserable slumber. But all is not lost, in the darkness that are rays of light, none more radiant than the contest involving the ‘King’ Vasyl Lomachenko and his hope to be successor ‘Prince’ Teofimo Lopez who will entwine skillsets tomorrow night.

Vasyl’s dominance in the amateurs made its transition to the paid ranks seamlessly, the only blip a disputed loss to Orlando Salido in his second professional contest. Since that time champion after champion as fallen to the sublime boxing IQ, opponents finding themselves trapped in the matrix for round after round before being relieved of their most prized possession.

Since that loss to Salido, only Jorge Linares has come close to toppling Vasyl, peering through the curtain to prove that he (Loma) could befallen, unfortunately this moment was fleeting, Lomachenko instead was re-energised by the action, returned upright and never missed a beat in disabling the usual offensively efficient Venezuelan on route to a decision victory, it was poetry in motion, like a renaissance painter putting the finishing touches to a work of art.

It was that action alone that was enough to alert wannabe heir to the throne candidates, more prominently than any other Teofimo Lopez who for the year prior had told anyone who would listen that he was the man to dethrone Lomachenko, the knockdown giving further credence to his promise.

Lopez, a quick, strong, two-handed power puncher with the ability to time fighters coming in furthered the optimism in his supporters with his six round demolishment of Richard Commey.

It’s difficult not to be impressed with the evolution of Teofimo Lopez, whom I feel is next in regards to a superstar of the sport of boxing, Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Shakur Stevenson amongst others are also on the conveyor belt to stardom but looking at the more complete package would suggest Teofimo being the man up first to further enhance the sports standing in the years to come.

Aged 23, Lopez still in the infancy of his professional career holds wins over the likes of Mason Menard, Diego Magdaleno, Masayoshi Nakatani and of course the aforementioned Richard Commey in his elevation to IBF world champion.

So that being said, when making this prediction I am in no way overlooking the challenge of the Brooklynite, far from it which is a sentiment shared by Vasyl and his mentor/father Papachenko.

But after being asked the question of will he send shockwaves throughout the pugilistic corridors tomorrow night (Saturday), I counter in my belief of the fight coming a little too early. Lomachenko is far from the washed-up champion some suggest, one which I believe he would need to be to lose this contest, I also get an inkling that Lopez would have matured from a couple of more durable tests before a fight of this magnitude.

I see propionate values between this contest and the one in which Canelo dived headfirst into in his outmanoeuvring from Floyd Mayweather, similar also to Oscar De La Hoya masterclass handed out to Fernando Vargas.

Lomachenko like Mayweather holds an innate ability to dictate the terms of engagement even against a strong bull like Lopez or in the case of Mayweather his outpointing of Canelo, he will fluster you with his jab which is used as a distraction, a slight of hand which allows him to look for openings to rattle off his combinations that act to win rounds on the judges’ scorecards. I credit the scoring system of the amateurs to lending its hand to Lomachenko’s ability to win rounds, a trait that he has mastered in his 400+ contests to date.

Lopez will try to gain a foothold in the contest by pushing Lomachenko backwards which is a great tactic to employ usually, but in this instance, we know that Vasyl rarely goes back in a straight line, this will instead provide further obstacles to Lopez in that he will get countered from acute angles that Lomachenko likes to throw out of.

All in all I feel this will be a very edgy contest but one which will be settled on the judges scorecards widely in favour of the Ukraine.

P.S. But don’t be surprised to see Vasyl finish proceeding in the latter part of the fight.


Chris Glover – LOMACHENKO DECISION – It’s a hard one to pick, Teofimo Lopez is special, he really is. He has a great team with one of the worlds most underrated trainers in, Joe Gamache Jr.

For me Lomachenko performs better when he’s motivated, I think he is for this one. I think it could be close, and Loma may well touch the canvas but I think he’ll edge this fight just on the cards, however, don’t be surprised to see Lopez win by KO.


Dan Foley – LOMACHENKO DECISION – On Saturday night we’ll get to see what is certainly mine and I would think most people’s most anticipated fight of this year when Vasiliy Lomachenko takes on Teofimo Lopez for the undisputed lightweight title.  

This fight has been brewing for quite a while and in recent months things have definitely heated up as this fight has turned more personal and there is sure to be plenty of bad blood.  

Lomachenko is coming into this fight with his latest victory coming against Luke Campbell in August 2019, despite being severely undersized Lomachenko made it through a competitive fight and was able to secure a decision, however things were far from smooth and Lomachenko was forced to work a lot harder than he has in his previous fights to come away from this one with the W.  Lomachenko is in my opinion the best technical boxer in the sport today and his unbelievable footwork and quick hands along with his ring IQ make him a problem for any fighter, there are no outstanding weaknesses in Lomachenko’s game.  The only disadvantage I see is his smaller frame, standing 5’7 with a reach of 65.5 inches, he is definitely going to be on the smaller side in a lot of his fights in this division and this will be the case against Lopez, who stands 5’8 with a 68.5 inch reach.   

Lopez is thus far undefeated in his professional career with a record of 15-0 and is coming off of a very impressive 6thround KO of Richard Commey in December.  Lopez has knockout power in both hands and is extremely dangerous, he is also very good at targeting the body and has pretty good head movement.  The only thing I’d criticize about Lopez is that he does have a tendency to drop his hands at times and his level of competition compared to Lomachenko isn’t’ quite as high.  It will be very interesting to see how he handles the step up in skill against Lomachenko on Saturday night. 

Looking at both fighters this is a bit more difficult to pick than I initially thought, Lopez certainly has youth and power on his side but Lomachenko is supremely skilled and at 32 years old isn’t quite as over the hill as the trash talk from Lopez suggests.  At the end of the day I believe with all of the talent and tools at his disposal Lomachenko has more ways to get the victory in this bout and ultimately this will be the difference.  His footwork and speed should prove too much for Lopez to handle as long as he stays focused and doesn’t get careless I think he’ll take a unanimous decision victory.  

Lopez certainly has a chance in this fight especially if he catches Lomachenko cleanly as we’ve seen he can be dropped in fights previously so this is a possibility, but failing that I just don’t see him getting the victory at this stage in his career.  I do think he’ll go on to great things in the future but I still think this is Lomachenko’s time and I see the Ukrainian being victorious. 


Craig Morgan – LOMACHENKO DECISION – Loma v Lopez, experience against youth, who prevails? This is a great match up and a welcome boost to all boxing fans that have been starved of big time fights during this Pandemic. Credit to both men for taking less money to get the fight made.

Loma has outstanding skills, lightning fast hands and throws all different types of combinations.

Lopez has the edge in power and natural size. The check weigh-in’s saw both men at around the same weight but come fight night, Lopez will considerably outweigh Loma.

I see Lopez winning the early rounds, putting Loma on the back foot and backing him up but Loma has the defensive skills to ride this out. If Lopez is able to hurt Loma, it could be an interesting scenario, as Loma has been put down by lesser punchers in the past.

As Loma finds his range, figuring out the style of Lopez, I feel that he will start to turn the fight in his favour. Loma has a huge advantage in experience and has fought every type of style there is.


Lee Thornton – LOMACHENKO DECISION – Every great fighter becomes a champion and has the young upcoming boxer nipping at their heels for a shot to take the throne. That narrative fits this fight perfectly, Teofimo Lopez is a great talker who has proven his skills so far in his career, Lopez is a boxer who caught my eye from the start.

Lopez has power in both hands, body punches and explosiveness that make him dangerous at all times, not to mention an ability to counter his opponents defensively as well. 

Vasyl Lomachenko is a living legend moving up weight classes, his angles are amazing,  his pressure and footwork are something you would see in the Matrix movies. His jab and variety of attacks offensively frustrate his opponents and make world class fighters look below average. 

When I think of this matchup I think Lopez will have some success early as Lomachenko will be figuring out what Lopez is bringing to the table, if Lopez can push Lomachenko back we will be in for a close fight. Lopez’s skills and power along with size will be a very tough task for Lomachenko. 

However, in this matchup, something to note is that Lomachenko has gone against large opponents with a great size advantage over him look no further then Linares and Campbell. Lomachenko beat both fighters soundly, I feel a big key in this fight is that Lopez likes to use the philly shell defensively and the catch and shoot technique to counter his opponents once they touch him. The problem with both of those defensive techniques is with Lomachenko’s style he will land multiple shots and be out of range before Lopez responds back. 

I feel that Lomachenko’s constant work rate and accuracy will bother Lopez and down the stretch of this fight, I look for Lomachenko to make a clear path for victory ultimately winning a unanimous decision in this fight. This will be a special win should Lomachenko pull off this victory going up against a fighter much larger, younger who hits harder with both hands. Special fighters have the ability to overcome size let’s see if Lomachenko can show the boxing world how it’s done once again. 


Tre Berry – LOMACHENKO STOPPAGE – On Saturday night, we get a fight that I personally haven’t been this excited about in roughly 5 years, and that is between RING/WBA/WBC”franchise”/WBO Lightweight Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, and dangerous IBF Lightweight Titlist Teofimo Lopez.  The winner here after heavy pressing from the media to Maurice Sulaiman (WBC President) will yield and Undisputed World Champion, and as boxing fans, we are all for it.

As for Lomachenko, he doesn’t have any weaknesses, but he needs to be very careful regardless, as Lopez can seriously crack with the best of them, with both hands. Lomachenko as we all know is small for the division when you analyze all the metrics involved to make that determination, and has endured a couple of injuries, but he is so great, he’s been able to swim comfortably in uncomfortable waters.  The keys to this fight for him will be his jab, sweeping right hook, the angled attack off the footwork, and most importantly, the use of the feint.  Why? I will get into that.

Teofimo is a sheer force of nature physically, and after seeing him in person, heh might be the widest Lightweight that I have seen since Roberto Duran.  He has good speed, explosive power, looks to read his opponents, and utilizes the shell defense as his major strengths, as well as having confidence in his abilities.  Where he comes up short is in the footwork department, and stands flatfooted, despite being able to operate at all 3 levels (inside, middle distance, outside).  

Lopez is a natural counterpuncher who loves to fire over anything he can pick up.  Loma’s ability to shift should be able to keep him off-balanced all night as he attacks, and the constant use of the feint should open Teofimo up, so that Lomachenko can counter the counterpuncher.  It can and presumably will be a tactic to tire Teo out due to being tense reacting to the feints.  I predict a fun fight where both may get hurt or buzzed at some point, but I am picking Lomachenko to win by either 9th round TKO, or a wide 12 round Decision, escaping the night as the Lightweight Undisputed Champion of the World


Barbara Pinnella – LOMACHENKO DECISION – I am hoping that this is the explosive, action-packed fight that most are expecting. But just who will have the upper hand in this battle? It is hard to bet against Loma. He is so smart in the ring, has impeccable timing, hits hard, and knows exactly what to do and when. And I can’t forget his footwork, which is excellent. 

For those stat lovers out there, Loma has one loss on his otherwise stellar record and stands at 14-1, with 10 KOs. But that loss came in his second professional fight back in 2016. While he will certainly walk into the ring the smaller man on this night, and his face has showed the punishment he took fighting the bigger opponents, he still withstood the test quite well. 

On the other side, I think that the youth of Lopez, might get the better of him. While a very good, some may say great, fighter, he might be coming into this fight a bit too confident. I also believe that his dislike of Loma that he keeps mentioning, could possibly get in his way more then help him. I think he might get a bit emotional at times, and that could cause mistakes. That is not something to want to do when facing Loma. 

Yes, I know that Teofimo is 15-0 with 12 KOs, and that he has a height, reach, and that nine-year age advantage. But will he be able to use that to help him? Also, even though he beat him, remember that Lopez has only faced off against one other southpaw in his pro career. And Loma is not just another southpaw. Still, it is hard to completely discount Lopez. He has shown us his skills and confidence, and packs a big punch himself. 

If you believe that Lopez is getting his fight with Vasyl as the latter is slipping past his prime, then you are probably in Teofimo’s corner for the win. I don’t think that is the case here. Loma has not really shown evidence that he is slowing down. I think both men will land solid shots, but I don’t expect a knockout here.


Wilson M Scott – LOMACHENKO STOPPAGE – This is the challenge I have been waiting for, For the great Lomachenko! Why do you ask? Because he has been insulted and I want to see his reaction to this kind of beginning to a fight.

He has mostly had straight-up pro vs pro may the best man win, but now he has a guy and his corner throwing insults at him, trying to degrade and tear him down mentally before the bout. And it’s because of the one reply Vasyyl made. since then he has kept his mouth closed since “when you talk bad things you pay for those bad things.” So I want to see what that insult is going to bring out in Lomachenko, will he toy with Lopez once he has timed him and maybe figured him out, the go on to humiliate him, or will he go out with that seek and destroy mentality and get the kid outta there, I personally believe he breaks guys down dramatically and in ways that are so subtle is what makes him devastatingly aggressive already anyway, he just does it so well he makes the other guy look average, but add in an insult to your abilities he might just turn it up that notch.

Lopez is a fast, great athlete with devastating power and a good engine, but and I am summing this up fast because I believe there isn’t much to be said, Loma will break him down very fast piece by piece and stop him late, or possibly fight smart use that footwork and outbox Lopez at range, coming in and out when he needs to, I think Lopez is a good solid fighter, I just don’t see the timing being there for Lopez right now. I do not think this is the right fight for him at all. So to choose.

My pick is Lomachenko, late stoppage and the whole Lopez team learns a lesson if his career is to progress in the right manner.


Sean Bastow – LOMACHENKO DECISION – Whilst Lopez brings the ferocity and punch power to match, Lomachenko’s ability to adapt to any given situation will prove a telling factor come fight night. I believe that Lopez will cause some early puzzles for Lomachenko to solve, and solve them he will in the way of a unanimous decision.


Marco Garcia – LOPEZ DECISION – Last year we all laughed at the idea of Teofimo Lopez getting in the ring with lightweight king Vasyl Lomanchenko, but after a lackluster win against Nakatani and a two round destruction over Commey to secure his first title, “The Takeover” is here.

With COVID taking the reigns on everyone’s life, for us boxing fans the hardest hit has been the fighters themselves, but you have to think who comes out of this any better than when they went in to months of not being able to train. The obvious choice of who has more going in would have to be Lopez, he’s younger, naturally bigger, and has shown explosive punching throughout his short career thus far and because of that I ponder what a long layoff is doing to the smaller fighter in Lomanchenko who is exiting his prime after over 400 combined amateur and professional fights. Loma is a generational talent but I think this fight shows that maybe he should go back down to 130, I think Lopez is too big and strong, he’ll be willing to take shots to land some and Loma’s superb footwork and defense will keep him up for the final bell. Expect lots of fireworks as a passing of the guard takes place, I choose Lopez by 12 round unanimous decision and we may see Loma hit the canvas one more time if Lopez can maintain an aggressive pace.


Dean Berks – LOMACHENKO DECISION – This is the kind of fight that is needed to raise spirits and hope that our beloved sport can once again return to its previous heights. A young, confident and tenacious champion challenging arguably the best pound for pound fighter on the planet is usually guaranteed to produce something special.

Lomachenko has, for the most part, had things his own way. Jorge Linares managed to do what many felt was nigh on impossible when he dropped “The Matrix” with a counter right, but Lomachenko proved his mettle, breaking down Linares for a tenth round stoppage. And though I wouldn’t necessarily say that Lopez is his toughest opponent, what I would suggest is that he could be his most dangerous. Lopez combination of speed and power could mean Lomachenko getting caught more cleanly than ever before.

Lopez has produced several sensational knockouts, none more devastating than his title winning effort against Commey. His right hand has proved to be his most destructive weapon, although he is equally dangerous with the left. But it is his attitude that is the most intriguing. Brimming with confidence and self-belief, he genuinely believes that he can topple Lomachenko and unify the 135 lb belts and this is a fight he has been calling for. However, sometimes it’s best not to get what you wish for.

Lomachenko’s array of skills can break even the strongest of hearts. And he certainly appears to be at his best when he recognises the danger in front of him. That’s why I feel he will box his way to a decision where both men will come out with their reputations enhanced, although I think Lomachenko will have to pick himself off of the canvas to do this.


Steve Haigh – LOMACHENKO DECISION – Winner in this fight is the fans. Here we have a young hungry lion against a seasoned boxing veteran – albeit the fact that Lomachenko has spent nearly all his boxing career in the amateur format he has seen every style going and then some.

Both men have speed,the size and power go to Lopez but the experience and smarts go to Lomachenko.Many people thought that the Commey fight was too much too soon for Teofimo but we all saw what happened. However the Ukrainian is in a different ballpark but he will not have this all his own way. Loma is notorious for his footwork and he will most definitely need to play matador to the bull of Lopez who as stated hold a physical advantage. I believe Lomachenko has enough in his game to win a decision but will have to survive some difficult moments over the course of 12 rounds.


Paul Hortop – LOMACHENKO DECISION – Wow where to begin with this up an coming ‘Fight of the year Contender’ in a year seriously effected by Covid-19, I think we can thank Bob Arum an both the teams of Lomachenko and Lopez in making this happen for the boxing world an fans. 

Fights like this are usually billed as a passing of the torch so to speak with the young hungry up an coming fighter coming to take his slot as the Number 1 fighter in the division but the only thing in common with that scenario is the age. Here we have two hungry fighters at different stages of their careers, but one thing is for sure, Lomachenko is far from done.

I feel it will be an exciting clash of styles where Teofimo can box effectively in parts but Vasyl if it comes down to a boxing match will take over from middle rounds onwards. 

I feel Teofimo needs to be 100% fit and switched on, but his IQ more than anything will have to match Lomachenko’s. From what I’ve seen in his camp he has a few game plans but it’s looking like Lopez is going to take the approach of walking Lomachenko down and ‘tiring’ to him In the process with the view to stopping him. But obviously the question is can Lopez get to Vasyl? 

I’m going for a Lomachenko win on points. My heart says Teofimo can go in there and close distance to stop Vasyl. But my head says Vasyl’s footwork, experience, his different approach to training will pay off in a great fight.


Tony Tolj – LOMACHENKO DECISION – This is a very interesting fight. I was convinced it was going to be the fight of the year, prior to Baranchyak v Zapeda. That will be hard to top.

Firstly my initial thoughts were Lopez the hard hitting young hungry Lion would come out victorious in spectacular fashion.

But now I’m starting to see another Canelo – Mayweather scenario. It will improve Lopez expentionally with the experience but it will be a points victory to Lomachenko. 


Lee Thornton – LOMACHENKO DECISION – Every great fighter becomes a champion and has the young upcoming boxer nipping at their heels for a shot to take the throne. That narrative fits this fight perfectly, Teofimo Lopez is a great talker who has proven his skills so far in his career, Lopez is a boxer who caught my eye from the start. Lopez has power in both hands, body punches and explosiveness that make him dangerous at all times, not to mention an ability to counter his opponents defensively as well. 

Vasyl Lomachenko is a living legend moving up weight classes, his angles are amazing,  his pressure and footwork are something you would see in the Matrix movies. His jab and variety of attacks offensively frustrate his opponents and make world class fighters look below average. 

When I think of this matchup I think Lopez will have some success early as Lomachenko will be figuring out what Lopez is bringing to the table, if Lopez can push Lomachenko back we will be in for a close fight. Lopez’s skills and power along with size will be a very tough task for Lomachenko. 

However in this matchup something to note is that Lomachenko has gone against large opponents with a great size advantage over him look no further then Linares and Campbell. Lomachenko beat both fighters soundly, I feel a big key in this fight is that Lopez likes to use the philly shell defensively and the catch and shoot technique to counter his opponents once they touch him. The problem with both of those defensive techniques is with Lomachenko’s style he will land multiple shots and be out of range before Lopez responds back. 

I feel that Lomachenko’s constant workrate and accuracy will bother Lopez and down the stretch of this fight I look for Lomachenko to make a clear path for victory ultimately winning a uniamious decision in this fight. This will be a special win should Lomachenko pull off this victory going up against a fighter much larger, younger who hits harder with both hands. Special fighters have the ability to overcome size let’s see if Lomachenko can show the boxing world how it’s done once again. 

Ricardo Castineyra – LOMACHENKO DECISION – I feel this will be a very close fight, the experience of Vasyl Lomachenko should come out on top but let’s not forget the hunger that Lopez brings to the table. Lopez is the bigger fighter with big power to go along with his many attributes, he will not hesitate to use the advantages against Lomanchenko whom we have seen some of his weaknesses’ exposed, the fight against Salido and more recently against Linares who had him in serious trouble, on the other hand Lopez has not yet witnessed the kind of skillset that Lomachenko possesses. This will be a fight full of emotion with two styles which should match quite well but my pick is Lomachenko via decision.

I've been in the boxing industry for over 16 years but been a fan for almost double that figure. I'm the proud owner of TopClassBoxing which continues to go from strength to strength as we strive to give fight fans a voice to be heard amongst the community. I've also had several articles published by reputable magazines and you can usually catch me around ringside.

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