The Bloody Elbow team has made its predictions for the big boxing showdown between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez. I’ve also grabbed excerpts from the Bad Left Hook staff, which you can read here. Between us and BLH somehow we are unanimous on Lomachenko, even though his -400 favorite odds are comparably small by his standards.
Can you believe this fight is free on ESPN or to stream on ESPN+ if you don’t have ESPN TV? This is awesome.
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez
Mookie Alexander: For the first time ever, I am not comfortable picking Vasiliy Lomachenko to win a fight. Lopez is arguably the hardest hitter that he’s fought, and he is more than just a power-puncher. I consider Teofimo to be more of a boxer-puncher with great sharpness to his shots, tremendous athleticism, and tremendous finishing abilities when he has someone hurt. On the flip side, Lopez has yet to be challenged by someone with the skill level of Lomachenko… but that applies to everyone. Lomachenko may not be in his prime in terms of age, but despite Tim Bradley banging on about how he’s not in his prime anymore, I see no signs of decline. His angles, his combinations, his cardio, his defensive skills, and ability to go from 0 to 60 with his volume is unlike anyone else in the sport today. I do wonder if Lomachenko will be more cautious against Lopez’s power, because even though he was dropped by Jorge Linares, that was more a balance and timing issue than being genuinely hurt. There’s serious intrigue here because you are inclined to go with Lomachenko by default, but Lopez looks like a special talent and he’s the bigger fighter with the tools to pull off the upset. I think we’ll see Lopez catch Lomachenko with a right cross early in the fight but Lomachenko adjusts and pulls away in a very competitive battle. What still concerns me about Lopez is how sloppy his footwork looked against Nakatani in the fight preceding the Richard Commey domination. Vasiliy Lomachenko by unanimous decision.
Lucas Bourdon (from preview): It is hard to envision a scenario for Lopez to win a decision without seriously hurting Lomachenko at some point, but I don’t believe there’s anyone at lightweight with a better shot to manage that. He has already announced a future move up to 140 pounds and will be bigger than the Ukrainian, hits harder, and might be a little bit quicker. He can’t rely solely on counters for that though, and the key for him will be the body. Lomachenko’s layered defense makes him extremely hard to hit cleanly to the head but his body is a comparatively easier target that Lopez should be able to find with his right straight. The early rounds will probably be very frustrating for Lopez but he should use them to sap Loma’s energy as much as possible and maximize his chances to catch him with something big later in the fight and make his power edge a factor.
With all that said while there is a path to victory for Lopez and it is the best anyone has at lightweight or under, Lomachenko is a -400 favorite for a reason. Hopefully Lopez can push Lomachenko and there’s every reason to think he can, but at the end of the day I expect the Ukrainian great to outbox him and get his hand raised once again on Saturday. Vasiliy Lomachenko by unanimous decision.
From Bad Left Hook
Scott Christ: Lomachenko isn’t old, but he’s definitely not going to be in his true peak form for much longer, if he still really is. Lopez, on the other hand, probably isn’t going to be at 135 much longer; if not for this fight, he might have already gone to 140. So luckily we’re getting this at maybe the only time it can actually happen.
I think Teofimo Lopez is a really good fighter already and has the genuine potential to be great. He’s the bigger man here, the natural lightweight. He’s young, he’s quick, he’s heavy-handed, and he’s got that genuine sort of swagger to him that comes out even in his more quiet moments, when he’s not putting on a trash-talking show. I don’t think he has any fear of Lomachenko or real trepidation about this fight.
If Lopez gets Loma — or anyone — with something big and well-timed, he can absolutely knock him out. But I don’t think he’s going to be able to do it. I think he’ll have some moments, might even drop Vasiliy at some point, but on the whole I think Lomachenko is still just too much of a tactical wizard and technical marvel for Teofimo to get the duke here. If Lopez is going to win, it almost certainly has to be a stoppage, but I think Loma still has the IQ, and most important the incredible foot work and spring in his step to avoid the home run shots. I think he frustrates Lopez en route to a clear decision. Lopez will bounce back and be a force for years, but Saturday will be Loma’s night. Lomachenko UD-12
Wil Esco: You know, I actually mostly agree with Teofimo Lopez when he dismisses the comparisons of this fight against Lomachenko to Mayweather-Canelo. This fight really isn’t anything like that one, but there is at least one comparison to Mayweather-Pacquiao that I think is relevant to this fight. Manny Pacquiao is often credited for his footwork and his ability to get angles on his opponents, but back when he was getting ready to fight Floyd I constantly mentioned that while not as herky-jerky fast, Floyd’s footwork was probably even better than Pacquiao’s.
That take drew plenty of criticism at the time, but it proved evident in their fight when Pacquiao wasn’t able to take angles on Floyd where he could get off his best offense because Floyd was able to smoothly pivot and turn with Pacquiao. It’s not anything that will grab your attention on screen, but that one thing can be a huge difference-maker. So bringing this back to Lomachenko-Lopez, I’ll just say superb footwork isn’t something you can easily replicate in sparring, simply because almost no one can emulate that aspect as well as the greats. Lomachenko is one of the greats, particularly in the footwork department, and that’s going to provide a level of difficulty that Lopez has never encountered before. Lopez’s footwork isn’t enough to counteract Lomachenko’s so far as I can tell, so unless Lopez can flatten Lomachenko with a big shot, I see Lomachenko outpointing him over the distance. Lomachenko UD-12
Staff picking Lomachenko: Stephie, Mookie, Lucas, Wil (BLH), Scott (BLH), Watson (BLH), Stumberg (BLH)
Staff picking Lopez:
Staff picking draw:
This poll is closed