LAS VEGAS — Teofimo Lopez was brash sufficient to problem Vasiliy Lomachenko, and ok to beat him.
Lopez dominated early and completed sturdy Saturday night time to win a unanimous 12-round resolution over Lomachenko to unify the light-weight titles in a struggle he demanded regardless that some thought he wasn’t skilled sufficient.
Lopez took benefit of a gradual begin by Lomachenko to construct up an early lead, then completed the struggle with an enormous 12th spherical that left Lomachenko bloodied and overwhelmed on the scorecards. The 23-year-old from Brooklyn grew to become the unified light-weight champion and managed to do what few in boxing thought he may do — outbox maybe the perfect technician in boxing.
Lopez (16-Zero) added the three titles held by Lomachenko (15-2) to the belt he received final yr to change into the undisputed 135-champion.
Lopez was favored 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112 on ringside scorecards in a bout held with out followers on the MGM Grand convention middle. The Related Press had Lopez profitable 117-111.
Lopez proved sooner and stronger than the 32-year-old Lomachenko, who received two Olympic gold medals as an novice and was thought to be one of many high pound-for-pound fighters as a professional. Surprisingly sufficient, he was additionally the higher boxer and proved he may shut the present by bloodying Lomachenko’s eye within the 12th spherical.
“I needed to dig deep, man,”’ Lopez stated. “I’m a fighter, I’ve received to dig in deep.”
Lomachenko, ordinarily a gradual starter, was too gradual this time as he gave away rounds early as he tried to determine the fashion of Lopez. By the point the struggle received aggressive within the eighth spherical he was too far behind to return again.
“He’s been in a 14-month layoff,”’ Lopez stated. “I knew it was going to take him a very long time to catch up.”
Lomachenko, who misplaced solely as soon as in almost 400 novice fights and had just one loss as a professional, thought he did higher than the scorecards indicated.
“Positively I’m not agreeing with the scorecards,”’ he stated.
The struggle was the most important because the pandemic started and would have been a pay-per-view occasion in regular instances. However with no followers it was televised on ESPN, offering boxing with an even bigger showcase than it will have gotten in any other case.
Lomachenko was a Four-1 favourite however appeared rusty early as he tried to resolve the fashion of Lopez. He threw punches solely sparingly the primary half of the struggle, touchdown simply 31 punches within the first seven rounds, earlier than lastly choosing up the tempo within the eighth spherical.
“I feel the primary half of the struggle he received extra rounds than I did however within the second half of the struggle I took over,” Lomachenko stated. “I used to be significantly better.”
Punch statistics confirmed Lopez landed 183 of 659 punches whereas Lomachenko was credited with 141 of 321. Within the 12th spherical Lopez outlanded Lomachenko 50 to 19 and opened up a reduce that despatched blood flowing down his face and prompted referee Russell Mora to cease the struggle with 10 seconds left to have the ring physician take a look at it earlier than resuming.
Lopez was advised by his father within the nook earlier than the 12th spherical that he was forward and to not threat something. However he got here out sturdy and beat Lomachenko to the punch.
“I didn’t know if that they had him up on the scorecards or not,” Lopez stated.
Lopez did his trademark backflip within the ring after the unanimous resolution was introduced.
Lopez grew to become the youngest fighter to change into a four-belt champion in solely his second title struggle. He had sought the struggle towards Lomachenko, angering the Ukrainian together with his brash techniques.
“I like to struggle and I can bang too.,” Lopez stated. “That’s what a real champion does, I am going on the market and discover a method to win.”