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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Teofimo triumphant, what’s next for Lopez and Lomachenko?)

Should Lomachenko's loss to Teo Lopez have removed him from the P4P top 10? Photo by Mikey Williams / TOP RANK
19
Oct

LOPEZ-LOMACHENKO

Morning Dougie (6:15AM over here)

Gonna get straight to it. What did you think about the performances from Lopez and Loma tonight?

I thought Lopez had a fantastic gameplan. Working a sharp, piercing jab early (dispelling the myth that you can’t jab with a southpaw) that he was using to disrupt Loma’s rhythm and herd Loma into the right to the body. Body shots early and often are never a bad idea but it’s a fantastic idea against someone who likes to move as much as Loma does, whilst the jab stops Loma from building on top of his read’s.



Loma looked a bit off for me. Giving away 7 rounds of a fight against a young sharp, athletic, in his prime fighter is never a good idea but I thought Loma looked far less physically impressive than he has in the past(his technique was as sharp as ever, particularly his footwork, but he seemed to lack the bounce and spring in his step that has allowed him to glide around his previous opponents. A sign that he is physically slowing or that the body shots were having a big impact?….or both?)

Now that Lopez is moving to 140 (given there was no rematch clause, there isn’t the need for an immediate rematch given how the fight went and I have no confidence that Haney will take a fight with Lopez after Gamboa), how does Lopez do at 140 and who should he fight? Also where does Loma go from here?

MM:

Monzon vs LaMotta

The King vs Pacquiao @ 112

Thanks as always, stay safe over there. – Euan, Dunfermline, Scotland

Will do, Euan. I’m gonna go with Monzon by MD and Roman Gonzalez by late-rounds stoppage.

Don’t be so sure that Teofimo Lopez will immediately jump to junior welterweight. Yes, he’s a big lightweight and boiling down to 135 pounds can’t be easy for him, but he’s also young and he’s got a good conditioning/nutrition team helping him safely make weight. Plus, he just won all of the belts at lightweight. He’s not going to want to abdicate them without at least one defense.

Top Rank doesn’t have a big stable of lightweights, but they promote Felix Verdejo and Lopez-Verdejo could make for a big event in New York City (provided COVID-19 protocols allow fans inside big arenas like MSG or Barclays in Brooklyn by next year). Also, if Miguel Berchelt, who is a big junior lightweight, beats Oscar Valdez, the Mexican standout could make for a viable challenger.

And then you’ve got the mandatories. We all love unified champions, but there’s a price to pay for holding all of those belts that goes beyond the sanctioning fees. The George Kambosos-Lee Selby winner on Oct. 31 will be Lopez’s IBF mandatory. The WBO’s mandatory will likely be Emmanuel Tagoe (since their Nos. 1 and 2 contenders are fighting for other belts). Who can tell with the venerable WBC? Devin Haney, who would be a compelling challenger for Lopez, is stuck in limbo with his WBC title that the organization deems “beneath” the Franchise belt Teofimo holds. The Ryan Garica-Luke Campbell winner will probably be the mandatory challenger for Haney, not Lopez (and it just so happens that Haney, Garcia and Campbell are all aligned with DAZN due to their promotional connections). So, that would leave No. 1 contender Javier Fortuna. The WBA has a host of secondary beltholders, but will probably go with Yvan Mendy, the holder of their “gold” belt.

However, when Lopez is ready to move to junior welterweight, Top Rank’s got that division locked up with Josh Taylor, Jose Ramirez, Jose Zepeda and Jose Pedraza. There are some excellent matchups to be made at 140, especially with Teofimo in the mix.

What’s next for Loma? The man has only lost three times in over 400 amateur, semi-pro and professional bouts. He’s an ultra-competitor, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he pushed for a rematch with Lopez. But I don’t think Team Lopez or Top Rank would be that interested in doing it unless there are no other options for Teofimo and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted to allow for an arena fight. It wouldn’t surprise me if Lomachenko dropped back down to 130 pounds. The aforementioned Berchelt (or Valdez if he springs the upset) would make for interesting opponents, as would IBF titleholder Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson.

What did you think about the performances from Lopez and Loma tonight? Lopez was laser-focused and in control of the majority of rounds with a potent blend of speed, power, timing and patience. Lomachenko was uncomfortable and slightly off his game (due to the danger Lopez presented), but ultimately displayed the grit and guts he possess in the late rounds to make for a compelling fight down the stretch.

I thought Lopez had a fantastic gameplan. It was perfect. It wasn’t entertaining for the first seven rounds, but I can’t place too much on blame him for that.

Loma looked a bit off for me. Giving away 7 rounds of a fight against a young sharp, athletic, in his prime fighter is never a good idea but I thought Loma looked far less physically impressive than he has in the past. The time off may have affected him more than it did the younger, fresher fighter, but I think Lopez’s reflexes and athleticism made the Ukrainian legend look slower and more ordinary than usual. He couldn’t get away with what he normally pulls on lesser talents.

A sign that he is physically slowing or that the body shots were having a big impact?….or both? Both, I think.

 

BAFFLED BY LOPSIDED SCORECARD

A very good showing by new 4-belt champ, López. He fought and won a tactical battle. For the life of me I can’t understand why Lomo gave away 5 of the first 6 rounds.

Also, I once again am baffled by the lopsided scoring. 119 to 109 was way, way off and 117 to 111 wasn’t much better. I had it 115 to 113. Lomo could have pulled out a draw, but the younger man dominated round 12. All in all, a good scrap. I was very impressed by Barbosa Jr’s win on the undercard. He seems like a champion in waiting. – Paul

Arnold Barboza was The Ring’s No. 8-rated junior welterweight going into the Alex Saucedo fight. I think he’ll move up a couple notches following Saturday’s gutsy performance. That was a hard-earned victory.

I also scored the lightweight championship for Lopez by a 115-113 tally. I had Lopez winning six out of the first seven rounds (giving Lomachenko the edge in Round 2), then scored Rounds 8-11 for Loma, with Teofimo seizing Round 12 and the fight.

I think 116-112 is a fair scorecard. I agree that 117-111 isn’t giving Lomachenko much credit for his late-rounds rally, and 119-109 is just plain bad. It just doesn’t reflect the fight (unless you happen to be one of Lomachenko’s #Salty detractors who are now making asses of themselves – more than usual – by celebrating his loss on social media and in comment sections).

A very good showing by new 4-belt champ, López. He’ll have a Ring Magazine title to add to his collection soon.

He fought and won a tactical battle. For the life of me I can’t understand why Lomo gave away 5 of the first 6 rounds. Lomachenko didn’t give away anything. Lopez TOOK away the Ukrainian’s game and he TOOK those rounds.  

 

SIZE MATTERS

Hey Dougie,

Along with the layoff it seems Loma bit off a little more than he could chew.

Can there be any other result in a rematch other than a Lopez victory? – Rodemeyer

I wouldn’t put it past Lomachenko to improve in a rematch, as he now fully understands what he’s dealing with in Lopez, but I would expect Teofimo to improve as well. It might be worth doing again just because it could be a more entertaining fight than the first bout.

 

135 ON A SILVER PLATTER

Dougie,

I trust you enjoyed The Fight. I’ll be brief, because I know your inbox will be full.

I don’t have a big problem with the scorecards, because it was truly hard to give Loma a round in the first 6. The second half was closer, but sometimes a good power shot is worth 3 taps. The questions:

How many times have you seen the round giveaway bite somebody?  Who was bitten the hardest? For my money Oscar vs Trinidad comes to mind.

Is this a fight that screams rematch? If not, then what would you like to see for each next? Peace to you and yours. – Scott

I think the boxing public could be sold on a rematch. There are enough hardcore heads and prominent boxers who scored the fight a draw to justify the narrative that Lomachenko merely turned his offense on too late in the fight and could possibly win a return bout.

However, it was clear to me that Lomachenko just didn’t have the confidence to let his hands go against an opponent as big, fast, powerful and focused as Lopez. I’m guessing that Lopez would apply more pressure and combinations in a rematch and could very well wear Lomachenko down to a late stoppage. That outcome would not surprise me, and quite frankly, I don’t really need to see that when there are talented young potential stars at lightweight – Devin Haney Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia – who would make for huge events if matched with Lopez (provided the various promoters and networks could work out deals).

How many times have you seen the round giveaway bite somebody? Who was bitten the hardest? For my money Oscar vs Trinidad comes to mind. Yeah, that’s a prime example, but I think Marvin Hagler was bit the hardest vs. my boyhood idol. Pernell Whitaker vs. De La Hoya comes to mind. Bernard Hopkins vs. Taylor in their first fight also comes to mind.  So does Ken Norton in that heavyweight classic he put on with Larry Holmes. Kenny came on strong late in the fight but started too slow and dropped too many early rounds to the busier, stiff jabbing (occasionally moving) Easton Assassin.

 

F__K 119-109

Fair play (props) to Lopez. But I’ll tell you what’s annoying the casual boxing fans I know who’ve just watched that fight. That scorecard. – Ray K.

I like Julie Lederman, who’s usually a solid judge, (and I adored her father like so many hardcore fans) but her scorecard, and the fact that she’s a New York-based official that was flown in to judge a fight involving the Brooklyn-born Lopez, is a bad look for the sport. I’m not saying she was biased for Lopez because they come from the same region, but it just looks bad, the same way it would’ve looked bad had there been a Ukrainian judge that scored the fight 115-113 or 116-112 for Lomachenko.

 

A LOMA FAN GIVING LOPEZ HIS DUE

Hi there Dougie –

As someone who was pulling for Loma (more so because of the immature way I thought Lopez conducted himself before the fight), I have to give Lopez credit. At the end of the fight, I had it a draw. Having said that, at least two of those rounds could have gone either way and I am sure I chose to put them in Loma’s bank. I would have been way more upset with the outcome (which we now know was decided before the 11th round) if Loma had continued his 11th round momentum and won the 12th round. That Lopez clearly won the 12th (and give him credit, I thought he was fading) makes the ultimate decision easy to accept. I’d love your thoughts on the following:

  • Acknowledging Lopez proved to be a way better boxer than I thought, I am still surprised by Loma’s complete lack of activity in the first 4-5 rounds. Do you attribute it to ring rust? Respect for Lopez power? Lopez defense?
  • While the size difference was evident, I didn’t observe anything that proved Lopez is head and shoulders better than Loma, if they ran it back again and fought again in 90 days (and I acknowledge highly unlikely) what are your thoughts as to what that looks like? Not sure if I am thinking with my heart vs. my head, but I think Loma begins fighting much earlier.
  • I continue to be frustrated by BS scorecards like the 119-109 one Julie Lederman turned in. It seems like in every megafight, the up and coming (i.e. future of boxing) superstar receives a generous scorecard. Is this something I need to accept that will continue to happen?

Keep up the great work! Love your Twitter Video’s of your workouts (and I still can’t get past 7 good pull-ups). Stay healthy and well. – David

Keep at it, David. The more you do the stronger you get. I’m currently doing three to four sets of 10 (macho-man-military style, or as close to that form as all the fitness obsessed meat heads on Twitter pointed out to me over the summer). The goal is to get to five PERFECT sets of 10 every time I’m at the park with Coach on Sundays. Thanks for tunning into those live streams of two boxing fanatics rambling on about the latest fight and old-head trivia.

Lomachenko is nailed by a Lopez uppercut in the final round. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Acknowledging Lopez proved to be a way better boxer than I thought, I am still surprised by Loma’s complete lack of activity in the first 4-5 rounds. Do you attribute it to ring rust? Respect for Lopez power? Lopez defense? I think it was a combination of Lopez’s speed, reflexes, power and underrated ring IQ. Lomachenko could sense that the young man had the ability to hurt him – perhaps whack him out – with his counter punches. So, he got on his bicycle until he thought fatigue or frustration would take something off Lopez’s fastball, but it was Loma who looked tired and flustered by the middle rounds. Props to the three-division titleholder for rolling the dice and letting his hands go in Rounds 8-12, even though it got him rocked in the final round.

While the size difference was evident, I didn’t observe anything that proved Lopez is head and shoulders better than Loma, if they ran it back again and fought again in 90 days (and I acknowledge highly unlikely) what are your thoughts as to what that looks like? Lopez has proven himself to me. I would favor him to beat Lomachenko again, but it could be a better fight than Saturday’s showdown.

Not sure if I am thinking with my heart vs. my head, but I think Loma begins fighting much earlier. He probably would, bless him, but that might not be such a good idea.

I continue to be frustrated by BS scorecards like the 119-109 one Julie Lederman turned in. It seems like in every megafight, the up and coming (i.e. future of boxing) superstar receives a generous scorecard. Is this something I need to accept that will continue to happen? Unfortunately, yes. It’s been this way forever, and the fact that the promoters pay the officials (travel, lodging, stipend) and commissions seldom discipline judges who turn in egregiously bad scorecards means that it will continue.

 

THE NEW LIGHTWEIGHT KING

Hi Doug,

What’s up? How’s your weekend watching the fight between the 2 best at 135 pounds? Me, just freakin with the thought of how Lopez really took control of Loma, outhustled and outboxes the master boxer. Congrats to Teo but I wonder is there’s any glitch with the matrix, he seems to be stiff and… Oh well, I’m thinking being so rusty from the 14 months lay off, or perhaps after downloading the information of Teofimo in the first round he thought he could take him to deep waters, and he went into his shell for the 1st 7 rounds?

Loma is the number 1 (or 2) Pound per Pound in too many boxing sites. Will Lopez join the P4P top ten after that amazing win?

Anyways, I just hope the next young guns will be like Teo who dared to be great and become successful by envisioning success and actually getting it.

Can u please tell me who wins in these fights after Teofimo’s performance:

135:

Teo-Haney

Teo-Davis

Teo-Garcia

140:

Teo-Ramirez

Teo-Prograis (man I want this!)

Teo-Taylor

Thank you. I hope this will be included in your Monday mailbag. It’s my fave Monday and Friday thing. – Bianca Frost, Philippines

Thanks for the kind words, Bianca.

Right now, I have to favor Lopez over any other lightweight. The young man paid the cost to be the boss. I think he outpoints Haney and Davis and stops Garcia by the middle rounds. (Of course, I reserve the right to change these opinions if the other young guns prove themselves against world-class lightweights in the near future, as Ryan is set up to do vs. Luke Campbell on Dec. 5.)

Junior welterweight is another story. There, Lopez will have the opportunity to test himself vs. standouts who won’t be as easy to hit as Richard Commey or as intimidated by his size, speed and power as Lomachenko was. Ramirez has the ability to outwork him over 12 rounds. Taylor has the ability to move on him as Loma did, but who’s rangy enough to reach him on the fly and sturdy enough to engage with him in close. And Prograis is just a beast who will look to do as much damage as he can in the trenches. Having said that, I can see Lopez outpointing both Ramirez and Prograis, as I think he’s got superior technique and athletic talent. Both fights would be hard-fought, though. Taylor’s the only 140 pounder I’d pick to beat Lopez.

 

THE GOLDEN BOY’S GREATEST HITS

Hey Dougie –

Wow!

I didn’t know much about Lopez, but never did think that anyone could win 8/9/10 rounds against him (IMO) and effectively nullify all of Loma’s advantages. A placid first 8 rounds from Loma, that I feel was out of respect for Lopez’s power and it allowed Lopez to work him out. Lopez made him look ordinary for large parts of the fight. I am a huge Loma fan, but couldn’t see it any other way than a Lopez walk over. when they showed ‘Dre’s card at 5 rounds a piece after 10, I wasn’t sure we were watching the same fight.

The sky’s the limit for Lopez now, potentially a huge star. He’s not my cup of tea for the way he carried himself before the fight, but huge props in outboxing (not just outfighting) the guy I thought was the best pure boxer of the last 20 years or so.

I’ve been watching lots of Oscar DH recently. What do you think was his best win and how does his career compare to another great; Sugar Shane? I remember being furious with the decision in the rematch (and a recent watch hasn’t changed that view), seeing Oscar as a clear winner. My favourite performance was probably against Vargas. The naturally bigger guy, so much animosity, Oscar took his lumps and came back to stop him. Cheers. – James

That was sensational victory that followed a very entertaining promotion (“Bad Blood”). It certainly rates up there with his best performances. I think the best De La Hoya ever looked was vs. the great Julio Cesar Chavez during their first fight at 140 pounds. He was fast, razor sharp and untouchable that night. I think his victory vs. another all-time great, the late Pernell Whitaker, is a close second even though he struggled against the defensive wizard and some believe it was a controversial win. Hey, he still competed with Sweet Pea, the defending WBC welterweight champ and reigning P4P King (and it was Oscar’s FIRST fight at 147

De La Hoya and Quartey put on a classic in 1999.

pounds). Third, for me, was his split nod vs. an unbeaten (34-0-1) Ike Quartey (the first De La Hoya event I covered as credentialed media) because he had to get off the canvas and close hard to ensure his victory. The Vargas fight is in the top five, and maybe one of the Mosley bouts (I don’t care if he didn’t win, it’s the performance and level of the opponent that counts).

I think Mosley and De La Hoya were both deserving first-ballot hall of famers. If the majority of today’s world-class boxers were as active as they were in their primes and challenged themselves as much as they did throughout their careers, the sport would be in a very good place. Although Mosley had De La Hoya’s number, I think Oscar accomplished a little more than his Southern California rival.

I didn’t know much about Lopez, but never did think that anyone could win 8/9/10 rounds against him (IMO) and effectively nullify all of Loma’s advantages. Lopez is the real deal. He proved it Saturday.

A placid first 8 rounds from Loma, that I feel was out of respect for Lopez’s power and it allowed Lopez to work him out. Indeed, although I thought Lomachenko had a good Round 8.

Lopez made him look ordinary for large parts of the fight. Agreed.

I am a huge Loma fan, but couldn’t see it any other way than a Lopez walk over. I saw a competitive fight.

When they showed ‘Dre’s card at 5 rounds a piece after 10, I wasn’t sure we were watching the same fight. Never question The Man Who Can Do No Wrong, especially when his scorecard is close to mine.

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s Periscope or Dougie’s IG Live every Sunday.

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