Teófimo López defeats Vasiliy Lomachenko by a unanimous decision!
A star is born! Teófimo López has upset Vasiliy Lomachenko by a unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Conference Center. The scores were 116-112, 119-109 and 117-111. (The Guardian had it 116-112.)
López’s father tells him he’s well ahead on the cards and to go out and box to the win. But López is biting down and going for the knockout from the bell. He lands a big right followed by a pair of uppercuts. And López has hurt Lomachenko! López lands a massive combination and Lomachenko is in serious trouble! Then suddenly the referee stops the fight … an accidental head butt has opened up a huge gash over Lopez’s right eye. The referee stops it so the doctor can inspect it with 10 seconds left. The fight continues and there’s the final bell. An easy round for López and we could be looking at a new unified lightweight champion!
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 10-9 López (Lomachenko 112-116 López)
Lomachenko is finally letting his hands go here and López is reeling backwards. The Ukrainian is pouring it on and he’s looking for a knockout! López is still throwing back and showing he’s in the fight, but he’s taking a lot of punishment. A big left hand to the body by Lomachenko has hurt López, who appears gassed. López finishes it strong, however, moving forward and landing a couple of crisp body shots in the final 30 seconds. An easy round to score for Lomachenko. The fight is on a razor’s edge!
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 10-9 López (Lomachenko 103-106 López)
Lomachenko picks up where he left off in the ninth, out-throwing and out-landing López while moving forward. López is handling the pressure reasonably well. López lands a big shot right on the beltline in final 10 seconds, prompting the referee to call time and issue a warning. Another big round for Loma and we’re into the championship rounds.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 10-9 López (Lomachenko 93-97 López)
Lomachenko realizes he needs to fight his way out of this one. He wobbles López with a combination early in the round and opens up with a barrage of punches. But López hits back, landing a left uppercut right through Lomachenko’s guard. For the second straight round Lomachenko is moving forward rather than circling away and it’s made all the difference. Best round of the night for Lomachenko.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 10-9 López (Lomachenko 83-88 López)
Lomachenko lands a left hand upstairs coming in and there’s a clash of heads during the exchange. The referee stops the fight and warns Lomachenko yet again. Then seemingly out of nowhere Lomachenko bursts into the pocket and they’re trading hellfire. A three-punch combination by Lomachenko followed by a big right hand. The chess match is over and the fight has begun! Lomachenko is stepping on the gas and not a moment too soon. Lomachenko landed 19 of 38 shots in that round according to Compubox’s punch statistics after failing to crack double digits in any of the first eight rounds.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 10-9 López (Lomachenko 73-79 López)
Lomachenko is trying to come forward now and gets a second warning from the referee for leading with his head. More excellent body work from López. Lomachenko is walking into shots we’re not used to seeing him walk into. He looks stressed. “It’s a blowout!” López’s father shouts in his corner after the bell rings. “It’s a blowout! I told you!”
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 9-10 López (Lomachenko 63-70 López)
Lomachenko’s face is starting to redden. He doesn’t want to take anything resembling a risk but he’s going to need to. Lomachenko lands a crisp right hand but López holds his ground and finishes the round with a series of big shots. López is outboxing the boxer.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 9-10 López (Lomachenko 54-60 López)
Lomachenko is putting López to a mental test in these early rounds, waiting for the younger champion will make a mistake he can capitalize on. But so far López is passing with flying colors. Frankly, these have been easy rounds to score. Lomachenko is showing too much respect for López’s size and power and he’s already coming perilously close to needing a knockout to win.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 9-10 López (Lomachenko 45-50 López)
Another round for López, who is simply moving forward and throwing punches against an opponent who is content to sit back and measure. López connected with a left to the body that might have hurt Lomachenko, who probably needs to get going sooner rather than later.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 9-10 López (Lomachenko 36-40 López)
López continues to throw the majority of the punches but Lomachenko is making him miss the majority of them with feints and misdirection. López catches Lomachenko with a body shot as Lomachenko tries to pirouette out of the pocket and then another big overhand moments later. Another round for López on work rate alone, but Lomachenko is putting his younger opponent to a very taxing mental test in these opening rounds without throwing a whole lot. According to CompuBox punch statistics, López landed 11 of 42 punches in that round compared to two of 11 for Lomachenko.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 9-10 López (Lomachenko 27-30 López)
López picks up where he left off in the first, flicking the jab and that straight right to keep Lomachenko occupied. López lands a big right hand upstairs. We’re already seeing a bit of redness on Lomachenko’s ribcage where López has been landing those punches. Lomachenko lands a counter left upstairs that gets López’s attention. A quick exchange of head shots at the end of the round and Lomachenko got the best of it, landing a left-right-left combo. Lomachenko is starting to come alive but López did enough across the session to take it on our card.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 9-10 López (Lomachenko 18-20 López)
López darts out from his corner and misses with a big right to the body. He’s throwing more punches in the early going as Lomachenko sits back with his hands up, circling backward and measuringS the task before him. López lands a crisp right jab to the body. Another jab by López. Lomachenko not throwing much at all. A very good start for López and easy round to score as Lomachenko might not have landed a single punch, instead spending the three-minute session calculating distance.
Guardian’s unofficial score: Lomachenko 9-10 López (Lomachenko 9-10 López)
The fighters are making their ringwalks. First it’s López, the IBF lightweight champion, who emerges from the tunnel to Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust. Now it’s Lomachenko, the WBA and WBO champion, who marches to the ring to Rob Dougan’s Clubbed to Death from the Matrix soundtrack. The ring announcer has taken over and we should be under way any moment.
Arnold Barboza Jr improves to 25 wins in 25 pro fights with a unanimous-decision win over Alex Saucedo in their 10-round junior welterweight fight. The three judges at ringside handed down scores of 96-93, 97-92 and 97-92. (The Guardian had it 97-92.)
“This was like a championship fight to me,” Barboza says. “It’s all because of my father [head trainer Arnold Barboza Sr], not me. I did this for kids and my father. My dream is to get a house for my kids. I came that much closer today.”
He adds: “I want a championship fight. No more messing around. No more tune-up fights.”
Next up: the main event between Lomachenko and López.
We’re midway through the final preliminary fight before tonight’s main event: Alex Saucedo (30-1, 19 KO) and Arnold Barboza Jr (24-0, 10 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight matchup. There’s been little to separate either of them throughout a wildly entertaining scrap fought mostly in the confines of a phone booth.
“Once he got in the ring, I looked in his eyes,” Berlanga said. “He didn’t want to be there. So, I had to get him out.”
Asked about his post-fight celebration, where he climbed the turnbuckle and shouted “I am a fucking monster!”: “I’m the first person to stop him, and [I did it] in the first round. So, you know, it just off emotion, off how I really felt. For all the critics out there, all the media, I just felt it in me that I had to say that.”
The blue-chip prospect from Brooklyn said he expects to have another fight before the end of 2020 before a fight at Madison Square Garden next year.
“We’re looking to fight in December,” he said. “I just spoke to Bob [Arum] right now. He’s looking to put me on in December. I’m actually looking forward to fighting in Puerto Rico and then also in June on Puerto Rican [Day Parade] weekend at Madison Square Garden, so God willing, everything goes right, we can make it happen.”
Hello and welcome to tonight’s lightweight title unification showdown between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teófimo López. The scheduled 12-round bout for the IBF, WBA and WBO titles at 135lbs is the most anticipated fight since the coronavirus pandemic began and it should be under way within the hour.
In undercard news, super middleweight prospect Edgar Berlanga Jr has just improved to 15-0 with 15 knockouts with a first-round TKO of Lanell Bellows, who had never been stopped in 28 previous fights. The Brooklyn super-prospect cut his opponent early and began pouring on punches in combinations until referee Robert Hoyle stepped in after only 79 seconds. Berlanga’s streak of 15 straight first-round knockouts to start his career is fifth longest in the history of boxing after Ali Raymi (21), Tyrone Brunson (19), Edwin Valero (18) and Young Otto (16).
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