We have a new light king. At just 23 years old, Teofimo Lopez became the undisputed lightweight champion in the world, dethroning Vasily Lomachenko for 12 intense laps at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Lopez became the youngest fighter to become a four-belt champion since the founding of the WBO in 1
After a strong start, Lopez overcame a late Lomachenko rally to win 116-112, 119-109 and 117-111.
Lopez’s early boxing dominated the match, controlling the center of the ring using his educated left hand, and then hit Lomachenko with well-placed blows to the body, in which the younger boxer supported.
Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) built a big lead in the results, as he managed to neutralize the graceful movements of Lomachenko (14-2, 10) behind this shot. For most of the first half of the fight, Lomachenko just moved around the ring and didn’t do much offense. It was clear that Lopez’s technical acumen and poise were greatly underestimated. For long stretches of the bout, he was actually shooting the head boxer.
Still, Lomachenko did not surrender without a fight. As the battle entered the late stages, Lomachenko, feeling lagging behind, began to increase the pressure and began to narrow the gap on Lopez. He struck him with fast, laser-like left hands that slowed Lopez’s momentum. To his credit, Lomachenko won a late rally in the championship rounds.
“I think in the first half of the battle he got more rounds than I did, but in the second half of the battle I took,” Lomachenko said. “I was much better.”
But if Lopez needed a late statement, it was made in the 12th and final round. Although Lopez’s father said he won the battle by entering the final round, Lopez continued to press and move his hand, taking several significant power strokes that stopped Lomachenko. Only the collision of the heads, which caused a breakthrough over Lopez’s left eye, stopped the wave.
“I’m a fighter,” Lopez said after the battle for the 12th round. “I have to go deeper. I knew he was coming. I didn’t know if they put him in the result or not and I like to fight. I can fight too. I don’t care, man. I’ll take one to give it to.” That’s what makes a real champion. I find a way to win. “
This round was a late exclamation for what was a sterling performance of a young man who fulfilled the fate of his outspoken father, who prophesied that his son would not only win a world title by his 15th fight, but also overthrow a boxer who many consider him the best in the sport until his 16th.