Teofimo Lopez certainly talks the talk. The lad is an entertainer but you need more than bombast to worry Vasyl Lomachenko.
Their lightweight unification in Las Vegas is boxing’s biggest night behind closed doors post lockdown, a free-to-air treat for the aficionado and one the sport hopes will draw a crossover crowd in these difficult times.
A New Yorker of Honduran extraction, Lopez is a real firecracker. As his unbeaten record of 12 KOs in 15 wins indicates he has real power, but can be hit.
Like many in America’s Latino boxing community, he remains deeply connected to the country of his origins and carries that support with him.
Luke Campbell sparred him in Miami. He brought around 20 guys to the gym. It was like fight night in there.
Lopez will have Lomachenko’s respect. He is still young, he’ll be quick and dangerous in the first half of the fight. Loma will have to be careful early, but he works opponents out.
Loma has a brilliant radar that allows him to spot opponent’s triggers. The moment Lopez lifts to throw the big one is the key for Loma to strike.
He is calculating not reckless. He will see what Lopez does before he throws. That said he is human after all, if only just, and could get caught early again.
But Lopez is stepping up into unknown territory here. I expect Lomachenko to grind him down and most likely stop him in the championship rounds.
Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone, @McGuigans_Gym and @CyclonePromo
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