Boxing is far from dead. It definitely has its issues. Champions rarely fight the best, judging is extremely suspicious, undercards can be underwhelming, and promoters pad many fighters. Yet, October 17th presents an outstanding match-up between the best pound-for-pound fighter and a young, hungry champion.
Vasyl Lomachenko, the boogeyman of the lighter divisions, faces Teofimo Lopez, brash, 23-year-old champion looking to shake the boxing world. This fight actually happening feels like the beacon of hope many boxing fans had been looking for throughout 2020.
Lomachenko is one of the best boxers of this generation – possibly the best. With tremendous footwork, insane defense, and agile movement, Lomachenko has dominated the featherweight and lightweight divisions. With wins over Jorge Linares, Nicholas Walters, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Gary Russell Jr, Lomachenko has firmly placed himself amongst the best.
However, there was always something missing. It was not that the competition was terrible; in fact, many of these fighters were undefeated and world-class champions. However, none of these fights truly felt built. The animosity was never there nor were the new hurdles for Lomachenko to jump.
After his first and only loss to Orlando Salido, Lomachenko faced everyone he could. He faced speedsters, tacticians, powerful brawlers, rangy fighters, and fundamentalists. Most could barely land anything of note. His biggest challenge, Jorge Linares, looks like a preview of the potential scenarios against Lopez. Linares was the bigger, stronger fighter who knocked Lomachenko down with a beautiful counter right. It was one of the few moments of weakness for Lomachenko.
Lopez, similar to Linares, is the bigger, stronger fighter. The differences between the two make this fight even more intriguing than Lomachenko’s win over Linares. Lopez is more a timing-based, counter puncher. His power is unparalleled, his athleticism is top-notch, and his size is new to Lomachenko. Linares was bigger, but he does not have the physicalness that Lopez possesses. His style also relied more on combinations and getting a rhythm; he also does not possess the same punching power as Lopez.
Lopez appears to have all the tools to beat Lomachenko, yet his flaws still linger. He is still relatively inexperienced, young, and has shown vulnerabilities. In his win over Masayoshi Nakatani, he struggled with Nakatani’s length, feints and straight right. He won decisively, but it was not the show-stopping performance Lopez usually brings on fight night.
That performance casted doubt on Lopez. To many, his time to shine is still a bit away. It didn’t deter the young fighter, however, from accepting a title fight against the hard-hitting Richard Conmey.
Perhaps it was too soon for Lopez. Conmey is too much for the young fighter. Lopez completely silenced all of the doubt with one thunderous right hand that put Conmey away. Lopez had arrived, and he did so in stellar fashion.
Now, nearly a year after his defiant victory, Lopez has the opportunity of a lifetime.
This fight is one of boxing’s best. There have been some big box office fights in boxing over the years. Also, contrary to popular opinion, boxing has put some amazing fights between two deserving fighters.
However, none have given the same feeling of revitalization this fight has given to boxing fans. It is many tales wrapped into one. It is the veteran against the newcomer, the humble versus the brash, the technical versus the brutal, and the present versus the future. Boxing is not dead – it is far from it. This fight between the best boxer on the planet and a young stud stepping up is the marquee match-up.
Lomachenko’s reign of greatness has met a new threat that is unlike any he has seen before. This fight is a can’t miss attraction, and thankfully, it is being broadcasted on ESPN for many to see.
Watch this fight because it is boxing at its finest. It is the best against the best. Don’t miss it.
/ 3 hours ago
Ah! The legendary days of former Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson are funny...