Before Vasyl Lomachenko lost against Teofimo Lopez, He was the number 1 pound for pound boxer in the world. Most of Lomachenko’s opponents looked like amateurs against him. Two undefeated boxers gave up inside the ring because they see no way of winning the fight.
Only one among the rising prospect was willing to fight Vasyl Lomachenko and his name is Teofimo Lopez. He called out Lomachenko when he was still inexperienced. No other boxer does this at 23 years of age. This attitude separates him from other young undefeated boxers.
Young prospects that have not yet proven but have huge potential avoided Lomachenko. Ryan Garcia still has not won a major title but is very popular. Devin Haney though won the WBC title but because Lomachenko vacated it to have the franchise belt instead.
Gervonta Davis has shown to have the highest talent potential among all of them, also openly admits he is not yet ready to face Lomachenko. He said that he is growing and improving his game, not to take anything away from him. His promoter, Floyd Mayweather knows the boxing game well so they choose smart fights.
But what sets Lopez apart from them is that he takes huge risks to be the best. He is willing to take a fight being a huge underdog. No one believed he would outclass Lomachenko and eventually win the belts at 23 years old.
Even before winning the IBF lightweight title against Richard Commey, he already called out Lomachenko. In an interview with Max Kellerman, he really believed that he would beat Lomachenko when he has not beaten any top boxers.
During Lopez’s rise, he showed that he has the knockout power and charisma to be the next star. He showboats and dances inside the ring, his fighting style attracts even casual boxing fans.
Just for the record, before the fight, Lomachenko was believed by many media personnel as the invincible complete boxer that won’t be beaten in a long time. People saying that Lopez is delusional for calling out Lomachenko and it was better to stay quiet and pick easy fights.
A lot of criticism going to the fight was Teofimo’s Father who was also his coach. Teofimo Sr. was saying that he guarantees that his son will win the fight and will quit boxing if he loses.
There was also a documentary in the buildup saying that Teofimo Sr did not show father love to his son and was just a full-time boxing coach. People were hating on his father for doing this but Teofimo Jr. said that it may have been due to emotions of the moment.
Both Lopez overcame the odds stacked against and delivered. In the fight, the first half of the rounds were all Lopez. Lomachenko did not throw as much punch as he usually does but he did have moments in the later rounds. All judges gave it to Teofimo Lopez as the winner.
Among all the lightweights right now, Lopez is on the A-side which means he calls the shots since he is the champion. He did encourage all the upcoming stars to take risks in order for their name to elevate. He was the first and paved the way for the young stars, that deserves credit.
Lopez is calling out Devin Haney as his next potential opponent. Haney is the WBC champion so it would unify the belts as well. Another name is Gervonta Davis but Mayweather said that Davis still needs 1 or 2 more fights until the megafight. Ryan Garcia is still unproven but shows promise.
Another option would be to move up if no opponent is willing to fight Lopez. He could move up and fight Ramirez or Taylor but he needs time to bulk up a bit. Lopez is a naturally big lightweight so it is possible for him to move up and beat the top contenders.
The bottom line is Teofimo Lopez is a different breed, he is not afraid that he might lose in a fight and chooses an easy fight. He is in it for the legendary status like that of Muhammad Ali and Manny Pacquiao.