A star was conceived in the air pocket on Saturday night as Teófimo López conveyed on his colossal guarantee with a shockingly exhaustive triumph over Vasiliy Lomachenko, the double cross Olympic gold medalist and three-weight champion from Ukraine broadly viewed as boxing’s pound-for-pound best.
The 23-year-old Brooklyn local overwhelmed the main portion of the long awaited lightweight title unification battle at the MGM Grand Conference Center, at that point held off a late-round flood and demonstrated the completing kick of a victor to bind together the IBF, WBA and WBO title belts at 135lbs. The three adjudicators at ringside supported López by scores of 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112. (The Guardian had it 116-112.)
López, who caught the IBF’s variant of the lightweight title with a concussive knockout of Richard Commey in December and went off as a 3-1 dark horse on Saturday, sprung the resentful not with his considerable influence but rather by outboxing the game’s most in fact capable warrior – a result anticipated by for all intents and purposes nobody.
“Many individuals were speaking profoundly about him and I hoped for something else,” López said. “Essential. It was pretty essential, sincerely. Possibly it was the 14-month cutback that did it, I don’t have the foggiest idea. Be that as it may, I had 10 months laid off, so for what reason does it make a difference? I battled the person that everyone says is the pound-for-pound (best).”
López exploited a moderate beginning by Lomachenko, a previous title holder at featherweight and junior lightweight whose solitary flashes of weakness have come since climbing to lightweight. The 32-year-old southpaw spent the initial four rounds tossing punches sparingly, substance to kick back and measure the undertaking before him. López had the option to bank adjusts effectively by contacting his adversary with a consistent eating regimen of punches and straight rights to the head and body.
As the battle went into the center rounds, Lomachenko kept on looking out for a slip-up that never came and had to modify his strategies as his face expand from the amassing of López’s blows. After a notice from ref Russell Mora for driving with his head, Lomachenko burst to life halfway through the eighth and handled a three-punch mix followed by a fresh right hand. He landed 19 of 38 punches in the round subsequent to interfacing on a sparse 31 in the initial seven joined. The battle was on.
Detecting López couldn’t fight with the weight, Lomachenko got in the ninth the latest relevant point of interest and kept on releasing his hands. He wobbled López with a blend from the get-go in the round yet the more youthful boss kept his ground and hit down with an uppercut through Lomachenko’s watchman. By the eleventh, Lomachenko was pouring on the discipline and the energy had swung determinedly in support of himself, however (and as the scorecards would confirm) it was clear he’d stood by too long to even think about flipping the switch.
Knowing Lomachenko probably required a knockout to win entering the twelfth, López’s dad and mentor encouraged his child to box from range. In any case, López disregarded the guidance and clenched down in the last round in a reasonable exertion to close the show in style. He battered and bloodied Lomachenko with straight rights and uppercuts all through the last three minutes, forcing his size and genuineness on the pound-for-pound lord. The ref seemed to save Lomachenko by calling time on the activity after a coincidental head butt in the last seconds caused an enormous slash over López’s correct eye, however by then the result was everything except a handshake away.
“I’m a warrior,” López said when inquired as to why he overlooked his dad’s advice. “I got the opportunity to delve in profound. I realized he was coming. I didn’t have a clue whether they had him up on the scorecards or not, and I love to battle. I can blast, as well. I couldn’t care less, man. I’ll take one to give one. That is the thing that a genuine victor does. I figure out how to win.”
Lomachenko associated on 141 of 321 punches contrasted with 183 of 659 for López, as indicated by Compubox’s punch measurements.
“I think in the principal half of the battle, he got a bigger number of rounds than I,” Lomachenko said through an interpreter. “However, at that point in the second 50% of the battle, I took it over and I was vastly improved. I need to return home and to survey the battle to see. I can’t remark right now much about it. In any case, I certainly am not concurring with the scorecards.”
He included: “right now I think (I won the battle). Be that as it may, the outcome is the outcome. I’m not going to contend at this moment.”
A while later López guaranteed it as a triumph for the more youthful age of warriors who are anxious to get through, putting himself at the top of a cutting-edge class that incorporates Shakur Stevenson, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis and David Benavidez.
“This is the new age,” he said. “We’re bringing back what the old fashioned was. Battle the best and you push on it. I’m not here to single out who I need to battle since I need to protect my title and keep that ‘O’. No. What’s more, presently, who knows how my figures will go up after this.
“Everybody needs to resemble Mayweather. So as to resemble Mayweather, you got the opportunity to resemble Pretty Boy first. You go to battle those folks where individuals don’t think you’ll win. You got the chance to battle any semblance of those folks that are undefeated and it’s a decent battle so as to make those kinds of millions that individuals need to make.”