LAS VEGAS – Takeover is complete.
Tephimo Lopez completed his rocket journey to the top of Boxing’s lightweight division and a unanimous decision about Vasily Lomchenko made him the undisputed champion.
Lopez now holds the lightweight titles of WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF, becoming only the fifth man to become the undisputed champion in the four-belt era. The others are Bernard Hopkins, Jermaine Taylor, Terence Crawford and Alexander Usak.
Judge Tim Chietham had it 116–112, similar to Yahoo Sports. Steve Weifeld supported Lopez 117–111 while Julie Lederman had it as a nearly unfit 119–109 for Lopez.
“Julie Lederman, what kind of fight was she watching,” said promoter Bob Arum. He said, “These judges are insane.” … Lopez won the fight, but [Lomachenko] The back end won four of those rounds. “
Lomachenko’s strategy was baffling to say the least. He threw very few punches in the first half of the fight and let Lopez win by advancing and throwing jabs and the occasional right hand.
Lomchenko picked it up in the second half of the fight but he backed out. He clearly rebounded, but his wide score had angered many.
“I would advise any fighter that I have to ask the commission not to appoint him,” Arum said.
Lopez’s punching power seemed well as a factor. When there was no knockdown, Lomchenko had trouble competing with the tough righties that Lopez was landing. In the 12th round, it looked as if the fight might be in the balance, with Lopez gaining three or four bristling rights, stopping Lomachenko on his tracks.
Lopez suffered a serious injury above his left eye after suffering a late head injury. Lomachenko got his head down and was repeatedly warned by referee Russell Mora.
After including two Olympic gold medals in an amateur career of 396–1, Lomchenko was second and third in his career. He is now 14–2 as a supporter.
Lopez, who won the 2016 US Olympic Trials but did not make the team, represented Honduras and was eliminated in the first round in Rio de Janeiro. But he has been a budding star as a supporter and, on Saturday, finally reached the top of the mountain.
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