We have a new light king. At just 23 years old, Teofimo Lopez became the undisputed lightweight champion of the world by ignoring Vasiliy Lomachenko in 12 tense tours inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Lopez has become the youngest fighter to become a four-belt champion since WBO was founded in 1988.
After a strong start, Lopez won a late Lomchenko rally to win by scores of 116–112, 119–109 and 117–111.
Lopez had an early domination in boxing, who controlled the center of the ring using his educated left hand and then hit Lomchenko with well-placed body shots, supporting the younger boxer.
Lopez (16–0, 12 KOs) took a big lead on the scorecard as he was able to make the beautiful movements of Lomchenko (14–2, 10) behind that jab. For the first half of the fight, Lomchenko performed just as aggressively by moving around the ring. It was clear that Lopez’s technical prowess and portrayal were greatly reduced. He was actually outboxing the master boxer for long segments of the bout.
Yet Lomchenko did not give up without a fight. As the fight entered the late stages, Lomchenko regained consciousness, he was behind, he began to ease the pressure and close the gap on Lopez. He hit him with a quick, laser-like left hand that slowed Lopez’s pace. To his credit, Lomchenko took out a late rally together in the championship round.
“I think the first half of the fight got more rounds than I did, but in the second half of the fight I took over,” Lomchenko said. “I was much better.”
But if a late statement was needed by Lopez, it was made in the 12th and final round. Despite Lopez’s father stating that they had a battle to enter the final round, Lopez kept the pressure on and shook his hand, landing several key power shots, which prevented Lomchenko on his tracks Gone. Only a head-on collision that caused Lopez’s left eye to gush, he held the tide.
“I’m a fighter,” Lopez said after the 12th round of fighting. “I should dig deep. I knew he was coming. I didn’t know if they had him on the scorecard or not, and I like to fight. I can bang too. I don’t mind. ‘I’ll take one to give. That’s what a true champion does. I’ve found a way to victory. ”
The round was a late exclamation, a sterling performance by a young man fulfilling the destiny of his outspoken father, who predicted that not only would his son win the world title from his 15th fight, but that he would be a boxer. Will consider many times. Best in the game by his 16th.