Winner, Twitter Reaction And Analysis (Video)

Vasiliy Lomachenko isn’t infallible after all. And Teofimo Lopez definitively proved that on Saturday night.

In the process of winning a unanimous decision against Lomachenko on Saturday night, Lopez unified the 135-pound titles and stamped himself as a huge star. He did it by outboxing the master boxer for the first half of the fight and then outlasting Lomachenko in the second half.

The judges had it 116-112, 119-109 and 117-111 (I scored it 115-113 for Lopez), and though Julie Lederman’s decision to give Lomachenko only one round (one freakin’ round?!?), there’s not much doubt that Lopez was the better fighter on this night. Whether Lomachenko is past his prime or Lopez was too big for him—or maybe Lopez is even more phenomenal than people thought—he was awesome on Saturday.

“I had to dig deep,” Lopez said on ESPN after the fight. “I’m grateful. Each and every day I take that in. It feels good.”

Afterward, Lomachenko said he thought he won the fight (though I don’t think he too convincing with his answer).

“In the first half of the fight, he got more rounds than I did,” Lomachenko said. “In the second half, I took it over. I was much better. I definitely don’t agree with those scorecards.”

For the past two years, Lopez has been gunning for Lomachenko. On Saturday night, Lopez finally got his chance, and simply put, he performed better.

Most boxers predicted Lomachenko would win. They were wrong.

Before the fight, Lomachenko was about a -420 favorite, up from -350 when the fight was first made official. Lopez, meanwhile, was the +330 underdog with a win by KO/TKO at +500.

Though regular and recreational gamblers reportedly bet overwhelmingly on Lopez, perhaps because the odds were so tempting. But since most of the betting sharps reportedly put their money on Lomachenko, the odds remained stable (or moved more toward the experienced fighter).

At least two people, though, were happy with the result.

When Lomachenko appeared for his ringwalk before the fight, he eschewed the idea of wearing a robe. He wore a black T-shirt and his trunks. That was good enough for him, and people noticed.

Lomachenko was absent from the ring for 14 months. He even said he wasn’t sure how his 32-year-old body would react to such a long layoff. Unsurprisingly, Lomachenko got off to a slow start and did virtually nothing for the first round and didn’t do much more in the second. In fact, Lopez could have won the first four rounds (though I gave Lomachenko the fourth).

By the end of the fifth round, Lopez had even turned into the live betting favorite.

Finally, in the eighth, Lomachenko started landing hard punches and combinations. He never hurt Lopez, but the momentum had shifted.

He kept getting better and better through the second half of the fight.

I had it 105-104 for Lopez heading into the final round, and I fully expected Lomachenko to win the 12th. But Lopez wouldn’t allow himself to get steamrolled and outlanded Lomachenko to win the round (and the fight) on my card.

Though the 12th round ultimately didn’t matter in the eyes of the judges, the fact Lopez turned the momentum back in his favor was perhaps the most impressive accomplishment of all.

“I’m a fighter,” Lopez said. “I had to dig deep. I knew he was coming. I couldn’t give him that. I didn’t know if they had him up on the cards. I can bang, too. That’s what a true champion does. They come out and find a way to win.”


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