We have a new king in the 135-pound division. On Saturday night, at the MGM Grand Conference Center, “The Takeover” Teofimo Lopez((16-0, 12 KOs) put on a masterful performance and defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko(14-2, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision. Lopez, and father/trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr., kept telling us for years that he was going to ‘Takeover” the 135-pound division, and he did it.
Lopez won on all three scorecards, 119-109, 118-110, and 116-112). goforitradio.com scored the fight 116-112 for Lopez. The Brooklyn native was in complete control in the first half of the fight, and in the later rounds, Lomachenko, who did not do much in the early rounds, started to pick up the pace. Lomachenko was scoring late in the fight, but Lopez won the 12th round emphatically and closed the show. With the victory, the 23-year-old Lopez becomes the youngest four-belt world champion.
“I had to dig deep, man,” Lopez said after the fight. “I’m thankful. I’m grateful. And each and every day, I take that in. I thank God first because I couldn’t do it without him.
“I’m a fighter. I gotta dig in deep. I knew he was coming. I didn’t know if they had him up on the scorecards or not, and I love to fight. I can bang, too. I don’t care, man. I’ll take one to give one. That’s what a true champion does. I find a way to win.”
For Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs), who is a three-weight world champion, this was a case of too little, too late. It appeared that Lomachenko was wary of Lopez’s power and really did not have much activity. While Lomachenko won a bunch of belts at 135, it’s not his best weight. He gets touched up a little more at 135, including being knocked down by Jorge Linares back in 2018. So, it should be interesting to see what he does next.
Regarding Lopez, he’s a star at this point, and the only thing left for him to do at 135, is to fight WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney, which would be a great fight to make in 2021. However, there are other big fights at 135, including fights with Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia. Lopez, who is a big 135-pounder, could even move up to 140. However, no matter what he does next, it’s clear, a star was born on Saturday night.
Photo: Top Rank Boxing/Mikey Williams