Current world lightweight champion Teofimo “El Brooklyn” Lopez has made it clear he has no interest in a rematch with former world lightweight champion Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko. Why is he dismissing a rematch? Is he fearful that a more active Lomachenko would be an even tougher fight the second time around?
Going into this unification bout Lopez, 16-0 (12), held the IBF World title. Lomachenko, 14-2 (10), on the other hand held the WBA, WBC and WBO World titles. The latter had more to lose with more titles at stake. The odd makers had Lomachenko a 4-1 favorite going into the match. Lopez pulled off the upset in what most fans thought a close decision despite of the judge’s scores of an unbelievable of 119-109 by Julie Lederman, Steve Weisfeld’s 117-111 and Tim Cheatham’s 116-112 scores. ESPN commentator Andre Ward had it 114-114 and this writer 115-113 for Lopez by winning the last round.
It was said in order to have Lopez to agree to their first fight he requested more money than offered. So, Lomachenko gave up some of his money offered to give to Lomachenko.
Both boxers were coming off long periods of inactivity with Lomacheko having been off 14 months and Lopez 12 months. The ring rust showed especially by the 32 year-old Lomachenko who showed none of his usual angles that he was known for. On the other hand Lopez seemed to easily win the first 6 rounds due to the lack of offense by Lomachenko. Suddenly in the seventh through the eleventh rounds Lomachenko came on the same way Lopez did in the first 6 rounds. The commentators warned of Lomachenko being a slow starter but he was much slower than expected.
On this writer’s scorecard it was 114-113 for Lopez going into the twelfth and final round with Lopez having a very good last round to take a close 115-113 decision. Though not in the contract for some reason only the promoter Top Rank’s Bob Arum knows there was no “return clause!”
Since neither fighter seemed to be at their best due to lack of activity it would be expected that a rematch in the next 6 months they would both be at their best. Lopez would have more confidence being the undisputed champion and Lomachenko seeking to avenge his loss.
Lopez mentioned fighting Devin “The Dream” Haney, 24-0 (15) who holds a piece of the WBC title and who is slated to fight former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, 30-3 (18), who last fought in December of 2019 losing a lopsided fight to Gervonta “Tank” Davis, 23-0 (22), who holds a piece of the WBA title before being stopped in the final round.
Haney is scheduled to fight Gamboa on November 7th at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Davis is scheduled to fight Super World Super Featherweight champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz, 37-1-1 (19), on October 31st at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
It seems Lopez would fight the Haney-Gamboa winner first leaving Lomachenko possibly fighting the Davis-Santa Cruz winner next. It is this writer’s opinion that Lomachenko would be the much better fighter having 6 months of inactivity compared to 14 months and the revenge factor in his favor. On the other hand Lopez would have the confidence of being the unification champion. Wouldn’t an immediate rematch with Lomachenko be viewed the most interesting considering the closeness of their first fight? What do the fans think? At 23 Lopez has a long future but Lomachenko being 32 that time is not in his best interest. So, why not re-match in the case of striking while the fire is hot now? Lopez is not showing what a real champion is all about in this writer’s opinion. He certainly would make more money in the re-match than with a Haney or Davis winner. Why not a Haney-Davis winner fighting one another with the winner fighting a Lopez-Lomachenko re-match winner?