By Miguel Maravilla
WBC franchise, WBA super, and WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) returns to the ring this Saturday against undefeated IBF lightweight champion Teofimo López (15-0, 12 KOs) in a unification showdown at the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas live on ESPN.
“I feel great. I can’t wait for Saturday night,” Vasyl Lomachenko told media. “I have a goal, I have a dream and he holds the IBF title. I need this belt. Saturday I will take his belt.”
Having wrapped up his training camp in Camarillo, California with his father, Team Lomachenko is ready to come out on all cylinders.
“We will see what he has, we always come prepared,” Lomachenko said.
It’s been well over a year since the 32-year-old’s last fight when Lomachenko took a unanimous decision over Luke Campbell in August of 2019. Prior to that fight, he scored a fourth round knockout over Anthony Crolla in which he suffered a hand injury in the process. Will the hand injury and the one year layoff affect Lomachenko coming into this fight?
“I don’t think so. I feel good about my age. I’m just 32 years old. Who made the rules about age in boxing? I still feel great,” Lomachenko stated.
Now he gets set to face the very confident young champion Lopez, who carries himself with swagger and won the IBF lightweight title in his last fight with an impressive highlight reel knockout over Richard Commey last December at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York.
“He has a good punch, speed, and good IQ. He’s young and hungry. We will see,” Lomachenko commented.
Lopez has not held back as he has continued to taunt and tease Lomachenko throughout this camp.
“I heard this before from a lot of boxers that they will beat me or knock me out. In the ring they forget about their words and promises. For me, it’s just trash talk. We will see what happens in the ring,” Lomachenko said. “Back home we don’t have strict laws. Here in the States they are strict. If you insult somebody back home (in Ukraine) someone can confront you and fight you and there are no laws. He wouldn’t be talking that much. But he can talk all he wants. I will do the talking in the ring,” Lomachenko added.
These past few years for Lomachenko have been impressive his 2018 campaign saw him score knockouts over Jose Pedraza and Jorge Linares. 2017 saw him win the Fighter of the Year honors in which he stopped Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga, and forced Guillermo Rigondeaux to quit in closing his 2017 campaign.
Having accomplished many achievements, Lomachenko is considered the greatest amateur boxer of all time. Compiling a 396-1 record. That one defeat was avenged twice. A two-time world amateur champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, taking it all in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.
Turning pro in 2013, Lomachenko got his crack at the world title in his second professional fight in 2016. Dropping a split decision to Orlando Salido (who didn’t make weight) but bounced back with a dominant performance over current WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. in winning the WBO featherweight title.
“When I became a professional fighter. All I wanted to do is fight the best fighters,” Lomachenko stated.
Moving up to super featherweight in 2016, Lomachenko knocked out Rocky Martinez in five to win the WBO 130 pound title, successfully defending the title four times. Moving up to lightweight to face Linares, Lomachenko won his third world title in his third weight class by winning the WBA Super World lightweight title. Then picking up the WBO title from Pedraza and won the WBC title in his last fight over Campbell.
“Right now I have a top fighter in front of me. I want to improve and do this for my legacy,” Lomachenko said.
Looking to become the undisputed lightweight champion, a victory over Lopez will add another accolade in Lomachenko’s already illustrious career.
“I can’t compare this fight to any fight I’ve had. He is a tough fighter. It won’t be an easy fight. We will see,” Lomachenko said.
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