The short amount of time needed by Teofimo Lopez to claim a lightweight title wasn’t nearly long enough for his next potential opponent to dissect or critique.
“I can’t explain, it was just a couple of rounds,” Vasiliy Lomachenko told ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna of Lopez’s explosive two round knockout of exiting lightweight titlist Richard Commey (29-3, 26KOs). “This is boxing, it happens. He always power. He’s a smart fighter, but it’s a different opponent.”
Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10KOs) was seated ringside for the bout, which took place Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The very same venue saw the 31-year old southpaw become a three-division titlist quicker than anyone in history (since matched by Japan’s Kosei Tanaka) after climbing off the canvas to stop Jorge Linares in their lightweight changing of the guard last May.
Two more belts made their way around Lomachenko’s waist, including a 12-round win over England’s Luke Campbell this past August in London, where both captured Gold medals in the 2012 Olympics.
Lomachenko is back down to two belts and a WBC “Franchise” title in present day. Still, his place atop the division coupled by the emergence of Brooklyn’s Lopez (15-0, 12KOs) creates a genuine World lightweight championship clash for Top Rank, who promotes both boxers.
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum has teased for months a scenario where Lomachenko and Lopez collide by next April for the undisputed championship, though they will be one belt short but still in a fight where a true king will be crowned. Such a bout is why the two-time Olympic Gold medalist and current pound-for-pound entrant was up close and personal for Saturday’s action.
“I want to ‘unificate’ title,” noted Lomachenko, the play on ‘unify’ quickly becoming his catchphrase. “Welcome to my club, see you in April.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox