However many excuses he has trotted out since dropping a unanimous decision to Teofimo Lopez last October in their lightweight unification bout, one area in which Vasiliy Lomachenko is happy to give credit to his former adversary is his power.
Well, sort of.
“He is a strong guy,” Lomachenko admitted to SnowQueenLA. “But I can’t say he has some vicious punches that could knock you out cold.
“Yes, he does hit hard; but, you understand it’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how accurate your punches land in certain parts of the head. Then, it could end up bad.”
Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) has not hid his displeasure with the official outcome of the fight in which all three judges scored it widely for the young Honduran-American (116-112, 119-109, 117-111). For the past several months, the Ukrainian has attempted to save face by revealing that he injured his shoulder during the bout, in addition to casting doubt on the competency of the judges and CompuBox numbers, among other alibis.
“At the end of the second round, I tried to throw a combo,” Lomachenko explained. “I pulled my shoulder again. At that point, I knew that if I started being more active, then at any moment my shoulder would make me stop the fight. I wouldn’t be able to continue fighting with only one hand. I had to control it. When I finished the 5th round I knew I hadn’t done anything yet.
“Yes, I didn’t throw anything (for half the fight), but he didn’t land anything either.”
Lomachenko was roundly criticized for taking more than half the bout to start implementing his offense, a reticence, of course, that was due in large part to the threat that Lopez posed. In the later rounds, Lomachenko began to unfurl his trademark short-burst combinations and had Lopez retreating along the ropes. Lopez fired back in the 12th round, punctuating his performance with a hard right hand to the body.
“He did land some punches” Lomachenko continued. “It didn’t hurt me…maybe because he didn’t land them right or maybe he is not as strong as he seems to be.”
Backhanded compliments aside, Lomachenko did rank Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) as a bigger puncher than his previous opponent Jorge Linares; Linares dropped Lomachenko with a straight right hand in their bout in 2018.
“I wouldn’t say that Linares hits harder…Lopez does hit harder,” Lomachenko said.