SAN ANTONIO – Teofimo Lopez laughed when he was jokingly asked why he squandered so much of his purse to bribe the judges before his career-defining fight versus Vasiliy Lomachenko.
All kidding aside, Lopez considers the controversial comments Lomachenko made recently “sad,” not funny. Lopez expected excuses from the former three-division champion once Lopez upset him October 17, but he didn’t think Lomachenko would claim that the judges were bribed to favor Lopez prior to their 12-round, 135-pound title unification fight at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
“I knew that he was probably gonna come up with an excuse of an injury, or something like that,” Lopez told BoxingScene.com early Sunday morning at Alamodome, following Canelo Alvarez’s victory over Callum Smith. “Or that he’s probably too old and he’s gonna retire. There was a lot of commotion going on and I had an idea of what they were gonna throw at me when I beat this guy.
“However, for Lomachenko to come out recently and come out with a statement like that, it definitely shocked me. It surprised me, but at the same time, I mean, what else can I expect from a guy who left without talking about what he did wrong in the post-fight press conference? He didn’t show up for anyone. So, I think these statements just show what kind of person he really is.”
Ukraine’s Lomachenko made the bribery charge in a lengthy interview that was posted to his Instagram page last week (https://www.boxingscene.com/lomachenko-on-loss-lopez-nothing-honest-about-judging-its-about-being-bribed--154153).
The powerful Lopez out-boxed Lomachenko, who was a 4-1 favorite, to win their fight unanimously on the scorecards. Judges Julie Lederman (119-109), Steve Weisfeld (117-111) and Tim Cheatham (116-112) scored their bout for the 23-year-old Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), who became the youngest fully unified champion in boxing’s four-belt era.
Lederman’s score wasn’t reflective of the work Lomachenko did during the second half of their bout, but the two-time Olympic gold medalist essentially gave away the first half of the bout by approaching Lopez very cautiously. His strange strategy early in their fight helped lead to the most decisive defeat of Lomachenko’s seven-year pro career.
“I think it just makes the other person look bad,” Lopez said, “when they talk about something that, realistically, everyone else saw different. You know, however, that person feels and however they wanna look at it, you know, that’s just someone that doesn’t wanna accept their defeat.”
The 32-year-old Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) didn’t have a rematch clause in his contract. Lopez doesn’t see any need to fight Lomachenko again.
“There’s no point,” Lopez said. “There really is no point. Listen, he doesn’t wanna fight again. That whole time that we fought – and I don’t need to explain myself because it’s there, it’s written. You know what I mean? But it’s written in stone. The guy don’t wanna fight. He was in survival mode the whole time.
“The best boxer in the whole world, that everybody said was a magician, a god in boxing, and all those things, the best fighter since Muhammad Ali, whatever they wanna say, he didn’t wanna go toe-to-toe with me. He did not even wanna take that chance, so it just goes to show what kind of man he really is.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.