LAS VEGAS – Teofimo Lopez hasn’t paid much mind to the comments Vasiliy Lomachenko recently made about their fight.
The former three-division champion told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel that after watching his loss to Lopez repeatedly, Lomachenko is convinced that their 12-round, 135-pound championship match should’ve resulted in a draw. Lopez upset Lomachenko by unanimous decision October 17 to retain his IBF belt and won the WBA, WBO and WBC “franchise” championships from the Ukrainian southpaw.
Judges Tim Cheatham (116-112), Steve Weisfeld (117-111) and Julie Lederman (119-109) scored eight, nine and 11 rounds, respectively, for Lopez. Brooklyn’s Lopez doesn’t feel the outcome of their fight warrants a second bout and Lomachenko didn’t have a rematch clause in his contract.
The 23-year-old Lopez suspects Lomachenko’s comments are just more evidence of him having difficulty dealing with his first decisive defeat.
“Loma, he finally took an actual loss, for the first time in his whole career, from amateur to pro,” Lopez told a group of reporters. “So, he don’t know how to take a loss. You know, my whole thing is like the fact that, you know, seeing the way he is and the way he’s trying to move and all that, he’s just someone that is a sore loser. That’s all it is. I beat him clearly. And when I said, ‘Come on,’ and I said, ‘Step up to the plate,’ he backed down. So, that goes to show, man. And if we were to fight again, he’ll get knocked out and he knows it. I took his heart.”
Lomachenko was much more active and competitive in the second half of his fight with Lopez than in its first six rounds. He also had minor surgery to repair his right shoulder following his loss to Lopez.
Nevertheless, the two-time Olympic gold medalist will have to settle for facing an opponent Lopez beat in his next fight, rather than Lopez himself.
The 33-year-old Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) is scheduled to oppose Japan’s Masayoshi Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs) in a 12-round main event ESPN+ will stream June 26 from The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
“It’s the best choice for me,” Lomachenko told Kriegel on Saturday night. “I want to compare myself with this guy [Lopez]. He was close with [Lopez] in their fight. He’s a great opponent for me.”
Lopez defeated Nakatani by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder in July 2019 at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The week before Lomachenko encounters Nakatani, Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is scheduled to make a mandated defense of his IBF lightweight title against Australia’s George Kambosos Jr. (19-0, 10 KOs) in a pay-per-view main event June 19 at loanDepot Park in Miami (Fite.tv; $49.99).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.