Andre Ward, Eddie Hearn, Amir Khan, Ryan Garcia and Oscar De La Hoya reveal thoughts on Las Vegas fight
Vasyl Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez will go at it this weekend in Las Vegas.
The pair will meet with the WBA (Super), WBO, and IBF lightweight titles up for grabs and it’s one of the biggest fights the boxing world will see in 2020, a year marred by the coronavirus.
Lomachenko, a 14-1 three-weight world champion is one of the most respected and admired fighters in boxing.
Taking him on is Lopez, the 23-year-old from Brooklyn who wants to add to his IBF title and make it 16-0.
As young as he is, he is certainly more than just an exciting prospect given all he has achieved so far.
Below, a mixture of current fighters, world champions, Hall of Famers and coaches give their take on who they think will win.
Shawn Porter – former two-time welterweight world champion
I think this fight is a little premature for Lopez, but we’ve seen it all in this sport. It’s a fight I would love to see Teofimo win, but I don’t know if he can. I don’t think that he can. I’m going to go ahead and say I think Lomachenko wins the fight, but if it goes completely the other way, I’ll be jumping up and down trust me.
Out of the four guys – Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Shakur Stevenson and Teo, I think Teo is just a little bit ahead of Shakur Stevenson. I think Devin falls into third and Ryan is at the backend in fourth.
I think if any of those guys had a chance of beating Lomachenko, it’s Teo.
Jorge Linares – former three weight world champion who lost to Lomachenko in 2018
It’s a very dangerous fight for Lomachenko because Lopez has power. He is a very difficult guy with a difficult style. But, come on. Lopez is not fast like me. He doesn’t have the speed like me. I don’t think he has this [points to his head] too.
He’s a hungry guy that wants to kill him – that’s it. So it’s a dangerous fight but more difficult for Lopez. Lomacehnko is a very, very smart guy. He’s very fast, very difficult.
But also, Lomachenko isn’t the same guy since the fight with me. It’s different – he hasn’t done an amazing job since.
Amir Khan – former unified light welterweight world champion
The way you beat Lomachenko… look, he’s a very patient fighter. He likes to wait, he likes to time you, he makes you miss and he hits you. The way you beat someone like that is you beat them at their own game.
And he reminds me of the old typical Ukraine fighters in the amateur days, how they used to fight. The Cubans too. They’ll wait, make you miss and then come at you with a great shot that will hurt you, maybe one or two.
So the way you fight him, the jab is the key in that fight. The speed of it and keeping the fight at a long distance, keeping the range long because you don’t want to get too close to him. Loma can throw combinations in the pocket quite well.
Freddie Roach – legendary boxing trainer, who most famously worked with Manny Pacquiao
Lomachenko wins. Punches are really good when they get landed, but when you got someone as defensive and as elusive as Lomachenko, it’s hard to do. Lopez has a puncher’s chance, yes, but that’s the case in a lot of fights.
Terence Crawford – former three-weight world champion and current WBO welterweight king
Yes, Lopez is ready for this fight and I’ve been saying it for a long time. I don’t know if he’ll win, but he is ready. Who is going to win? I might learn a little more towards Lomachenko given he’s got the experience and he’s been here before, but, at the same time, you can’t count Teofimo out.
He’s a tremendous young fighter that has got a lot of talent, a lot of punching power, believes in himself and he’s no slouch. He’s coming to fight and knock you out every time.
Oscar De La Hoya – 11-time world champion in six weight classes, who now runs Golden Boy Promotions
I love this fight. Lopez is a breath of fresh air to the division He’s exciting, he’s explosive, he’s outspoken and you need those type of good guy versus villains in the divisions.
Ryan Garcia, he’s a good guy. He’s a beast, but a good guy. Lopez is the bad guy and you need those kind of rivalries.
I think Lomachenko is an amazing boxer, an amazing fighter. But, Linares exposed him a little bit. Just a bit, not too much, but enough so that fighters can feel confident coming up against Loma.
Teofimo has that confidence, that confidence that he can beat him and you know what? He probably can!
Andre Ward – multiple-time world champion in two weight classes, retired with a perfect 32-0 record
Well, his dad wanted the fight. He backed his pops up, but that’s a big cheque to write.
The thing about trying to copy the Mayweather style, that’s a generational thing. Floyd Snr and Roger fought like that, it’s something Floyd did from the crib. He didn’t watch anybody to fight like that, he was taught like that.
Lopez comes out in the first round completely different to how Floyd did and he gets hit with right hands. That’s why I’m not a fan of Teofimo rushing to this fight.
Eddie Hearn – Influential fight promoter and head of Matchroom Boxing
Great fight. Lopez has done some brilliant talking. My tip is that Vasyl Lomachenko will win every round. I believe so.
Ryan Garcia – lightweight prodigy ranked 6th in the world
I think I give the edge to Lomachenko. I’m going to say it right now, Lomachenko is not the most talented. His speed doesn’t impress me. His punching power didn’t impress me when we sparred.
He was better than me when we sparred of course, I was only like 19. Lopez isn’t crazy talented either. He’s a little more naturally gifted than Lomachenko, but Lomachenko puts too much of his mind and IQ into boxing.
That IQ will f*** Teo up. I really don’t give a f*** who wins but if you’re asking for my opinion, I think Lomachenko wins.