IBF lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez is set to face the WBA (Super), WBO, and The Ring lightweight titleholder Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko on October 17.
Although the latter’s advanced footwork and speed are yet to countered by any of his opponents, it seems that Lopez and his team have decoded the strategy to beat him. Lopez wants to do something that no fighter has done against Loma till now.
What is Lopez’s secret to beat Vasyl Lomachenko?
Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) has said that he will not be waiting on his opponent. Instead, he will put on the pressure and bring the fight to Lomachenko.
He said, “I’m not a stupid fighter where I go in there and throws punches and expect to get lucky. No, everything I do is accurate, and it’s all pinpointed. I’m not the type of fighter that throws shots. I place my punches.
“He [Lomachenko] doesn’t know how to fight going backward. Everybody is saying he’s the greatest fighter of all time, but you’ve got to learn to fight with all attributes, bro.”
“Nobody even knows that I know how to fight going backward. In the amateurs, I was just a straight boxer. Everyone sees me now, coming forward, looking like a brawler or whatever you want to say, thinking I throw lucky punches.”
While Lopez is confident going into this fight, he does not take Lomachenko lightly and understands the level of competition he will be facing. He also stated that he does not expect to win early.
Vasyl Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) will look to apply the same pressure on Lopez that he does with all his opponents. And though we haven’t seen Lomachenko fight going backward, we cannot say he cannot do so.
Both fighters are known to come forward and push their opponent. And while we are yet to see any weakness in Lomachenko’s game, Lopez has promised to bring it out by making him retreat. It will be interesting to see who takes the first back-step.