Conventional wisdom suggests that pound-for-pound superstar Vasiliy Lomachenko will have too much boxing nous for young pretender Teofimo Lopez when they clash in their undisputed lightweight title showdown in Las Vegas on October 17.
But IBF champion Lopez is the physically bigger man, bringing vitality and serious, fight-ending power as exemplified by his eye-catching two-round dismissal of tough Ghanaian Richard Commey last December.
WBC 130lbs champion Miguel Berchelt is certainly not underestimating what Honduran-American Lopez brings to the table.
“It’s a difficult fight, complicated. Everyone, including me, [likes] Lomachenko’s fine boxing. He’s a strategist, the movements he has, those angles he handles,” Berchelt told ESPN Deportes. “But, without a doubt, on the other side is the explosiveness and youth of Teofimo Lopez, we saw [that] against Commey.
“I think it is a fight with a reserved prognosis. Many will go with Lomachenko, but Teofimo should not be ruled out because he is a young fighter, very hungry, and he can hurt Lomachenko since [the Ukrainian] is coming up from featherweight to lightweight.”
Berchelt has eyes on a fight with Lomachenko himself, but must first get past Mexican rival and former world champion Oscar Valdez in a clash likely to take place at the end of the year.
“That’s my goal. The truth is by winning this fight with Oscar Valdez and winning decisively, by knockout, would open a lot of doors for me in the 135lbs division,” he said. “Although there are still great challenges [at] 130lbs, I am going to listen to my body. I would like to become the best super-featherweight in the history of Mexico.”
Main image: Lopez (left) and Lomachenko flank promoter Bob Arum. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank.