LAS VEGAS (AP) – Theofimo Lopez dominated Saturday night to win a 12-round decision over Vasily Lomachenko to unite the lightweight titles and ended strong on Saturday night.
Lomachenko took advantage of Lopez’s slow start to gain an early lead, then ended the fight with a big 12th round, which Lomachenko lost on bloodshed and scorecards. The 23-year-old from Brooklyn became the unified light champion and was able to do what he could in boxing – box box is probably the best technician in boxing.
Lopez (16-0) added three titles in the hands of Lomachenko (15-2) to the belt he won last year to become the undisputed 135-champion.
Lopez leaned towards 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112 on the ringside scorecards in a match without fans at the MGM Grand Conference Center. The Associated Press won Lopez 117-111.
Lopez is faster and stronger than the 32-year-old Lomachenko, who won two Olympic gold medals as a Lo enthusiast and is considered one of the pro-pound-for-pound fighters. Surprisingly, he was also a good boxer and proved that he could close the show by bleeding Lomachenko’s eye in the 12th round.
“I had to dig deeper, man,” Lopez said. “I was a fighting warrior. I had to dig deeper.”
When trying to figure out Lopez’s style, Lomachenko, usually a slow starter, was very slow this time. By the time the fight was over in the eighth round he was far behind from coming back.
“He was on 14-month dismissal,” Lopez said. “I know, it will take a long time to catch him.”
Lomachenko, who has lost only once in nearly 400 te amateur battles and has suffered only one defeat in Pro, thought he had done a better job than the scorecards he suggested.
“Of course I do not agree with the scorecards,” he said.
This fight is the biggest since the outbreak began and is an event that pays to watch in normal times. But in the absence of fans it was televised on ESPN, providing boxing with a big showcase that could otherwise be earned.
Lopez told his father he was in the corner before the 12th round, that he was ahead and not to risk anything. But he came out strong and punched Lomachenko.
“I don’t know if they put him on the scorecards,” Lopez said.
Lopez became the youngest man to become only a four-belt champion in his second title fight. He tried to fight against Lomachenko, provoking the Ukrainians with his tough tactics.