BOXING analyst Nick Munday (@NM_Sport) shares his betting thoughts on Saturday night's big bout as Vasyl Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez go toe-to-toe.
Vasyl Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez | Sunday 18th October 2020, 03:00 |FITE TV
Las Vegas is the scene of the biggest boxing bout since lockdown this weekend, as pound-for-pound king Vasyl Lomachenko meets brash Brooklynite Teofimo Lopez in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Taking place behind closed doors in the Top Rank bubble, Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) puts his WBA, WBO and WBC ‘Franchise’ belts on the line, while Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) defends his IBF strap for the first time.
Lomachenko became a three-weight world champion after just 12 professional bouts. As an amateur he won two Olympic golds for Ukraine and a host of other medals before turning pro. If you haven’t watched him before, ‘Hi-Tech' wows fans with his fantastic footwork, terrific hand speed and occasional showboating.
Lopez, 23, is one of the rising stars of the sport, becoming world champion last December with a cracking knockout against respected Ghanaian Richard Commey (TKO2). Known for his confident persona and heavy hands, Lopez has been calling Lomachenko’s name for over a year.
EXPERIENCE WILL BE KEY
Timing-wise, it feels like a fight of this magnitude is coming a bit too soon for the younger man, who has only completed 12 rounds once – an underwhelming points win over Masayoshi Nakatani in July 2019. Lomachenko is probably just past his peak, but still operates at an exceptional level. This is a man who had a reported 397 amateur bouts – winning all but one, and he avenged the loss twice.
To chase the biggest challenges, Lomachenko has climbed up from 126lbs (featherweight), to 130lbs (super-featherweight), to the lightweight limit of 135lbs. So Lopez, a natural lightweight, will be the bigger man.
However this size disadvantage won’t faze Loma. Since stepping up to lightweight he’s given away height and reach advantage to Jorge Linares (TKO 10), Jose Pedraza (UD) and Luke Campbell (UD).
It’s 4/6 that this bout goes the distance, and it's unlikely that Lopez will be able to outbox one of the most decorated amateur pugilists in history. Lopez's best chance is probably in the first half of the fight. If he can consistently get up close to Loma (big if) and use his size he'll be eyeing a stoppage (11/2). If you want to find a way to back the underdog then a Lopez stoppage between round 1-6 will appeal at 12/1.
LOMA LIKELY TO WIN ON THE CARDS
It'll be tough for Lomachenko to halt a guy so much bigger than him, so the most likely route to victory will be to use his dazzling boxing skills and ring IQ to outclass Lopez on the scorecards (even money at Sportingbet). I wouldn’t put anyone off the unanimous decision at 6/4 either (Ladbrokes and Coral).
Lopez is a talented, young, marketable fighter but I think he’s going to find out why his opponent is regarded as the finest of his generation. If Lopez is struggling to land anything significant on the Ukrainian, it's likely he'll start to take more risks and could be caught coming in late on.
Vasyl Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez – Vasyl Lomachenko to win on points (1/1 Sportingbet)