Vasiliy Lomachenko won’t fight Teofimo Lopez any time soon, one of the many anticipated bouts which have fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic. They were supposed to fight in a lightweight title unification bout on May 30, but the outbreak has put those plans on hold for the time being.
Lomachenko is home in his native Ukraine, where he is in quarantine and following social distancing guidelines.
Lopez, the IBF champion, and his outspoken father/trainer, Teofimo Sr., however, clearly remain on his mind.
Lomachenko did a Q&A with Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher and she asked him what makes the match with Lopez interesting. Lomachenko didn’t say his power, or his quickness, or any other boxing-related skill. His answer, though, is evidence he’s heard loud and clear all the trash-talk emanating from Team Lopez.
“The interesting thing for me, it will be to look into his eyes and his father’s eyes and see their reaction [after the fight],” Lomachenko said.
Lomachenko is third on the Yahoo Sports pound-for-pound list, behind No. 1 Canelo Alvarez and Terence Crawford. He’s ranked first by many and is a favorite to defeat Lopez, a 22-year-old who is 15-0 with 12 KOs.
Lopez’s father has been pushing for a fight with Lomachenko for more than a year, but Top Rank has been urging Lopez Jr. to get more experience. Lomachenko, though, admitted he’s impressed with Lopez.
“I really think he’s a good boxer,” Lomachenko said. :He’s a top fighter. He’s young, he’s hungry, he has big power, and I want this fight. He’s a world champion, and he holds my belt. It’s [my] IBF title.”
He hasn’t fought since Aug. 31, when he defeated Luke Campbell in England, and it could be more than a year by the time he gets into the ring.
He was asked by a fan about the layoff, but expects to be able to deal with it well.
“Yes, of course [I am concerned],” he said. “You have to be active all the time. You have to be training a lot in the downtime between fights. Right now, I am relaxing more. I will need to spend more time training. I will need to spar more and do more work.”
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