What’s Next For Vasyl Lomachenko?
Vasyl Lomachenko had been quite keen on a rematch with Teofimo Lopez and reclaiming his lightweight belts. The latter served up a shocker when he beat Lomachenko via unanimous decision in 2020 to become the unified lightweight champion, capturing the WBO, WBA, and IBF lightweight titles.
Lomachenko has fought once since, while Lopez recently lost to George Kambosos Jr., who became the unified lightweight champion by split decision (115-111, 114-113, 115-112) in the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
The Ukrainian was desperate to get back into the ring with Lopez again but that might be a ways off, especially as someone else is the champ now. Teofimo Lopez Sr. spoke on the possibility of a rematch on Fight Hub TV last month, pouring cold water on it. The former champ’s father said his son was planning to move up the weight classes and they weren’t looking to lose pounds just to fight Loma again.
“But until he gets something that we want, you know,” Lopez Sr. said. “We, we’re not gonna sacrifice our fre**ing weight to go in there weak and fight this guy.
“You know what I’m saying, my son, can’t make 135 no more. It’s been like 3-4 years ago that we said we’re gonna move up to 140. So I think once we got this fight, we go for the big guys, we go for all the belts.”
While he praised Lomachenko, Teofimo’s father made it clear that there was no intention to offer the 33-year-old a rematch. This must have come as a bitter blow to the 15-2-0 boxer but perhaps an opportunity has opened up with the belts having switched hands over the weekend.
For now, Loma is slated to return to Madison Square Garden on December 11 for a fight with Richard Commey, who could prove to be his final test before he gets a shot at the lightweight boxing summit. He will be extra motivated to win this one given Lopez’s loss to the Australian on Saturday night.
Lomachenko heads into the fight as the favorite at 8/1 while his opponent’s name has been attached to odds of 9/2 and a draw is at 25/1. The fight is sure to be the talk of betting forums as it moves closer, with 96 percent of punters having put their money on the Ukrainian star.
December will be a heavy boxing month. Jake Paul, the YouTuber-turned wannabe boxer will be facing off with Tommy Fury on December 18 and the odds back Paul to lose this one at 13/8 while Fury is favored at 4/7.
Lomachenko, meanwhile, has vowed not to underestimate his upcoming opponent.
“It is always special when I fight at Madison Square Garden, where so many great moments in my career have taken place,” he said. “Richard Commey is a former world champion, an opponent I will not underestimate. I expect the best version of Commey, and I will be prepared for whatever he brings on December 11.”
“It is only fitting that the great Lomachenko headlines boxing’s highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum was quoted as saying. “However, Richard Commey can never be counted out, as he’s a tough fighter who carries huge power in both hands.
Loma’s loss to Teofimo is still fresh in the minds of boxing fans considering the sheer surprise that came along with it. However, there’s a notion that the fight did not get the props it deserved and Lopez appeared to agree with it when asked about it in an interview.
“Yeah, I think what I love about all this, I always try to look at the positivity and the things that got wrong,” he said. “Right? Change. I look at life now where any negativity that comes into my life, I turn it into a positivity. I took the good out of it and when I look at it, it is this.”
“It was hot and then it died down. So now it’s like right before people, it’s just right before god, just before they want to see you lose, god will grab everybody’s attention. Just to see you win.”
Lopez, 24, has refused to accept Saturday’s loss, claiming he won 10 rounds despite getting floored in the first.
“I don’t care what anybody says, I won tonight,” he said after the shock result. “At the end of the day, I’ve been here, I’ve done it. Look, I’m not a sore loser; I take my wins like I take my losses. At the end of the day, I’m a true champion. I came out here, I did what I had to do and I went out there and I did my best. … This is the takeover: we don’t stop, we keep coming.”
The future remains unclear for both Lopez and Lomachenko but the older boxer seems to have the best path back to glory at the moment although a rematch could be offered to the American easily enough.