Look, let’s get it out of the way: 2020 has been laughably terrible. We said it. But our patience has paid off and we’re finally getting something pure and good: Vasiliy Lomachenko fighting Teofimo Lopez.
There’s a bubble involved and everyone’s dodging a pandemic like it’s Ezzard Charles at light heavyweight, but beggars can’t be choosers. Plus, us boxing fans, the proverbial “beggars” in this scenario, are getting hooked up. Maybe we learned from that whole Charlo PPV business to just shut up.
It helps that this ESPN card isn’t costing $75, though to be fair it’s not nearly as deep as that Showtime Charlo Doubleheader either. While well-matched on paper, this undercard fails to deliver any star power, with the (admittedly extremely strong) main event doing the heavy lifting.
Lomachenko vs Lopez is the kind of style contrast hardcore fans salivate over while not being so nuanced it turns off part-time or potential fans. Both fighters visibly go all-in on their particular approach to boxing. When Top Rank dialed the “father-son” aspects of this fight up to 11, it just added more seasoning to the battle.
Top Rank’s “Blood Sweat and Tears” two-part special on YouTube is worth the watch, but the viewer learns more about Lopez and his relationship with his father than anything. The 23-year-old Hondureño comes off as volatile, emotional at times, while Lomachenko could be plucked from this training camp and placed into another, and it seems nobody would notice.
Anatoliy “Papachenko” Lomachenko hovers about the background, chronicling his son’s training along with the Top Rank cameras. Vasiliy, the pound-for-pound talent said to possess near-supernatural abilities, is a natural being filmed.
Lomachenko might be a firm favorite, and he probably should be, but Lopez can put the Ukrainian to sleep if given the chance. At 32, Lomachenko should have years ahead of him. It’s just fair to wonder when those 400+ amateur fights begin to add up.
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