Saturday marks the biggest fight since boxing returned in June from the COVID-19 pandemic as Vasiliy Lomachenko, arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, meets IBF titlist Teofimo Lopez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
There’s no love lost between the 32-year-old Lomachenko and the 23-year-old Lopez. The rivalry hit a fever pitch at Friday’s weigh-in when Lomachenko went under the rope designated to maintain social distancing and went nose-to-nose with Lopez. The native of Brooklyn was talking trash to the Ukranian, who just smiled up and down at his younger foe.
Lomachenko will enter the ring for the first time since going to England and defeating Luke Campbell via unanimous decision in August 2019. Lopez also steps through the ropes for the first time this year after the longest layoff of his professional career. He won the IBF belt with a spectacular second-round TKO win over Richard Commey in December.
Lopez vows to finish Lomachenko while “Loma” promises to win the fight and move on to bigger bouts in the future.
Whose words will ring true?
MORE: Stream the Lomachenko vs. Lopez card on ESPN+
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez live results, updates
(All times Eastern.)
Round 1: Couldn’t have asked for a better round if you are the corner of Lopez. He established the jab and more importantly went to the body, which Lomachenko has been vulnerable to in the past. Lomachenko doesn’t throw much in the first round as he processes the information but Lopez did everything right in the opening sequence. (10-9 Lopez)
11:52 p.m.: It is now time for the main event as Vasiliy Lomachenko puts him WBA (super) and WBO lightweight titles on the line against IBF titleholder Teofimo Lopez. The time for talking is over. Can Lopez back up everything he’s been saying and dethrone arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world? Or does Lomachenko reign supreme? We are about to find out.
Arnold Barboza Jr. survives knockdown to remain undefeated
11:36 p.m.: Barboza def. Saucedo via unanimous decision (97-92, 97-92, 96-93). Barboza stayed composed after being knocked down for the first time and made this fight look rather easy. He had consistent volume and a heavier work rate, both of which proved to be too much for Saucedo to overcome. You could tell Barboza wanted to prove a point. He could have won a boxing match without much issue over the slugger, but Barboza beat Saucedo at his own game by staying in the pocket and going shot for shot. A great performance by the 28-year-old, who is now in the thick of things in a loaded junior welterweight division.
11:18 p.m.: Saucedo and Barboza got tangled up in Round 7. Barboza got out and then stumbled for a second, and Saucedo hit two left hands to send him to the canvas. The referee initially ruled it a trip, but after the round ended, the Nevada State Athletic Commission conducted a replay review and declared it a knockdown. Good job by the state of Nevada in getting the call right. Hopefully, we’ll see universal instant replay in all states.
10:49 p.m.: It is now time for the co-main event of Lomachenko vs. Lopez as Arnold Barboza Jr. takes on Alex Saucedo in a junior welterweight bout. Barboza (24-0, 10 KOs) rolls in with three stoppage victories in his last four fights. Saucedo (30-1, 19 KOs) is a former world title challenger, losing to Maurice Hooker in November 2018. This is the biggest moment of Barboza’s career as he faces by far his toughest opponent. We’re going to learn how good the 28-year-old really is.
10:48 p.m.: It will be interesting to see when the main event starts, considering there’s a huge college football game between Alabama and Georgia. Currently, there are four minutes left in the third quarter. A source close to the situation told Sporting News earlier in the week that the running plan was to wait until the game ended and then Lomachenko and Lopez would make their ring walks.
Edgar Berlanga goes 15 for 15 in first-round finishes
10:26 p.m.: Berlanga def. Bellows by TKO at 1:19 of the first round. Berlanga stunned Bellows with an overhand right that sent blood shooting out of Bellows’ left eye. The beginning of the end came when Berlanga stunned Bellows with a short left followed by another overhand right to the top of the head that sent him stumbling to the ropes. Berlanga finished with a left hand, a blazing straight right and then a barrage of shots that forced the referee to step in and wave off the bout.
Berlanga came in wanting to log some rounds, but he saw an opening to end things quickly. In doing so, he became the first fighter to stop Bellows. He is a treat to watch and boxing fans need to pay attention to him.
10:12 p.m.: The opening bout of the Lomachenko vs. Lopez main card has Edgar Berlanga facing Lanell Bellows in a super middleweight bout. Berlanga is one of the most exciting young fighters in the sport; he’s undefeated in 14 fights, with all of those wins coming via first-round knockout. Bellows (20-5-3, 13 KOs) comes in with back-to-back knockout victories.
Don’t go to the bathroom. Stay on the couch. It shouldn’t last long.
10 p.m.: Welcome to Sporting News’ live coverage of the lightweight title unification clash between WBA (Super) and WBO champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and IBF titlist Teofimo Lopez Jr. This is the biggest fight to date since boxing returned in June from the COVID-19 global pandemic. Sit back, relax and grab the refreshments while you can. This is going to be a night to remember.
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez undercard results
- Josue Vargas def. Kendo Castaneda via unanimous decision (100-89, 99-90, 98-91).
- Jose Enrique Durantes Vivas def. John Vincent Moralde by knockout at 1:08 of the first round.
- Quinton Randall def. Jan Carlos Rivera via unanimous decision (59-55, 58-56, 58-56).
- Jahi Tucker def. Charles Garner by unanimous decision (40-36, 40-36, 40-36).
HALE: Lopez in the Canelo position against Lomachenko
When is the Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez fight?
- Undercard: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Main card: 10 p.m. ET
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17. The main card begins at 10 p.m. ET.
Vasiliy Lomachenko record and bio
- Nationality: Ukrainian
- Born: February 17, 1988
- Height: 5-7
- Reach: 65 inches
- Total fights: 15
- Record: 14-1 with 10 knockouts
Teofimo Lopez record and bio
- Nationality: American
- Born: July 30, 1997
- Height: 5-8
- Reach: 68.5 inches
- Total fights: 15
- Record: 15-0 with 12 knockouts
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez fight card
- Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez for Lomachenko’s WBO and WBA Lightweight titles and Lopez’s IBF Lightweight title
- Arnold Barboza Jr. vs. Alex Saucedo; Junior Welterweight
- Edgar Berlanga vs. Lanell Bellows; Super Middleweights
- Josue Vargas vs. Kendo Castaneda; Junior Welterweight
- Jose Enrique Durantes Vivas vs. John Vincent Moralde; Featherweight
- Quatavious Cash vs. Quincy LaVallais; Middleweight
- Quinton Randall vs. Jan Carlos Rivera; Welterweight
- Jahi Tucker vs. Charles Garner; Welterweight