By defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez became the youngest boxer to hold all four champion’s belts in a single weight class simultaneously on Saturday.
By winning by unanimous decision of the judges after a close fight against Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) in Las Vegas, the 23-year-old American added the titles of the WBC, the WBO and the WBA to that of the IBF he already held, in the lightweight category.
“I’m ready to dominate the world,” he said after his 16th professional victory (including 12 by KO). He has not lost since his loss among amateurs at the Olympic Games in Rio, which he played for Honduras in 2016.
“I had to dig deep into myself. I am grateful. And every day I understand this. I thank God first because I couldn’t do it without him. I am a fighter. I must have taken a deep dip because I knew he was coming. ”
Yet despite appearances – the three judges handed him cards 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112 – Lopez never gave up on his game plan. Before the 12th and final round, his corner advised him to be careful, considering that he was ahead in the score. But Lopez preferred to continue the momentum.
“I didn’t know what the cards were and I love to fight,” he said. I can hit too. I do not care. I’ll take a hit to give one. That’s what a true champion does. I find the means to win. ”
Lopez certainly also sensed that Lomachenko still had energy in the tank. Indeed, after a first half of the fight dominated by Lopez, Lomachenko raised the tone in the last rounds, but not enough to victoriously defend the title won in 2018 at the expense of Venezuelan Jorge Linares for a fourth time.
“I think I won the fight,” said the double Ukrainian Olympic champion (2008, 2012), who left the ring immediately after the announcement of the scores. He won more rounds in the first half of the fight. In the second half, I took control. I don’t agree with the scores. ”
– With Agence France Presse