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H2O Man

(74,320 posts)
Thu Oct 15, 2020, 03:47 PM Oct 2020

Boxing (10-17-2020)

Oct. 17: Las Vegas, Nevada -- Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez Jr., 12 rounds, for Lomachenko's WBO and WBA lightweight titles and Lopez's IBF lightweight title.


Most of the boxing community considers this to be 2020's "Fight of the Year," and, at least on paper, it will be exactly that. In a year where the Great Sport has been restricted by the virus, it is important that such a high-quality bout be broadcast on ESP/ ESPN+.

My children have gotten me into watching MMA on ESPN/ESPN+ frequently this year. There are intense athletes in the sport, and I have nothing but respect for them. Tough, tough men and women in an exciting sport that has solid cards being promoted weekly. Admittedly, I am no "expert" when it comes to this sport, but it both a blast to watch, and has helped those of us experiencing withdrawal from the lack of boxing.

Loma, 32 years old, stands 5'7", and has a 65.5 inch reach; Lopez is 23 years old, stands 5'8", and has a 68.5 inch reach. Loma is a southpaw, and Lopez orthodox. Loma won his first world title in his third professional fight; Lopez started collecting minor titles in his 11th fight, and won the IBF world title in his 15th bout as a pro.

Loma's record is 14 - 1, with 10 KO victories; Lopez is 15-0, with 12 KO victories. Loma's lone loss was in his second fight, against Orlando Salido, by split-decision. The bout was for a minor title, which Salido did not win due to coming in significantly overweight.

Lopez is the naturally bigger man, and will no doubt move up from the lightweight division as he matures. Loma started at featherweight, and eventually moved up to lightweight.

Many in the boxing community consider Loma the best pound-for-pound fighter today. He is unique in being an aggressive counter-puncher, similar to the great Manny Pacquiao in his younger days. Like Pac-Man, Loma has great footwork, allowing him to attack -- and retreat -- at angles. While not blessed with Manny's natural punching power, Loma's ability to connect with punches his opponent does not see coming, and his effective body-punching, generally result in knockout victories.

Lopez is an aggressive fighter, with serious hand speed that allows him to deliver very hard punches. There is no question that he can hurt anyone he hits, and that he has one-punch knockout power.

In what looks to be a close match-up on paper, I tend to consider "punch stats." Both men have landed a bit over 35% of the punches they throw per round, though Loma throws more -- an average of 60+ per round, to Lopez's 47+ per round. Of course, this doesn't factor in the reduction of time per round if there is either a knockdown or knockout. But it does suggest that it will be an exciting fight.

Loma throws more jabs per round, and slightly more power shots and body punches. They have about equal percentages landed in power shots, but Loma has a significantly higher average of landing his jab. It's worth noting that the jab is generally recognized as being important to land in order to deliver all other punches.

Some critics have noted that Lopez struggled two fights ago, though he pulled out the victory. I tend to agree with Teddy Atlas, who recently said that experience will make Lopez better. I keep in mind that Ali struggled with Doug Jones, then was decked by Henry Cooper, in his two fights before upsetting Sonny Liston.

Likewise, some point out that Loma appears to have lost a half-step in his last two bouts. He had a long, very successful amateur career before turning pro, and so he has far more laps around the track than his pro record indicates.

This should be an outstqanding fight. It could end quickly -- really at any time -- or it could go the full twelve rounds. I'm hoping for a clear, clean outcome, without any cuts from butts, fouls, or questionable scoring. Enjoy the fight!

7 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Boxing (10-17-2020) (Original Post) H2O Man Oct 2020 OP
Awesome write up! Alpeduez21 Oct 2020 #1
Thank you! H2O Man Oct 2020 #2
In the first fight H2O Man Oct 2020 #3
Now we know what happens when you take the 1st 6rnds off. Alpeduez21 Oct 2020 #4
Lopez was outstanding. H2O Man Oct 2020 #5
It was a good fight Renew Deal Oct 2020 #6
The judge that scored it H2O Man Oct 2020 #7

Alpeduez21

(1,800 posts)
1. Awesome write up!
Thu Oct 15, 2020, 04:18 PM
Oct 2020

I'm really looking forward to this match. I am a casual fan who doesn't get into stats like you posted. That said, your post is an EXCELLENT read.

I'm routing for Loma. I love his footwork. The ability to get in and out. Incredible. I think that give the edge over Lopez. To my mind power hitters are a tad slower. Good advantage for the quick agility experts to get in and out and circle. Until they get hit. Then the game changes. Lots of exciting potential in this match up.

H2O Man

(74,320 posts)
2. Thank you!
Thu Oct 15, 2020, 05:20 PM
Oct 2020

I am looking forward to it, too. Both are high quality fighters. One stat that I couldn't find was how many times per round each tends to get hit. That is an important factor. My impression is that Lopez is more available as a target. More, I like to focus on who gets hit with two punches in a row, since all good combination-punchers increase the power with each blow.

Add to that that each guy can end a bout with a single punch. Loma has shown great skill in landing that left to his opponent's liver -- and as old as I am, I clearly remember that liver shots are the most painful. Nothing like watching an opponent's legs fold under him, making it near impossible to get back up before the ref's count reaches ten! And Lopez can knock anyone his size unconscious with a single blow.

Loma's footwork is art. I love it. My older daughter, who is an amateur in Boston, is developing similar side-to-side movement. My son who boxes is more like Lopez, mving forward, cutting off the ring, and delivering very hard punches. He is still training daily since the April finals of the NYS Golden Gloves were canceled. Both are hoping the sport opens again in 2021, but I have my doubts. (I sure hope it does, as I have a solid, though small, team preparing. One female, four males. My fighters have placed either first or second for four years now. Never had a fighter I trained place below that back when the state had upstate districts, going back to 1976.)

While either man could win Saturday, I have to think Loma has the edge. But nothing will surprise me.

H2O Man

(74,320 posts)
3. In the first fight
Sat Oct 17, 2020, 11:53 AM
Oct 2020

on the undercard, a young man from buffalo that I'm friends with, Charles Garner, will be fighting in his second pro bout. It looks like ESPN/ESPN+ will be showing his fight. I first saw Charles fight in the Golden Gloves four years ago. I said on a Buffalo newspaper's web site that he had the ability to become a solid professional.

Alpeduez21

(1,800 posts)
4. Now we know what happens when you take the 1st 6rnds off.
Sun Oct 18, 2020, 08:56 AM
Oct 2020

Great job by Lopez. Man, that guy is quick. Everyone talked about his power which implies plodding but he just decimated Loma at every aspect. Good fight.

H2O Man

(74,320 posts)
5. Lopez was outstanding.
Sun Oct 18, 2020, 11:38 AM
Oct 2020

I was impressed that he was so focused mentally for 12 rounds. He executed his game plan without flaw. In the first round, somewhere around two minutes in, he landed a straight right to Loma's body. During the minute between rounds, while the camera was on Loma's corner, I told my sons that Loma's expression indicated that he knew he was in for a tough night.

Renew Deal

(82,407 posts)
6. It was a good fight
Sun Oct 18, 2020, 10:48 PM
Oct 2020

Very entertaining. Lopez had a slight edge. The cards seemed ridiculous, but it didn't impact the outcome. The last round was the best because both guys opened up. It's going to be difficult for Loma to get back to the same place.

H2O Man

(74,320 posts)
7. The judge that scored it
Tue Oct 20, 2020, 11:29 AM
Oct 2020

11 rounds to 1 should never be allowed to score another fight. I thought it was 7-5, and can see 8-4, as some rounds were close. But the 11 to 1 suggests that Julie had an agenda. (There's nothing in her history to suggest that other than being her father's daughter, she has any qualifications to be a judge.)

A few people I've spoken with think Loma waited too long to get into the fight. I think Lopez deserves credit for keeping Loma out of the first half. Loma generally starts slow, sizing his opponent up for two rounds. I think he recognized that Lopez posed a real danger. And it turned out that Lopez didn't fold under pressure late in the fight. In round 11, it looked like he was tired and got hurt, but he really came back strong in the last round.

On some boxing forums I participate in, a number of people are saying that Loma was over-rated. I disagree. He has been a great fighter. It's just that Lopez is really good, too.

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