New York: Teofimo Lopez is the new face of boxing and the 23-year old from Brooklyn has earned that distinction as the new undisputed lightweight champion defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko by unanimous decision Saturday evening from the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Lopez, with a dominating display of 12-rounds became the youngest undisputed champion in in boxing with four titles. The anticipated fight of the year was televised on the ESPN Network platforms.
Lomachencko was dethroned and to many was considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.Though there was a disparity in the judges scorecards, Lopez earned the win.
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) won by wide margins (119-109, 118-110 and 116-112), fulfilling the prophecy by his father/trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr., who predicted his son would be undisputed champion by his 16th professional fight.
Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs), a three-weight world champion, saw his 13-bout winning streak come to an end.
Said Lopez, “I had to dig deep, man. I’m thankful. I’m grateful. And each and every day, I take that in. I thank God first because I couldn’t do it without him. I’m a fighter. I gotta dig in deep. I knew he was coming. I didn’t know if they had him up on the scorecards or not, and I love to fight. I can bang, too. I don’t care, man. I’ll take one to give one. That’s what a true champion does. I find a way to win.”
He added,“You just gotta keep pressuring him, press the gas, stick the jab and don’t really give him that opportunity to set up. Every time he did want to throw, I had something ready for him.”
The Top Rank promoted show also had a good undercard with many Latino fighters continuing their rise up the rankings and possible title bouts in the next year.
Barboza Decisons Saucedo In a battle of junior welterweight contenders, the unbeaten Arnold Barboza Jr. (25-0, 10 KOs) notched the most significant win of his career, surviving a knockdown to defeat former world title challenger Alex “El Cholo” Saucedo (30-2, 19 KOs) via 10-round unanimous decision. Barboza, ranked in the top 10 by two of the major sanctioning bodies, now has his sights on a world title shot.
Barboza said, “This was like a championship fight to me. It’s all because of my fathe (head trainer Arnold Barboza Sr.), not me. I did this for kids and my father. My dream is to get a house for my kids. I came that much closer today.I want a championship fight. No more messing around. No more tune-up fights.”
KO King Berlanga Keeps HIs Streak: Super middleweight destroyer Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga knocked out Lanell Bellows in 79 seconds, the 15th first-round knockout to begin his career. Bellows (20-6-3, 13 KOs) had never been knocked out in an eight-year pro career.
Berlanga said, “I saw with the first shot that I cut him open and the look in his eyes, he didn’t want to be in there. From the beginning, once I got in the ring, I looked in his eyes. He didn’t want to be in there. So I had to get him out.”
Welterweight Josue Vargas (18-1, 9 KOs) scored a 10-round unanimous decision over Kendo Castaneda (17-3, 8 KOs). Scores: 100-89, 99-91, 98-90. Vargas, (Bronx and Puerto Rico) with the win is in contention.It was a dominating fight for Vargas. HIs opponent was coming off a competitive decision loss to Jose “Chon” Zepeda. He has won 12 straight fights since a disqualification defeat.
Vargas said, “He was a tough customer, tougher than I thought he was going to be, but my father told me to stay composed, stay calm. I dropped him, but that doesn’t mean nothing, just stay relaxed because that’s how I got disqualified when I was 18 years old. “I’m very close to fighting these guys, like Zepeda, Pedraza, any of these guys. You name it, I’ll get in there with them.
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