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  The Takeover Is Official:
Lopez Beats Lomachenko
To Become Undisputed 135 Pound Champ


By William Trillo
Photos: Mikey Williams - Top Rank

 

It was the fight everyone was waiting for. Boxing fans around the globe have been arguing on Social media for the last month. Who was going to win? Going into the fight it was almost a toss-up but Lightweights Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOís) and Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOís) were ready to settle the argument in front of a big ESPN audience.
 

In the opening rounds Lopez was jabbing and moving while Lomachenko was content to survey the landscape, which came as no surprise. Loma is a notoriously slow starter. But he gave away the first seven rounds on the scorecards which meant he would have to win all the remaining rounds along with at least one knockdown just to secure a draw. Truthfully, he had dug himself a pretty big hole.
 

For as dull as the first seven rounds were though, rounds eight through twelve did have some exciting moments. Loma finally put one round in the books for himself and the fight was on.

By the time they hit the championship rounds Loma was now finding his mark and was putting the leather on Lopez. The problem was that Lopez was not backing down and was giving back punishment of his own every time he got hit. The rounds could have gone either way.
 

In round twelve Lopez found a second wind and was clearly in command, he was beating Loma to the punch and was putting a stamp on the work he had done earlier in the fight. The final bell rang and this one was going to the scorecards.
 

Final tallies read 116-112, 119-109 and 117-111 all in favor of Teofimo. Many will argue that the scores were way too wide. ESPN actually had the fight scored a Draw. But, when you give away the first seven rounds of a fight, no matter who you are, winning the fight on the scorecards will be a near impossible task. This fight was no exception.

With the victory Lopez grabs all the lightweight belts.
 

After the fight the new undisputed champion said, ďI had to dig deep, man. Iím thankful. Iím grateful. And each and every day, I take that in. I thank God first because I couldnít do it without him. Iím a fighter. I gotta dig in deep. I knew he was coming. I didnít know if they had him up on the scorecards or not, and I love to fight. I can bang, too. I donít care, man. Iíll take one to give one. Thatís what a true champion does. I find a way to win. You just gotta keep pressuring him, press the gas, stick the jab and donít really give him that opportunity to set up. Every time he did want to throw, I had something ready for him. Man take me to 140. Or I could fight the two-time email world champion Devin Haney if they want that.Ē
 

Super Lightweights Alex Saucedo (30-2, 19 KOís) and Arnold Barboza Jr (25-0, 10 KOís) made the most of their moment on this big card by putting on a very entertaining fight. Punches were flying in bunches as these guys were all business. For whatever reason Barboza started the fight off as a Southpaw, it was a move that surprised everyone. It was a signal that he was willing to go toe to toe with Saucedo, and he did.
 

Saucedo had his moments and even dropped Barboza but it was clear over the ten round battle that Barboza was the effective aggressor. Barboza probably could have outboxed Saucedo but he wanted to take it to the trenches. That made for a very fan friendly fight.

The fight that went the distance went to the scorecards that read 96-93 and 97-92 twice, all in favor of Barboza.
 

Feeling confident after the fight Barboza stated, ďThis was like a championship fight to me. Itís all because of my father {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.Ē
 

Super Middleweight Edgar Berlanga (15-0, 15 KOís) kept his streak alive against Lanell Bellows (20-6-3, 13 KOís). That streak is 15 fights, 15 KOís all 15 fights end in the first round. In this fight Berlanga took on a fighter in Bellows who had never been stopped in 28 professional fights. The fight was halted at the 1:19 mark of round one.

On his performance Berlanga said, ďOnce he got in the ring, I looked in his eyes. He didnít want to be there. So, I had to get him out. Now, Iím the first person to stop him, and {I did it} in the first round. So, you know, it just off emotion, off how I really felt. For all the critics out there, all the media, I just felt it in me that I had to say that. Weíre looking to fight in December. I just spoke to Bob {Arum} right now. Heís looking to put me on in December. Iím actually looking forward to fighting in Puerto Rico and then also in June on Puerto Rican {Parade} weekend {at Madison Square Garden, so God willing, everything goes right, we can make it happen.Ē
 

Super Lightweight Josue Vargas (18-1, 9 KOís) took on the rugged Kendo Castaneda (17-3, 8 KOís) in a hard as nails ten round fight. Vargas dropped Castaneda in round two and went on to dominate. In the latter rounds Castaneda appeared to have a broken nose but refused to quit. The battle that went the distance was scored 98-91, 100-89 and 99-90 all in favor of Vargas.
 

After the victory Vargas noted, ďHe 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 doesnít mean nothing, just stay relaxed because thatís how I got disqualified when I was 18 years old. Iím very close to fighting these guys, like Zepeda, Pedraza, any of these guys. You name it, Iíll get in there with them.Ē

Featherweight Jose Enrique Durantes Vivas (20-1, 11 KOís) pummeled John Vincent Moralde (23-4, 13 KOís) in the first round of a very lopsided bout. Lopsided because it didnít appear Moralde had any boxing skills at all. Vivas dispatched of his hapless foe at the 1:16 mark of round one.
 

Welterweight Quinton Randall (7-0, 2 KOís) stayed patient early as Jan Carlos Rivera (4-0, 4 KOís) started with fire. Once Randall quenched Rivera he went on to take an impressive hard fought decision victory. Scores all in favor of Randall read 59-55 and 58-56 twice.
 

Welterweights Jahi Tucker (2-0, 1 KO) and Charles Garner (1-1) opened the show with a nip and tuck four round scrap. Final scores read 56 -36 x 3 giving Tucker the unanimous nod.



 

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