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Vasiliy Lomachenko believes bribery played role in loss to Teofimo Lopez

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Lomachenko still believes he didn’t legitimately lose his belts to Lopez.

Former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko has a lot to say as evidenced in this hour-long video interview posted on his YouTube page. As you might imagine, the scope of this conversation covered a lot of topics including his career, whether he’s a legitimate 135-pounder, and some perceived underhanded dealings in his title unification loss to Teofimo Lopez. Check out some excerpts of what Lomachenko had to say below...

Lomachenko on if he thinks he’s too small for lightweight:

“No, I’m not small in 135-pound division. It’s not my natural weight division. I’m more comfortable (at 130) in boxing. But everyone who’s aware of my career knows why I moved up to 135...We fought opponents who were 152-154lbs on the day of the boxing match...I usually gain 4.5-5lbs.

“When I was in my weight class I could plant on the ground and strike them. And here it takes twice as much energy and power to plant on the ground in a close distance, and to push them off the place, and to handle them.”

On if he believes he underestimated Teofimo Lopez leading into their fight:

“No. I didn’t underestimate him, I wasn’t too confident. I believed in win, I believed this (lingering shoulder injury) wouldn’t prevent me from winning. We could have postponed the fight but what if I had healed and quarantine would have begun? Or what if Lopez had another fight and got injured or lost his belt?

“I didn’t want to get the belt from Teofimo in the first place. I wanted to become an absolute world champion precisely at the time.

“If I had postponed the fight, it would’ve been unknown when the next one would happen, and if it would happen at all.”

On what his planned tactics for the Lopez fight were:

“I had to make him move forward. I had to make some combinations while making him miss the punches. I expected 12 rounds, I wanted it to be a 12-round fight. The only thing was I couldn’t move forward at the very beginning. I couldn’t feel the distance at the very beginning. I needed to keep him off-balance and start attacking. But I couldn’t feel it. And when I felt it in the second part of the fight, I started coming out more active.”

On disagreeing with the scoring in the fight:

“I said I wasn’t ready to comment on the fight without watching it first. And I said that I thought I didn’t lose the fight. And I can repeat it today, I didn’t lose the fight.

“I took the second round, he took the first, third, fourth, fifth. The sixth remains questionable. However, his win reflects the bias against myself. If we counted scores strictly by the book, the scorecards would be different. I took one round in the first half of the fight and five rounds for the second one, namely 7 through 11. We’ve got 6-6, which is a draw. And if it’s a draw we use the unspoken rule in boxing, we look for rounds 10-12. And I won two of them. It’s 2-1.

“Even if I won three rounds in the first half of the fight I wouldn’t win the fight as for the scorecards. What does it say? It’s not about bias, it’s about being bribed. There was nothing about honest judging.

“I don’t know whose game it was...I do think it was somebody’s game. They knew the possibility of knockout from my side was around 20%. Why not then?”