Vasiliy Lomachenko looked a lot like the Loma of old tonight, thrashing Masayoshi Nakatani and scoring a ninth round stoppage win in Las Vegas, dominating the fight.
And along with it being a very strong return to form for Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KO), it looks like it’s going to lead to a very big one: A rematch with Teofimo Lopez.
Lomachenko, of course, has wanted the rematch since losing to Lopez in Oct. 2020. Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) has publicly been disinterested in doing it again, but minds appear to be changing, which shouldn’t be a huge surprise after Lopez signed a new contract with Top Rank recently.
Lopez does still have to take care of a mandatory fight with George Kambosos Jr, which has hopped dates from June 5 to June 19 to Aug. 14 and now, it seems, Sept. 11, but Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Teofimo’s father Teofimo Lopez Sr both expressed great interest in doing it tonight.
“I know they are, because when he signed his new contract at Top Rank at my house before he came down with COVID, he said, ‘No problem,’” Arum told ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna. “It’s a question of being compensated, and that’s the job of the promoter. I’ll get them both well-compensated and we’ll do this fight. Based on (Lomachenko’s) performance tonight, it’ll be a really different kind of fight. But I can’t wait to see it. I really can’t wait to see it!”
Teofimo Sr popped in, too, and wants to do the fight directly after Kambosos. The caveat seems to be that if Lopez-Lomachenko 2 can’t be done immediately after that, it won’t happen, probably because Teofimo is starting to look at a move up in weight.
“After this performance, I think that the public wants to see this fight,” Teofimo Sr said. “I think I could convince my son to fight him again. I think after Kambosos, it could be made. It’s gonna be the biggest fight in the world, and we can make it happen in December in Madison Square Garden. My son’s record in Madison Square Garden is 6-0 with six knockouts. You already know that. So why can’t we make it happen there? But I gotta talk to him.”
This definitely isn’t a guarantee, but where there’s smoke and all that. This is the most positive news about a Lopez-Lomachenko rematch we’ve had, and if I were a betting man, we will see it late this year or in early 2022. There’s money in this fight, and a lot of people do want to see it.
(We know this kind of ignores George Kambosos Jr’s chance of upsetting Teofimo if/when that fight ever actually happens, and, well, if he does then we’ll look real dumb, the lot of us.)