Boxing Pound-for-Pound Rankings: Teofimo Lopez Jr. enters after dethroning Vasiliy Lomachenko

For those of us who were giving the unbeaten, brash and largely untested Teofimo Lopez Jr. a puncher’s chance last Saturday in his lightweight unification bout against Vasiliy Lomachenko, the biggest upset of the evening was undoubtedly the way in which the fight played out. 

A 3-1 underdog, Lopez went on to outbox quite possibly the best pure boxer of the post-Floyd Mayweather era when he held off a late rally to capture a unanimous decision. It wasn’t as if Lopez’s power wasn’t there, it’s just that he relied more on the threat of it to disarm Lomachenko over the first half of the fight to build an insurmountable lead. 

Had Lopez merely caught and finished Lomachenko early on with a patented leaping left hook, it still wouldn’t have completely answered the questions critics had as to Lopez’s IQ, adaptability and poise. Instead, Lopez was forced to use everything in his arsenal as he patiently scored to the body and seemed to shock Lomachenko with his combination of speed and accurate punching. 

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Only time will tell how long Lopez will be able to stay at lightweight considering, at just 23, he’s still growing into his man strength and is expected to compete in his prime years as a welterweight. Should he be able to linger for a short time longer, however, early career-defining fights are possible — provided networks are willing to team up — against the likes of Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis. 

Regardless of where he goes, Lopez scored one of the biggest wins for a fighter his age in modern boxing history, proving able to do what Canelo Alvarez couldn’t against Floyd Mayweather and Fernando Vargas didn’t against Felix Trinidad at the same age. 

The Takeover is a very real thing, and it only appears to just be getting started. 

Pound for Pound Rankings

Dropped out: Juan Francisco Estrada, Artur Beterbiev

Honorable mention: Estrada, Beterbiev, Jermell Charlo, Josh Taylor, Jose Ramirez, Gennadiy Golovkin, Leo Santa Cruz

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