Hi-Tech wants his get back in a bad way!
It should come as no surprise that Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO’s) wants revenge. This past October the Ukrainian lost his two belts to WBO, WBA and IBF world lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s). And like any fighter worth his gloves and mouth-piece, Loma wants his pound of flesh.
Obviously, aside from merely getting even with Lopez, Hi-Tech is determined to recover his absconded hardware. Along with the prestige of the titles, there comes greater paydays and enhanced leverage at the negotiating table. Given these realities, it would be an oddball mentality if Lomachenko did not want a rematch to right that wrong. Yet, according to Chris Mannix, Loma’s manager Egis Klimas has proclaimed that Hi-Tech is intent on obtaining a do-over.
THE FORMER CHAMPS ALIBI
It is one thing to lose. Even if to a respectful adversary, it still stings. Yet, it is a notably more sour experience to lose to an over-the-top disrespectful opponent. Throughout the entire prefight build-up, Lopez talked about Loma greasier than a ‘Soul Glo’ starter kit. To make matters even worse, the Take Over’s father and chief second, Teofimo Lopez Sr, was barking just as loud.
By adhering to the role of ‘peaceful warrior,’ Loma did not go back and forth. Instead, he promised his fireworks with his fists. Sadly for Team Lomachenko, once in the ring, for nearly the first half of the prizefight Hi-Tech acted like he forgot how to throw punches. Some speculated he was figuring Lopez out, while others believed that the Take Over simply had him befuddled. Either way, it was bad look that the highly touted veteran boxer was apparently dumbstruck by this brash young talent.
Following the defeat, Loma’s camp revealed that he went in the bout with a bum shoulder. The admission was largely viewed as a limp wristed excuse not befitting a fighter of his caliber. It did not help that in the second half of the fight, when Loma finally let his hands go, he enjoyed real success. This left some wondering, if his injured arm could score in the last six rounds, why not the first six? Later, agreeing that he was making excuses, Lopez let it be known that he entered the bout with a foot injury. Each pugilist has since undergone surgery to mend their aliments.
VICTIM OF THE COLD SHOULDER
At this point, there is no other immediate road to redemption outside of staging a rematch with the Take Over. Lopez largely out-boxed and dethroned one of the more deified pound-for-pound fighters of the day. He took his belts and he talked about him like a dog before…and after. This is most certainly why the Ukrainian wants to dance with the Take Over again.
The first fight was well received by the public, so there is no outstanding reason as to why a second bout would not be a commercial success. Therefore, by all accounts, a second prizefight should make for good business sense as well as a furious dustup. Going a step further, hypothetically speaking, with a rematch Lomachenko could potentially add luster to his name. Granted that he was dominant in victory, evening the score would only increase his lore. And lastly, he could finally silence Lopez’s degrading jaw-jacking.
Unfortunately for Lomachenko, the redemptive rematch that he seeks is currently out of reach. When asked about offering Hi-Tech a second shot, Lopez has more than once forcefully stated he is not interested. In his opinion, Team Lomachenko disrespected him by not allowing a rematch clause in the initial fight. Now that it is Loma who can benefit from one, the Take Over is relishing in not giving it to him. Perhaps if a lucrative enough deal comes along, the unified champion may change his mind. But until then, Loma will simply have to learn to live with the bitter loss.
By: Bakari Simpson