We were given a truly epic lightweight match up to watch last fall, as lightweight kings Vasyl Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez battled it out over the coarse of twelve rounds in October.
Of course, Lopez shockingly defeated Lomachenko via unanimous decision. It left many of us wondering what could be next for the greatest amateur boxer of all-time.
Bob Arum is looking at Masayoshi Nakatani as the next opponent for ‘Loma’, as he stated the following to IFL: “We’ve talked with (Lomachenko), and we’re looking at early summer. He’s tired of fighting in the bubble.
“He’s a big ticket seller. We think we could do a big fight in the United States, maybe against the Japanese boy Masayoshi Nakatani. He gave Lopez all he could handle. Nakatani is a really hard puncher.”
Nakatani is 19-1 as a professional with 13 knockouts, and he too has only ever lost to Teofimo Lopez. He did however, rebound with a TKO victory over 27-1 opponent Felix Verdejo in December.
Lomachenko went 396-1 as an amateur, which is just astounding. This included winning the Olympic Games twice, as well as the World Championships twice. That doesn’t even scratch the surface, those are just the bigger of his amateur accomplishments.
This also included defeating the only man to ever defeat him, twice, in their second and third bouts. ‘Loma’ also lost his second professional bout, which was his first time ever going twelve rounds.
After falling to 1-1 via split decision, Lomachenko won his next two bouts via 12-round decisions, and he was now much more adjusted to the professional ruleset.
‘Loma’ went on to improve his record to 14-1, winning, or defending one, or multiple belts in each of those outings. Teofimo Lopez was the man to crack the unsolvable puzzle, now Lomachenko gets the opportunity to show us he’s got a lot more left in the tank.
At 32-years-old, turning 33 in just a few days here, Lomachenko should right in the middle of his peak. Perhaps this bout will show us.
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