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
| 1. Canelo Alvarez||52-1-2, 31 KOs||Middleweight (unified), light heavyweight champion||--|
|A pending lawsuit against DAZN, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions could keep the Mexican superstar out of the ring for an extended period of time. What will be most interesting to see is whether he ever returns to 160 pounds after winning a secondary belt at super middleweight and a light heavyweight title he instantly vacated. |
|2. Naoya Inoue|| 18-0, 16 KOs|| Unified bantamweight champion|
|The Japanese "Monster" held on to win 2019's best fight against Nonito Donaire despite suffering a broken orbital bone in their World Boxing Super Series final. The three-division champion proved that his power knows no weight limit. Up next is a U.S. showcase on Halloween against once-beaten Jason Moloney.|
|3. Terence Crawford|| 35-0, 25 KOs||Welterweight champion|
|The only thing that might stop Crawford's eventual ascension to the top of the P4P ladder is his lack of access to the best welterweights in the world given the sport's network and promotional divide. Up next is a date against faded former champion Kell Brook to keep the chains moving.|
|4. Errol Spence Jr.|| 26-0, 21 KOs||Unified welterweight champion|
|Spence will have a lot of explaining to do following a year-plus layoff and a dangerous car crash that left him lucky to be alive. "The Truth" returns in a pay-per-view showdown on Dec. 5 against former champion Danny Garcia that should be the perfect gauge of where he's at. |
|5. Vasiliy Lomachenko|| 14-2, 10 KOs|| Lightweight |
|The former P4P king suffered his first convincing defeat as a professional despite rallying in the second half after a late start. Unless a rematch with Teofimo Lopez Jr. is in play, Lomachenko might be better suited returning to 130 pounds where his lack of size and power won't appear so prominent against the very elite.|
|6. Aleksandr Usyk|| 17-0, 13 KOs||Heavyweight||--|
|The jury remains out as to whether the former undisputed cruiserweight champion can have the same success at heavyweight. After an uneventful debut in his new division last year, Usyk will finally get the chance to showcase himself against a dangerous heavyweight when he meets Dereck Chisora on Oct. 31.|
|7. Manny Pacquiao|| 62-7-2, 39 KOs||Welterweight champion||--|
|Despite proving he's very much still elite by claiming Keith Thurman's WBA title last summer, Pacquiao will be 42 in December and hasn't returned to the ring during the quarantine. While rumors of a fight against UFC star Conor McGregor persist after Pacquiao signed to the same management team, his next move is largely undecided.|
|8. Tyson Fury||30-0-1, 21 KOs||Heavyweight champion||--|
|The lineal champion added the WBC title to his ledger when he stopped Deontay Wilder in February. Attempts to book a trilogy fight within the contractually mandated window have seemingly expired, and Fury has voiced his hope for a December homecoming before seeking an undisputed championship fight against Anthony Joshua.|
|9. Teofimo Lopez Jr.|| 15-0, 12 KOs ||Undisputed lightweight champion|
|At just 23, Lopez pulled the upset by outboxing 4-1 favorite Vasiliy Lomachenko and announcing himself as the next big thing in the sport. If a rematch with Lomachenko or a fight with WBC secondary champion Devin Haney don't get made next, Lopez has been open about seeking the big names at junior welterweight.|
|10. Jermall Charlo|| 31-0, 22 KOs||Middleweight champion|
|The poise and versatility shown by the 30-year-old Charlo in his toughest test to date against Sergiy Derevanychenko was impressive. Charlo's claim of already being the best middleweight in the world is getting harder and harder to debate.|
Dropped out: Juan Francisco Estrada, Artur Beterbiev
Honorable mention: Estrada, Beterbiev, Jermell Charlo, Josh Taylor, Jose Ramirez, Gennadiy Golovkin, Leo Santa Cruz