The world's top lightweight, Vasiliy Lomachenko, faces perhaps his toughest challenge Saturday night when he fights undefeated Teofimo Lopez in a 12-round title unification bout. The main card begins at 10 p.m. ET from the MGM Grand conference center, with attendance limited to a few hundred sponsors and invited first responders. Now 32, Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) is a two-time gold medal winner who went an astounding 396-1 as an amateur. Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) is a 23-year-old power puncher whose fights, on average, last four rounds. He'll try to use his youth and reach advantages to stymie Lomachenko's tactical genius.
William Hill sportsbooks peg Lomachenko as a -450 favorite (risk $450 to win $100) in the latest Lomachenko vs. Lopez odds, with the American getting +350 (risk $100 to win $350) as the underdog. To wager on the fight lasting the full 12 rounds, you'd risk $150 to win $100. Before making any Lomachenko vs. Lopez picks, see the latest boxing predictions from SportsLine analyst Peter Kahn.
A 2019 Boxing Writers Association of America Cus D'Amato Manager of the Year nominee, Kahn has his finger on the pulse of what's going on inside and outside the ring. Kahn manages nearly 10 percent of Top Rank's fighters, and he can be seen and heard weekly as co-host of "The Fight Guys" show on FITE TV.
Kahn is uncanny when it comes to picking fights. He is an astounding 23-2 on SportsLine boxing picks since the hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, returning $1,760 to $100 bettors.
Last year in the heavyweight division, Kahn called Deontay Wilder knocking out Dominic Breazeale in the first round, a massive 22-1 long shot bet. "Based on everything Wilder has expressed leading up to the fight and his true dislike and beef with Breazeale, expect Wilder to come out and try to get rid of him early to make a statement," Kahn told readers. The result: Wilder ended it at the 2:17 mark with a violent one-punch knockout, and everyone who followed Kahn's advice cashed huge.
Now, with Saturday's ESPN showdown fast approaching, Kahn has studied Lomachenko vs. Lopez from every angle, identified the best value in the boxing odds and released highly confident picks. Head to SportsLine to see all of his boxing picks.
Lomachenko vs. Lopez preview
Lomachenko holds the WBA and WBO lightweight titles, while Lopez owns the IBF crown. Kahn has praise for both boxers but says neither has fought tremendous opponents lately.
"Lomachenko's level of opposition recently, although very respectable, has seemed to feature former world champions on the backstretch of their careers such as Jorge Linares and Jose Pedraza," Kahn told SportsLine.
"Lomachenko went the distance with British Olympian Luke Campbell," Kahn continued. "He fought an undersized Guillermo Rigondeaux as well. Lomachenko does not have that victory that defines him.
"On the other hand, it's hard to make an argument that the 23-year-old Lopez has fought world-beaters because he hasn't. Aside from Richard Commey, whom he stopped in December 2019 to win the world title, there isn't a former world champion or name on Lopez's resume that would lead you to believe he could beat Lomachenko.
"In large part, this is why I feel the line is so strong in Lomachenko's favor. This fight is going to be about the intangible elements that aren't on their records." You can see Kahn's Lomachenko vs. Lopez picks at SportsLine.
How to make Lomachenko vs. Lopez picks
Kahn is betting the fight goes under 10.5 rounds, which pays $150 for $100 risked. But he has an even stronger pick on who wins. He says a critical X-factor you're not even thinking about decides this highly anticipated fight. You can see all his picks and analysis right here.
Who wins Lomachenko vs. Lopez? Exactly how long does the fight last? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn's best bets for Saturday, all from the fight game manager who is 23-2 on boxing picks since the sport returned, and find out.