Can sheer pressure, with its genuine punching power, overcome sheer skill in a fight? We may get another answer this Saturday night in Las Vegas, as 135-pound rivals Vasyl Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez square off in what is arguably the best and most exciting match-up of the year.
Lopez has of course said many things in the lead-up to this fight: he will KO Lomachenko, he is the future of boxing, we have not come close to seeing the full extent of his abilities at this point. And now, in an interview with RingTV.com, the undefeated possible superstar in the making said of Lomachenko how he will “not allow him to breathe.”
Pressure, as in relentless, never take a backwards step pressure, may be the key element in Lopez’s game-plan. Over the years we have seen less talented but more determined fighters overcome their supremely skilled rivals, and they have done it with sheer, relentless pressure. Joe Frazier against Muhammad Ali is a match-up that springs to mind when attempting to think of a case where the pressure of the dogged burst the pipes of the supremely skilled. There are more fights you can think of where this happened.
Does Lomachenko, as great as he is, need room, room to both breath and room to work? Will Lopez, the naturally bigger, stronger and younger man, succeed in doing something similar to what Frazier did to Ali? Might Lopez come out like a train, stay right on top of the cerebral Lomachenko and make it HIS fight? It’s questions like this (and you no doubt have more) that make Saturday night’s fight so utterly fascinating – a genuine can’t-miss match.
Of course, the skill, the punch accuracy, the sheer spite that Loma has could well prove to be a painful combination for Lopez (and we cannot forget how many fine fighters Loma has made quit). For a few rounds, it might appear as though the younger man is having some success, only for the older, smarter man to then tear Lopez’s fight plan into shreds. Cruel, calculation against pressure and determination – which wins?
There are so many elements to this fight. The bottom line, we fans just cannot wait to see what happens. Who wins and how? Dare YOU make a prediction?