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Filipino mixed martial arts phenom and ONE Championship strawweight Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang started his martial arts career as a boxer, so it is hardly surprising that the 27-year-old firecracker is such a huge fan of the sport of pugilism.
Like many boxing fans, Adiwang was surprised to witness undefeated IBF World Lightweight World Champion Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez of the United States shock the world and unify the lightweight titles at the expense of the former WBA and WBO World Lightweight Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko of the Ukraine in a blockbuster lightweight unification showdown.
The “Thunder Kid” earlier had the 3-1 favorite Lomachenko winning the match and views a rematch to be better than this one.
“Honestly, I enjoyed the fight but it wasn’t the outcome I expected. I respect the judges’ decision.”, says Adiwang who loves Lomachenko’s boxing style and skills.
He thinks Lomachenko has had dominant rounds in the fight but dug up a big hole by giving up to many rounds early in the fight, which eventually became his grave.
Lopez ended up scoring a wide unanimous decision over Lomachenko, unifying three of the lightweight alphabet titles, in a weird fight to say the least, as a timid Lomachenko was witnessed during the first seven rounds before the Ukrainian fighter upped the activity late.
As a result, Lopez cashed in many of the early rounds to accumulate the needed points and cruised to victory on the back of lopsided 117-111, 119-109, and 116-112 scorecards of the judges.
While surprised just like the many others, Adiwang agreed with the judges and offered his take on why Lopez, predicted by only a handful to prevail to be able to outbox one of the most technically gifted boxers of this generation, was able to pull the upset.
“I think Lomachenko did throw a lot of rounds and Lopez was clever enough to capitalize on it, especially earning a lot of points while Lomachenko wasn’t active. I have to agree with the decision on this one.”, said Adiwang.
As a fighter, however, he understood exactly what Lomachenko was trying to do.
“Lomachenko had a great strategy, which was to let Lopez tire in the early rounds and pick up the activity in the later rounds. Lopez is a naturally bigger fighter, so letting him spend his power and energy was a smart tactic. He would have eventually slowed down. Where Lomachenko made a mistake was that he gave up too many of the early rounds, started way too late, and as a result, Lopez got the victory.”, he said.
While Lomachenko certainly wants to run this one back, there is no rematch clause in the Lopez contract which will make him have a hard time securing a second date with his young undefeated rival.
To make matters worse for Lomachenko, Lopez has already set his sights on WBC World Lightweight Champion Devin Haney. A Lopez-Haney showdown would crown the undisputed lightweight champion of the world.
If it were up to Adiwang though, he would have Lomachenko and Lopez do it all over again, if only to see how both men approach the rematch differently.
“Four rounds would have been enough for Lomachenko. If he started going to work from the fifth round, this would have been a different story. But the way it played out, Lopez took rounds until the seventh, and Lomachenko had a hard time catching up on the scorecards. It was an uphill battle from there,” said Adiwang.
“I think a rematch is in order. I am hoping for a rematch because I know it’s going to be even more exciting and dramatic than the first. Now that they have both tasted each other’s skills and power, I am excited to see what adjustments each man makes in the rematch.”, he ended.
By Armando M. Bolislis