Sports illustratedChris Mannix and Greg Bishop make their selection:
Mannix: There is no logical reason to decide against Lomachenko. He is arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, standing 4-0 since he became lightweight in 2018 and started collecting titles. But there’s only something about Loma at 135 pounds. It was stretched over the distance by Jose Pedraza and Luke Campbell. Jorge Linares struck him down. With 126 and 130, Lomachenko is unbeatable. At 135 he is vulnerable. And Lopez is one gut 135 pounders, the best Loma it has ever met. He has size, strength with both hands and is bursting with confidence. I don’t think Lopez can win a decision against Lomachenko – Loma is just too active and too precise. But I think he can catch Lomachenko and if he does he will end it. Lopez by late KO.bishop: All of boxing gets fun when a big fight approaches. as if we were looking at it through funhouse mirrors. Holes are poked in favorites, theories floated, statistics inclined to one point of view or another. That’s why I choose Lomachenko to win this fight. There sure is enough to lean the other way. Lomachenko is nine years older than Lopez. He fought nearly 400 times before turning pro. He didn’t fight exactly but didn’t look that intimidating after gaining weight. He suffered his first knockdown at 135 and has walked the distance twice in the four bouts since facing bigger opponents like Lopez, who has a three-inch lead that could be significant. So, yes, I can begin to believe that Lopez could win, that this isn’t a disparity, that facing a fighter of Lomachenko’s caliber at the age of 23 is a good idea, not a bad one. But I’m usually wrong when I have convinced myself that a fight will be close if I look closely at it. So I believe the first instinct is correct. Lomachenko, by decision.
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