A little over a week has passed since the Lopez-Loma fight where Lopez won by unanimous decision, and conversations about Loma’s performance in that fight still attract mixed opinions from boxing fans, sports analysts, and boxers alike. One of them is former WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri, who has voiced some valuable advice for Lomachenko. For Algieri, he doesn’t think Lomachenko’s ability as a boxer has faded as some people might have thought, but it’s just that in his fight with Lopez he doesn’t belong in that weight class.
“I don’t think Loma is slipping. I just think he’s in the wrong weight class and I think from here, he either goes back to 130 or hang it up,” Algieri said via Fight Hub TV on Youtube. He also doesn’t necessarily think it’s just that Loma isn’t doing enough, but he thinks it’s just that Loma doesn’t seem to find a way to neutralize Lopez’s power, speed, and counter-punching ability.
“Lopez I think, fought a great fight. Picked a great tactic, knew what they had, and just made the fight hard for Loma,” said Algieri. Algieri also noted how Lomachenko seemed unwilling to take the risk early and that he only stepped on the gas in round 7 when he realized he was behind on points.
As for the shoulder injury Lomachenko suffered on the way to the Lopez fight, Algieri has this to say: “If you’re willing to step in the ring, you’re stepping in, a hundred percent. If it was that bad, You’d pull out. And if you don’t, it shouldn’t come up.” Well, it’s like suggesting that a loss is a loss and there should be no excuse why it has to be so.
Algieri even became suspicious of Loma’s psychological makeup in that fight between him and Lopez. He thinks that Loma may not have been mentally prepared in that fight, so as a result, he fights cautiously and seems like he was afraid of getting hurt. “There were points in the fight where I was watching it and thinking, ‘He’s not willing to bite down on his mouthpiece and possibly go out on his shield to try and get this win.'”
For Lomachenko to try not to get hurt, as Algieri observes, is when he really gets hurt. “Being willing to go in and get knocked out is safer than trying not to get hurt. When you try not to get hurt, that’s when you really get hurt,” said Algieri.
Algieri made it clear that, inside the ring, a fighter must be 100 percent ready and willing to take risks, or else he shouldn’t be in that ring in the first place. “Lopez is the bigger guy, or he doesn’t have it that way mentally, then okay, retire. If you’re not willing to do that, you shouldn’t be in there. Going in half-cocked is very, very dangerous.”
If there is a rematch between Lopez and Lomachenko, that’s something we don’t know yet. But perhaps we can take comfort in the fact that Lomachenko is not done yet. He can go back to 130, fight the best in that division, and then retire. Or who knows, he may cross paths with Lopez again in the future.