Vasiliy Lomachenko focused on Teofimo Lopez fight: “I need this belt!”

Lomachenko is set to face the undefeated Lopez on Saturday, Oct. 17, live on ESPN.

The fight is taking place from the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as WBA, WBC and champion Vasiliy Lomachenko goes up against IBF champion Lopez in the most eagerly anticipated bout of the year.

Lomachenko gave part of his purse to Lopez to ensure the lightweight showdown took place during the global pandemic.

A fight which has been in the making since last year is finally happening and a confident Lopez is predicting to punish the Pound for Pound superstar.

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With 12 of 15 wins coming inside the distance, Lopez expects Lomachenko to be number 13, something the Ukrainian has brushed off ahead of the weekend spectacle, which will see 250 fans attend.

"I feel great. I can't wait for Saturday night," Lomachenko told media. "I have a goal; I have a dream and he holds the IBF title. I need this belt. Saturday I will take his belt.

"We will see what he has, we always come prepared," Lomachenko said.

The double-Olympic champion returns to the ring for the first time since his unanimous decision victory over England's Luke Campbell in August 2019.

Meanwhile, Lopez last fought in December 2019, where he demolished Richard Commey to become IBF world champion.

"I don't think so," Loma said after being asked about whether father time had caught up with him. "I feel good about my age. I'm just 32 years old. Who made the rules about age in boxing? I still feel great."

"He has a good punch, speed, and good IQ. He's young and hungry. We will see."

Will the fight live up to the hype?

'Hi-tech' has reiterated that he is focused on the business of fight night and that he has played down the impact of their trash talk ahead of Saturday's fight:

"I heard this before from a lot of boxers that they will beat me or knock me out. In the ring, they forget about their words and promises. For me, it's just trash talk. We will see what happens in the ring.

"Back home we don't have strict laws. Here in the States, they are strict. If you insult somebody back home (in Ukraine) someone can confront you and fight you and there are no laws. He wouldn't be talking that much. But he can talk all he wants. I will do the talking in the ring."

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An underwhelming year for the sport is set to ramp up this fall, with Lomachenko vs Lopez beginning of a series of high-profile fights fronted by promoter Bob Arum. Anthony Joshua, Tyson FuryGennadiy Golovkin all expected to fight in November and December as well as Ryan Garcia vs Luke Campbell.

Lomachenko is the accomplished, proven fighter while Lopez has youth on his side alongside punching prowess. "The Matrix" has been predicted to use his experience and see out a points victory by some, while others have backed a hungrier young lion in Lopez to back up his trash talk deliver a sensational stoppage.

It promises to be a compelling fight. Fans can watch it go down live on ESPN and FITE TV in the United States and United Kingdom, respectively.

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