Disappointed in Victory: Teofimo Lopez vs Sandor Martin Technical Boxing Breakdown and Analysis

Let’s pull it up front: the scoring for this fight was bad. For Lopez, a win alone would not have been a complete robbery. He more or less controlled how the fight was progressing tactically, but didn’t score much himself, so it wouldn’t have been a narrow win for Lopez. more contentious. Scores that gave him seven and eight rounds respectively, lots generous. It’s especially hard for Martin to swallow because Lopez fell to the ground in the seventh round because of something the referee called a slip, but it was almost certainly a KD. Both referees battling Lopez scored under himboks scoring rules in that round, so if the decision to knock down had been made, both would almost certainly have awarded Martin 10-8 points; of them and the fight in general was a draw.

All that aside though, whoever scored the fight in the end, what was it? meaning It was the show where Lopez recovered from the loss to George Kambosos and had just come out with 140lbs and showed the world that he was ready for the titles again. Instead, he left us, his coach/dad, in the corner and eventually (in a speech brutally exposed on camera by the ESPN broadcast team) began to question where he was going from here.

Let’s have a look.


Boxing fans may find them wondering what happened to the young star who fought Lomachenko so brilliantly a few years ago. With a clear win against one of the greatest of his generation in a sure, unnerving performance, it seemed like the world was at his feet. Just two years later, and his reputation is that of a rough, sloppy fighter who tends to let his emotions dictate his actions in the ring. It was a sharp, brutal fall.

Of course, MMA fans may find this story familiar. Cody Garbrandt looked like man When Dominick led Cruz to a joyous five-round dance to win the UFC bantamweight title but has since lost five of his six fights and has been shown to be a fairly limited fighter, prone to ludicrous trade-offs for no reason and losing them is yet to be repeated, or even approached. that bright moment.

Their problems aren’t the same, of course – they can never be in two different sports, and even if that’s granted, Lopez doesn’t engage in the crazy trade-offs that plague Garbrandt’s jaw. That’s why we won’t make an in-depth comparison. Yet there is an important similarity from which we can draw some lessons.

It’s really simple: Garbrandt’s win over Cruz and his spectacular KO win over Assuncao both came as the opponent chased after him, pocketed and allowed Garbrandt to time his counters and escapes. When asked to engage himself in all of his other fights, he has little idea how to manage range and loses his cool with these crazy exchanges.

Lopez’s problem is very similar in this respect. Against Lomachenko, all he really had to do was be patient, wait for Loma to come to him and pick him up as he closed. It was against Kambosos, and again this weekend, against an opponent who was happy to sit back and tag him in range and ask Lopez to come to him. Either way, he really had no idea what to do.

The biggest problem evident to Martin throughout the night is that he has no idea how to adjust or hide his final approach. It’s actually pretty weird, because for most of the fight, especially in the early-mid rounds, he showed a pretty good awareness of how to space his opponent and force him into the ropes and corners. But then, there, with his opponent flanked in front of him, he’d pause and then leap up or attack with a punch or two, either long straights or wild hooks. It was not the plains more bad – not great as Martin only took down one or two before escaping and was too unstable to follow, but he scored consistently with them, especially the body.

Hooks and hands were another story, though. Martin would constantly respond to those with hooks, turn and slide, letting Lopez pass him and handcuff him with his right hand as he left. The punch, combined with the loss of balance from a large hook hit, would have made Lopez stumble. He was knocked down twice, but only one goal, but even if he wasn’t, it was a consistent goal and an occasional hurtful blow. It was clear enough that Lopez was able to counter this and knock Martin back a few times, but he was never comfortable enough at the risk of shooting to make it a consistent tactic. Lopez clearly moments He has basic security techniques and makes good use of them when opponents attack him, but when it’s frustrating to progress he has no idea how to stick to them and needs to fix something urgently.

What’s weird is that Lopez packs a good punch, but dumps him multiple times before he gets close enough to build it. That’s made worse by being left-handed-orthodox-counter-orthodox in this fight – it’s not uncommon for the orthodox fighter in these matchups to punch uncomfortably. He really had to get over it though, because he was completely at sea without it—and instead of stopping it, addressing a trust issue that really became part of the story, he used it until he got close enough to be useful.

It should be noted that such discussions need to be handled with care. Tactical and technical details can be chosen, but without getting into a fighter’s head, motivation and reasoning are purely speculative. Still, this speculation is becoming more and more inevitable for Lopez. He is very lots He’s obvious about being frustrated, and unlike some, he doesn’t use that frustration for good.

There was a particularly noteworthy moment before and during the sixth round. By fifth place, Lopez was slowly improving, although his performance was still not good, and he was more consistent in patiently cutting Martin before throwing him. He was still clumsy, low-scoring and jerky, but with increasing regularity he managed to push his opponent into the ropes long enough to avoid combinations, and this was the time of the fight when he was most successful at pulling the check hook. swiping and resisting. His father was still unsatisfied and questioned between rounds what Lopez was doing and why he didn’t vacate. This seemed to bother the young man quite a bit, and in the sixth round he put all that patience aside, instead chasing Martin on the shortest, straightest line, leaving acres of space to escape from, and unlocking the tow hook again for safe use. He occasionally reverted to his game plan after that, but never showed patience and consistency.

And that, really, was the story of the fight. Lopez would step in, chase and get a response. Every now and then he’d adapt for a short time and bring in something new – double punch here, a step up to better close the range here – then dump him. It was strange and worrisome for the future. We didn’t talk much about Martin because he really didn’t do that much – everything happened on his terms, but his actual output was almost limited.

Fully punched, a straight left down the middle would occasionally snap Lopez’s head back and he hooks. He was tidy and pretty classy, ​​but had such a low volume that Lopez was never completely out of combat, and while he could argue, he didn’t. need variation because Lopez kept abandoning everything good he did to let him do the same old thing again, it was the same thing for 12 rounds.

The future

Frankly, given much of the above, this episode is a little more nervous on Lopez’s part than the usual ‘oh, which opponent would be interesting’ speculation. The plans he makes are not just about who he’s going to fight next, but about exactly what he has to do to thrive. It’s probably fair to say that his father took him as far as he could as a coach, but it’s something we don’t know if he’ll be able to bring himself to disrupt that partnership. Whether it’s a new manager or a new support at camp, he still needs to solve his forefoot pressure game urgently because all opponents will now know that he can be baited like this. Even fighters who aren’t dedicated to boxing – Prograis, Zepeda, Catteral – have skills that can provoke backlash and punish him. HE have develop. Another question he might have, and judging by his post-fight reaction, he seems to know about it.

For Martin, this will of course be extremely frustrating and doubly because although he deserved the victory and looked talented, it wasn’t the kind of exciting performance that would make fans and networks clamor to see him given a second chance. Without the power and momentum to win, he might return to the European stage for a while – but since this isn’t a title fight, he may have already seen that happen if we’re being honest. He probably doesn’t have a deep enough skill set to hang with the best of the best in this department – Prograis, Ramirez and the like – but it would be nice to see him given a try. It could still happen – Josh Taylor, the previously undisputed champion, gave up three belts during his ranting and whining about whether to rematch with Jack Catterall, leaving the division of titles open. As the four belt bodies organize their separate standings, he may soon force himself to hold a championship game for one of them. If not, look for him on the European scene and over time he’s probably been brought to the UK to test one of his soaring hopes in weight.

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