Teofimo Lopez wants “Horrible Mikey” or Commey
By Dan Ambrose: Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) says he’ll be fighting for a world title in July, most likely against IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey (28-2, 25 KOs), but he would also like to fight “Horrible” WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 Kos) as well. Lopez says Mikey’s performance against Errol Spence Jr. last March was “Horrible.”
Lopez, 21, doesn’t care which of the two he faces in July. He wants to capture a title, and then face WBA/WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) in a unification fight before moving up to the 140 lb division to go after the belt holders up there.
Before the unbeaten #4 IBF, #4 WBA, #4 WBC and #5 WBO lightweight contender Teofimo fights for a world title in July, he has to get past #4 WBO Edis Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) on April 20 on the undercard of Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan on ESPN pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden in New York. Teofimo is the favorite to beat the 32-year-old Tatli, who comes from Finland.
“They’ve been talking about July, I fight for the world title,” Lopez said to Fighthype about him fighting Commey in July. “This fight against Edis Tatli. It was a 10 rounder, but now they’ve backed it up to a 12 rounder, and I think it’s for the IBF title eliminator, and then I think we can hopefully fight against Richard Commey. He was [recently] fighting some scrub [Isa Chaniev]…He was 13-0, and he was already ranked high. They just grabbed somebody to make him look good. So hopefully, we can make this fight happen. He’s a world champion, so he’s a good fighter,” Lopez said.
Lopez’s promoters at Top Rank haven’t confirmed to the boxing public that he’ll be fighting Commey for sure in July. If the International Boxing Federation chooses to make Lopez’s fight against Tatli an IBF lightweight eliminator, then that’ll put him in position to challenge Commey, but it’ll be up to the sanctioning body, as well as Top Rank if the Commey-Lopez fight takes place in July.
If Top Rank doesn’t get Teofimo the title shot that he badly wants in July, he’s going to be an unhappy camper, because he needs that title to get a fight against Lomachenko. The Ukrainian fighter has been telling the media that the only way he’ll bother to fight Teofimo is if he has a title to put up for the fight. Teofimo won’t be able to o that if Top Rank can’t or won’t match him against Commey in July. If Commey doesn’t want the fight with Lopez, then it’ll be up to Top Rank to make it worthwhile for Commey to fight Lopez. If Commey instead fights Lomachenko, then he won’t need to fight Lopez unless Mikey drops back down to 135 and faces him in a title defense. It’s unlikely that Mikey will fight Lopez if he moves back down in weight. Mikey instead will defend his WBC title against his mandatory Luke Campbell.
“I don’t know if he’s going back down. If he does, let’s make the fight happen,” Teofimo said about wanting to fight Mikey if he moves back down to 135. “Me and Luke Campbell can fight or if Luke fights Mikey. He’ already the mandatory. It doesn’t matter to us. What we want in July is a world title,” Lopez said.
It would be a good fight to see what Teofimo could do against Luke Campbell. That’s another one that would be tough to predict. Lopez ha looked good since turning pro in 2016, but he’s not fought anyone yet to determine how good he is. Lopez’s best opponents of his career are Diego Magdaleno, Mason Menard, and William Silva. Those are decent guys, but nothing special. Those are all fighters that have been beaten before. It’s not a big deal that Lopez was able to beat them.
Mikey vs. Teofimo Lopez would be a great fight for the fans. It would be a tough fight for the 31-year-old Mikey to take with him coming off of a one-sided loss to Spence last March. Mikey would need to be a lot more aggressive against Teofimo than he was against Spence, because he looked clueless in that fight. Mikey would need to throw a lot more punches against Lopez if he wants to win that fight, because he’ll get chopped part by the New Yorker if he doesn’t let his hands go.
“Horrible, he was horrible,” Lopez said about Mikey in his fight against Errol Spence. “Whatever it was, it was a horrible mismatch. It was just a horrible fight…I was already falling asleep half the way through it. You could tell what Mikey was trying to do was to set up for one of those shots, to have Errol come in, lure him in, and then pick him off. Errol was keeping his distance. Errol had a great game plan in this fight. The better man won the fight,” Lopez said.
Lopez would likely look bad against Spence too if he were to face him. Lopez would probably push the fight to Spence, and that would result in him unloading on him with huge shots. It likely wouldn’t end well for Lopez against a big guy like Spence. Lopez is right about how Mikey looked like he was trying to lure Spence in to try and catch him with single power shots. Mikey landed a number of heavy shots in the later round, but the problem was, Spence was hitting him with a lot more big punches and dominating the action from the outside with his jab, and that made the fight one-sided.