Teofimo Lopez: ‘Richard Commey has never fought anyone like me’
By Allan Fox: Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KO) says he’s got some tricks up his sleeves he’s going to unveil next month when he challenges IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) in their fight on December 14.
The winner of this fight will face WBA/WBC [F]/WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko for the undisputed championship. Teofimo expects it to be him that faces Loma.
Lopez, 22, and Commey are part of a triple-header on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. In the main event, WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford defends against his mandatory challenger Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas.
Also on the card, featherweights Vladimir Nikitin and Michael Conlan will be fighting. The two fought each other in the 2016 Olympics, and it ended with the Russian fighter Nikitin beating him 3-0.
Teofimo says Commey hasn’t faced anyone like him
“All this hard work of 17 years to finally get the opportunity,” said Teofimo Lopez to AB Boxing News. “I want to thank Richard Commey for giving me this opportunity. He didn’t give it to me. We earned the spot by becoming mandatory for the IBF title. He’s the guy that has it, and he’s defending his title.
“I’m pretty sure he’s putting in a lot of work, especially for a fighter like me. It’s going to be a great night of boxing. Does he have the experience with the caliber of fighters he’s faced? Yes. He’s been there with Robert Easter, and he’s been there with Ray Beltran. The thing is, he’s never faced a fighter like me,” said Lopez.
Commey, 32, may not have fought anyone identical to Teofimo, but he does have a lot of experience as a professional. He’s fought Denis Shafikov, Robert Easter Jr., Raymundo Beltran and Alejandro Luna. Those are the best of the bunch that Commey has fought.
Lopez has fought Masayoshi Nakatani, Edis Tatli, Diego Magdaleno and Mason Menard.
Lopez has tricks up his sleeves
“That’s what I’m going to show on December 14th,” said Lopez. “I’m going to show all the tricks up my sleeves. That’s what I’m motivated for in shutting the critics up. I am here to stay, and everything I’ve talked about, I am going to back it up. Hopefully we make the Lomachenko fight happen. Once I beat him, I’m going to say I’m undisputed. Then we move on to 140. I’m moving up to 140. Is Tank moving up to 140? He’s fighting Gamboa.
“Right now, I’m focused on Richard Commey. Afterwards, they’re talking about pushing me and Loma, and after that, I’m moving up to 140. That’s definitely a fight I’m looking forward to me and Tank. He’s a well-rounded fighter. He comes in, and he’s a banger. But I think he’s too small at 135, and too small at 140. But let’s see what he can do. He’s fighting Gamboa. I think Gamboa is on his way out. He’s fighting for the WBA interim or the regular title,” said Lopez.
Teofimo should focus on what got him to this point, and that’s his power. If he starts trying to use tricks against Commey, he could come up short.
Lopez hopes to earn Lomachenko fight
“The WBC and WBA moved me out of the rankings I’m no longer top 15 with any of them,” said Teofimo. “They have their favorites. These guys are fans. It’s crazy. I was #2 with both of them. I’m #1 with the IBF and #1 with the WBO. I was #2 with the WBA and WBA. Now I’m nowhere in the list anymore. I don’t care. I’m going to show everyone on December 14th, and hopefully we make this fight happen with me and Loma. It’ll be three belts and this one.
“To me, I’m going to say I’m undisputed. That night is going to be one to remember. I can feel it already. 2019, we’re going to be world champions. I have so many tricks up my sleeves, and so many things I want to showcase. On that night, everyone is going to remember Teofimo,” said Lopez.
Commey is the final hurdle for Lopez before he faces Lomachenko in early 2020. If he wins this fight, then him and Loma will fight in the first quarter of next year.