Teofimo Lopez ready for the ‘Little Diva’ Vasiliy Lomachenko, wants ‘Fat’ Tank Davis
By Kenneth Friedman: Teofimo Lopez says he’s ready to get the contract finalized by next week to face Vasiliy Lomachenko, who he refers to as “The little Diva,” on October 3.
IBF lightweight champion Teofimo (15-0, 12 KOs) wants to knockout WBA/WBC/WBO 135-lb champion Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), and leave no doubt in the minds about who the better fighter is between the two.
For the boxing fans that are concerned about the 22-year-old Lopez’s weight, he says he’s already in the high 140s, which is his average weight. He drains down from the upper 140s to 135 the week of his fights and then rehydrates to put the water back on.
Lopez is still hoping that at least some fans will be able to attend his fight with Loma because he feels it’s such a big fight, it would be a waste if it takes place behind closed doors. However, if that’s the way it’s got to be, then Teofimo is ready to face Lomachenko without fans if necessary.
Lomachenko-Teofimo could be the changing of the guard with the old lion Lomachenko, 32, being dethroned by the younger guys Teofimo. It’s a good thing that Teofimo has set a goal of knocking Lomachenko out because he might not get the nod with the judges on the scorecard.
Lomachenknow hows how to win decisions, and it’s almost impossible to beat him in that way. Thus far, Orlando Salido is the only guy that has a win over Loma in the problem ranks wth his 12 round split decision in 2014.
October 3 still target date for Lomachenko vs. Lopez
“I think he needs to talk to one of his social staff about how to hit with a better come back. That wasn’t that good,” said Teofimo to DAZN on Lomachenko reacting to his video last week outside Madison Square Garden in New York.
“Vegas is the spot for us to fight at. Bob Arum has been talking about it, saying anywhere from this week to next week, we should be finding out, and we should have contracts thrown at us,” Teofimo Lopez said.
“We should have everything signed and sealed. That’s the only thing we’re waiting for now, and then everybody should be in camp.
“October 3 is when Todd Duboef feels very strongly that fight will be made on. That’s what I’m waiting on, and I’m excited, I really am.
“We’re trying to have the fans come back. With this magnitude of this type of fight, it needs to have fans. Before all this, we had Madison Square Garden scheduled,” said Teofimo.
The only reason why the date for the Lomachenko-Lopez fight would be moved off October 3 is if Top Rank decides to wait it out a month or two to see if the U.S government allows fans back into fights.
It’s too bad that Lomachenko and Lopez were unable to fight earlier this year before the pandemic hit, as it would have been ideal if they fought in January or February.
Teofimo already in high 140s
“It was a sold-out arena. So many big things happening, but COVID hit us,” said Lopez. “So now we’re just trying to work around it. We’re trying to see if we can get the fans in Las Vegas and see if the Nevada Commission will allow at least a couple of thousand fans to come in and watch it live.
“We’re going to adjust to it. You heard Loma, the little diva. ‘We can even fight in my yard,’ so it’s all good.
“We’re not worried about it. Knowing the fight that we’re about to have against the little diva.
“Right now, we’re in the high 40s,” said Teofimo. “We’re at the weight right now. If you know boxing, 10 or 12 pounds isn’t nothing to drop.
“That’s where we’re at right now, and I’m very happy about it, and I’m very content, and I’m going to have a successful camp again. We’re going to be doing it in Big Bear, and we’re going to be trying to get the sparring partners, the best that we can get,” Lopez said in his training.
Teofimo looks considerably smaller now compared to when he was weighing in the high 150s several months ago. He looked like a short junior middleweight, and many boxing fans were skeptical about his chances of making the 135-lb limit.
It’s nothing short of remarkable that Lopez can trim down to 135 for his fights because he is so huge. He’s more of a welterweight that is still capable of making 135.
At 22-years-old, Lopez can still meltdown vast amounts of weight without it hurting him, but he won’t be able to do this forever. By the time Teofimo is in his mid to late 20s, we could see him fighting at 147.
Lopez planning on knocking out Lomachenko
“We’re pretty much going to knock this guy out,” said Teofimo on his goal to knock out Lomachenko. “That’s the fight that we said would get made in 2020,” said Teofimo about his preference to face Lomachenko next rather than a tune-up.
“It was my first priority, making that fight happen. I told Bob [Arum] straight up. ‘I’m not going to have a tune-up fight.’ He [Lomachenko] is my tune-up fight, and that’s really what it was.
“I’ve been wanting to go back into the ring and fight. Throwing shots at the diva [Loma], it was great doing it, and I just want to make this fight happen,” said Teofimo.
Lopez has got the right idea in planning on knocking ou Lomachenko because he’s not going to be able to outbox him. While it’s theoretically possible that Teofimo can win a decision, it’s not realistic.
What Teofimo needs to do is set a trap, and then spring it by waiting on specific punches that Lomachenko isn’t ready for during the fight. If Teofimo uses the same shot repeatedly, Lomachenko will be ready for it, and he’ll nullify it.
Staying at 135 isn’t a problem
“With the Richard Commey fight, I made weight so easy, and I didn’t expect it to be that easy,” said Teofimo when asked if he’d be willing to stay at 135 for one more fight.
“I know I can definitely make 135 again really smooth, and I can make it again. You have Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Tank Davis,” said Lopez about all the great fighters around his weight class.
“The list goes on and on. These guys all have some type of attribute that makes the fans want to see them more. I’m very happy to be in that area now, and Teofimo is the one that’s going to take over.
“How we’re going to start is with this guy right here on October 3. Teofimo vs. the diva, we’re going to do our thing,” said Lopez.
Teofimo can still make 135 for a little while longer, but it could prove to be difficult for him if he’s not adequately motivated. For example, if Teofimo loses to Lomachenko, it won’t be as motivating for him to stay at 135 if it’s against just a regular contender like the ones he’s been facing.
If Teofimo loses to Lomachenko, Top Rank will probably rebuild him slowly against lesser opposition at 135. In that case, it could be hard or him to make weight. Top Rank should continue to match Teofimo against quality fighters if he gets beaten by Lomachenko because he’ll lose motivation to drop tons of weight to get down t 135.
Facing Gervonta Davis interests Teofimo
“Who me at fat Tank?” said Lopez when asked about his interest in facing Gervonta Davis. “Yeah, me and fat Tank, absolutely, that can be one. I don’t think he can even make our weight class , so I don’t think he can make the weight at 130.
“If he does, he’s going to be dry, very dry. We’re going to have to wait and see. Let’s see if fat Tank can make the weigh, and then we can talk about that.
“You always want to come in thinking it’s going to come out smoothly,” said Teofimo on negotiations for the Lomachenko fight. “But we know we need to expedite this fight and make sure that we get this fight done.
“We don’t take long during this process. If they give us the contract earlier next week, we should have it done by the end of this week, and have it finalized and sent out.
“Then I’m taking the next plane to California and going to Big Bear. So that’s where my mind is at right now, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to have it pretty smoothly.
“Top Rank and ESPN, they know what I want and what I’m eying on, and I should expect that,” Teofimo.
If Teofimo beats Lomachenko, a logical fight to make is a match between him and WBA ‘regular’ lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis (23-0, 22 KOs). There would be a lot of money in a Teofimo vs. Tank Davis fight, and it would help boxing fans figure out who the top dog is at 135.
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