Teofimo Lopez: I’m going to do damage to Vasily Lomachenko
By Sean Jones: Teofimo’ El Brooklyn’ Lopez Wants to do some damage to Vasily Lomachenko and send him fleeing back to the 130-lb division after he beat him on October 17.
Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) wants to become the first Hispanic fighter to unify a division in holding all four titles at 135.
Teofimo will have his IBF lightweight title on the line when he faces WBA/WBC/WBO champ Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) on ESPN and ESPN Deportes on October 17.
It’s vital that Teofimo, 23, gets to Lomachenko as early as possible, as he’s going to get comfortable as the fight moves into the second half. Once Lomachenko is in a groove, he’s going to dominate.
Where Lomachenko has had problems in the past is in the first rounds. That’s where he gets hit a lot, and he loses rounds. If you Loma’s fight against Orlando Salido, he was getting worked over by him in the first six rounds.
It wasn’t until Lomachenko got comfortable in the second half of the fight that he took over, and he almost pulled out the win.
El Brooklyn ready to do damage
“When boxing fans hear ‘Teofimo Lopez,’ they think sensational knockouts, including your title-winning victory over Richard Commey, who was on a roll and is a good fighter, and you destroyed him with a stunning knockout early,” said Max Kellerman to ESPN.
“You’re doing backflips in the ring, you’ve said some controversial things about your opponents at times and gotten into some hard feelings outside of the ring. You really lit the boxing world on fire in your young career.
In Lomachenko, you’re fighting a guy that is #1 pound-for-pound on many, many lists. Teofimo, when I look at Lomachenko at lightweight, because he’s not a colossal lightweight, his two most challenging fights at lightweight was when [Jorge] Linares dropped him, and he had some rough patches against [Luke] Campbell.
Both were excellent fighters, and they were long fighters that fight at a distance. You are a big lightweight compared to him, but you like to mix it up. It’s not like you have the longest reach and like to fight from the outside. You like to fight. How do you see this as a match-up of styles?” said Kellerman.
“Style-wise, they call him [Lomachenko] ‘Hi-Tech,’ but I’m the type of fighter that brings it to you, and I look for the fight,” said Teofimo.
“I feel like, not only that, I’m a big lightweight, as you said, Max, and this guy [Lomachenko], he’s been off at 130, 126, and we’re gonna put some damage to this man,” said Teofimo.
If Teofimo starts catching Lomachenko with the type of shots that he knocked out Richard Commey with, he’s going to be in trouble. In watching Teofimo land shots on Commey, the results could be the same if he lands those punches on Lomachenko.
Teofimo to focused on being the undisputed champion
“Listening about this noise about Lomachenko. So many people rave about being the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” said Stephen A Smith.
“I know you got all the confidence in the world because you can put somebody to sleep with one blow. But what do you think about this guy’s boxing skills? How do you feel about going against him purely from a boxing standpoint?”
“Teofimo, his father trains him, and Lomachenko wants to be known as the best that ever did it, and clearly that doesn’t come from nowhere,” said Kellerman.
“His father is on board with that. But when your dad says, ‘My son is going to be the greatest ever,’ people kind of belittled that. Do you see this as a fight between you do and kind of representing each of your father’s in this case.”
“We’re both coming into out 16th fight, and this is huge,” said Teofimo about him and Lomachenko. “I’m going to make history. I’m going to be the first Latin to become the undisputed champion.
“At 23, I’ve got all the opportunities, and I’m not going to let that go. A lot of people talk down about it,” said Lopez.
“There have been Hispanic fighters that were undisputed, but all the belts weren’t around back then. They didn’t have as many belts to unify,” said Kellerman.
“You would be the first to unify that amount of belts.”
“We got all five belts; Ring Magazine, IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO, but I’m very pleased with that, and to know I’m going to make history,” said Teofimo.
Unifying a division would be an accomplishment for anybody, but for Teofimo, it would be special. He would be the first Hispanic to unify a division, and then he’ll likely be moving up to 140 to try and unify that division as well.
Lopez comfortable making 135
“Teofimo, I’ve watched Lomachenko make Nicholas Walters and Rigondeaux quit,” said Jackson. “They literally quit. They didn’t want to fight, and they got up and were walking around.
“And they didn’t get knocked out. They literally quit. When you watch Lomachenko with what he’s done to his opponents, what has he done to them that you can’t even fantasize about him doing to you?”
“The guys that he made quit, they were either too scared of the things that he was able to do to them or on top of that, they were two weight classes underneath him,” said Teofiimo about Lomachenko. “He’s decreasing,” said Lopez.
“I’ve got to push back on something you said about being very comfortable at the weight,” said Kellerman to Lopez. “You are a big lightweight, and he’s a small lightweight, but you’re a very big lightweight.
“You’re athletic, you’re explosive, you have big power, and you’re fast. But it’s no secret that 135 was not going to be very long for you, and the Lomachenko fight is the reason why you’re staying at the weight for that.
“How really have you been able to target 135 for this fight and to do it so that you’re at your best?”
“I’m comfortable making the weight, and on top of that, a lot of hard work,” said Teofimo.
“I think this magnitude type of fight, I’ve got all the attributes to beat this guy. What better way at 23 to become undisputed world champion. That has a great ring to it,” Lopez said.
In between fights, Lopez is close to 160 lbs, and he’s not fat. That’s more of his natural weight. For him to fight at 135, Lopez has to trim muscle off to get to the 140s and then dehydrate from there.
A fighter can only do stuff like that when they’re young because once they hit their mid-20s, it’s nearly impossible.
It’s Lomachenko’s bad luck that he’s going to be facing a guy that is essentially a light-welterweight, or you can even call him a welterweight. When Teofimo is at his natural weight, he’s the same size as welterweights when they begin making weight for their fights.
If Lomachenko can handle the power of Teofimo for 12 rounds without getting knocked out, that would say a lot about him. If you can take Teofimo’s power, then that suggests that Lomachenko could move up to 140 and 147 and win world titles in those weight classes.
It’s not that he would do it though, but he could, in theory, do something like that if he can handle Teofimo’s power. That’s a big IF, though.
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