Teofimo Lopez refuses to apologize for “kill” comment about Josh Taylor
By Robert Segal: Teofimo Lopez says he refuses to apologize for saying he wants to “kill” WBO light welterweight champion Josh Taylor. According to Teofimo (18-1, 13 KO), people wanting him to apologize is an example of how boxing is “getting soft.”
Teofimo points out that he almost died in his fight against George Kambosos Jr, and if that had happened, there would have been the ten bells thing, but then he would have been quickly forgotten.
In Teo’s mind, dying is part of the sport, and it happens. As a result, he’s not going to apologize for saying he wants to “kill” Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs).
Some see Teofimo’s comment as thoughtless, while others view it as a cheap attempt to attract interest in his fight with Taylor on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Up until this week, there hasn’t been a huge buzz about the Taylor-Teofimo fight, partly due to the lack of a huge promotional push but also because of the fighters themselves.
The former unified lightweight champion Teofimo, who likes to embellish his credentials by calling himself a former undisputed, hasn’t done a lot of interviews until this week.
So perhaps to make up for the invisibility, Teofimo is going overboard with his comments.
Teofimo expects to scare away opponents
“Well-trained and well-thought-out about this plan that we have in mind. I feel like the young ‘Takeover’ of 2018,” said Teofimo Lopez to Fight Hub TV. “We figured out a problem that was giving me issues with my coach. Ever since then, my sparring has looked phenomenal in those rounds of training, getting hit less.
“I’m looking like the person that I need to look like on June 10th. I use that as fuel,” said Teofimo about the criticism he’s received. People forget that I nearly died. So it takes a little bit to gather that backup.
“He beat Regis Prograis, he beat Ivan Baranchyk, and he’s beaten a lot of top fighters, Jose Ramirez. He went and collected all the belts to become undisputed. So you’ve got two guys, former undisputed, fighting each other. The best against the best, and that’s what boxing is all about.
“He holds the Ring Magazine that identifies the champion of champions, and that’s what we’re fighting for in this fight. In this fight here, in my eyes, no one has beaten Josh Taylor. He’s still technically [undisputed], but people will say what they’re going to say. People still try to dispute my undisputed.
“It’s still a goal [to become undissputd], but it’s hard. A lot of these fighters talk a good game on the Internet, but in real life, they don’t do it. With the performance that I’m going to put on against Josh Taylor, it’s going to cause a lot of fighters not to want to face me, even the champions.
“Beating Josh Taylor makes me the kingpin of 140. We make it look easy because we’re on a different level. I’m ready now. Give it to me now,” said Taylor about him being ready to take on the best at light-welterweight in his third fight,” said Lopez.
Teo studied film for Taylor’s fight
“I had it 9-3 Loma. Devin didn’t do enough,” said Teofimo when asked about his thought on the Devin Haney vs. Vasyl Lomachenko fight. “Loma was dictating the fight from the second round on.
“People have got to look at these fights without the commentator. Devin was looking at his dad like, ‘Help me. I don’t know what to do. He figured me out.’ They’re trying to have him [Haney] look like Floyd Mayweather 2.0. Don’t look at your daddy to help you because he’s not going to help you.
“People going off the Tank and Ryan fighting like that was a big deal. It truly wasn’t. I think Tank knew he was already going to beat Ryan because Ryan is looking at and excited for the females and trying to be social media. He did that.
“Tank is out there trying to make more noise, trying to fight the guys that he needs to fight, but at the same time; he’s not fighting the toughest competition out there. If he really wanted to fight the toughest competition out there, he’d call me out. He’s not doing that. A lot of these people are being helped by the industry of boxing.
“You should never count on any fight because they’re training for your style. I understand the magnitude of this fight; I understand my place in it,” said Teofimo about his clash against Taylor. “He’s the champion, and I’m the challenger again, and I like that. I like that feeling.
“When I win, you guys are all going to be surprised, but I’m going to be like, ‘I’ve been here before. I never looked at tape because I felt like it was cheating,” said Teofimo about scouting his opponents.
“For this fight, yeah, I’m going to cheat. So let m cheat watching how he moves. I can pinpoint certain things fighters do. Boxing is a dance.
“So I’ve got to know my dance partner for this fight, I suppose, and I kind of want to know how I can look my greatest. That’s really why I’m doing it,” Lopez said.
“He can expect a lot of things,” said Teofimo when told that Taylor is predicting a knockout. “We’ll see. It depends on how I want to play it,’ said Teofimo when asked if the fight goes 12 rounds.
“I’ll make sure I dictate the fight the way I need to. This guy is bigger and heavier, and he’s going to come the way he needs to. I study a lot of the greats, a lot of the old-time boxers. They teach you a thing or two.
“That’s what I mean. Boxing is soft,” said Teofimo when asked if he wanted to apologize for saying he wanted to kill Taylor. “I was going to pass away against Kambosos because of the injury I had before the fight. Had I gone, people would have missed me for a little bit and then forgotten.
“I’m not apologizing for my comment, no. If he dies, he dies. People have died in the sport. It’s what comes with it. People are saying it’s because of the kids. You’re all about the kids, so you shouldn’t be promoting it. Killing a man or not killing a man is part of the territory that you sign up for,” said Teofimo.
- Ryan Garcia vs.Teofimo Lopez targeted for February 10th
- Teofimo Lopez made WBO ‘Super Champion’ at 140
- Teofimo Lopez Sr wants Haney, Ryan Garcia or Prograis next for Teo
- Teofimo Lopez tells Devin Haney: “Start losing weight”