Now that the fight between Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko is back on track, the time for fun and games are over. That is how Lopez sees it at least.
Lopez (15-0), the IBF Lightweight Champion, is set to face off against Lomachenko (14-1) on October 17. The fight will take place inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. At 23, Lopez is confident in his ability. Speaking with The Ring, Lopez discussed the key difference between him and Lomachenko, based off of past opponents.
“Loma can think he’s going to beat me, and he can think he’s going to beat me easily, but deep down, they’re training their asses off so hard that me and my father (Teofimo Sr.) always talk about it that they’re over working the body,” Lopez said. “I never stressed it. Richard Commey, world champion, he killed his whole body to fight me. We know what happened (Lopez won KO 2). Loma is going to kill his whole body during camp. I already know it. Let’s see what he says when we’re in the ring.”
Turning professional in 2016, the Brooklyn-born star won the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Title in his tenth pro fight. He won NABF gold in 2018 and ended up knocking out Richard Commey back in December to win the IBF Lightweight Title. That was the last time the man with twelve wins via knockout fought inside a boxing ring.
Lomachenko, 32, won gold in his first professional fight in 2013. He ended up winning the WBO Featherweight Title in his third fight. Holding junior-featherweight gold, “Loma” won the WBA Lightweight Title from Jorge Linares. A WBO Champion, Lomachenko last fought Luke Campbell in August, where he won the WBC Lightweight Title.
As far as experience and mileage are concerned, Lopez believes he has the advantage.
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) August 18, 2020
“I look at it like this—maybe this whole COVID-19 year helped him out. Maybe he needed it,” Lopez went on to say. “That way he can probably at least hang in there a little bit with me… With what Loma does with his experience and technique, he’s able to hang in there to at least get the job done.”
“But, at the end of the day, I’m going to beat the s**t out of him. I’m not Linares. Everybody knows that. I’m not Pedraza. I’m not any of those guys he beat. They can say Loma is No. 1 at 135 and I’m second. Well, we’re going to change that when we fight. I’m not worried.”
Lopez respects Lomachenko but won’t let anything stop him from winning the WBA, WBO, and WBC Lightweight Titles.
The fight for gold almost didn’t happen. Lopez initially rejected an offer in recess of $1.2 million for a fight. He then agreed to a purse package worth $3.25 million and can now earn $1.5 million. Lomachenko was willing to take a pay cut for the fight to take place, as Bob Arum wasn’t going to break the bank for Lopez. One that doesn’t forget, Lopez will remember every detail of negotiations as he trains for one of the top fighters out there today.
“I take all of that into consideration,” Lopez stated. “I’ll take it all out in camp. It’s going to be worse for Loma than it was for Commey. I’m going to be on him like a savage. I’ve been dying to fight. I’ve been locked in a cage and ready to eat. My hands have been itching so bad. I feel sorry for my sparring partners.”