Vasiliy Lomachenko laughed while answering what interests him most about boxing Teofimo Lopez.
“The most interesting thing for me,” Lomachenko told ESPN/Top Rank broadcaster Crystina Poncher, “will be to look into his eyes and his father’s eyes, and see their reaction after the fight.”
The unbeaten IBF lightweight champion’s father/trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr., has aggravated Lomachenko by what Lomachenko considers a disrespectful approach toward securing their fight. Lomachenko discussed the Lopez fight and other topics with Poncher as part of an interview that debuted Monday on Top Rank’s YouTube channel.
Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), who owns the WBA and WBO lightweight titles, and Brooklyn’s Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) appeared headed toward a much-anticipated lightweight title unification match May 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Their 12-round, 135-pound title fight has been delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Of course, I was disappointed a little bit,” Lomachenko said. “But everything that’s happening [with self-quarantines] is happening for the better. The most important thing is for all the people on this planet to get back and get healthy, and everything will go back to normal.”
The 22-year-old Lopez told BoxingScene.com recently that he thinks his showdown with Lomachenko could be postponed until sometime in the fall. Whenever they square off, the 32-year-old Lomachenko expects a difficult fight from the younger, stronger Lopez.
“I really think he’s a good boxer,” Lomachenko said. “He’s a top fighter. He’s young, he’s hungry, he has big power, and I want this fight because he’s a world champion, and he holds my belt, [the] IBF title.”
The two-time Olympic gold medalist hasn’t paid much mind to Lopez’s prediction that he could take out highly skilled southpaw early in their fight.
“Nobody knows,” Lomachenko said. “It’s very unpredictable. Nobody can predict what is going to happen, how it’s going to happen. People are talking about which round they are going to knock somebody out or stop somebody? I am getting very, very interested. I want to see [the fight]. I am getting interested in that.”
If Lomachenko and Lopez don’t meet until the fall, Lomachenko would end more than a one-year layoff in that fight. He acknowledged that inactivity concerns him, but Lomachenko plans to remain in the gym as much as possible once he can resume his training regimen.
“You have to be active all the time,” Lomachenko said. “You have to be training a lot in the downtime between fights. Right now, I am relaxing more. I will need to spend more time training. I will need to spar more and do more work.”
Lomachenko last fought August 31, when he out-boxed England’s Luke Campbell at O2 Arena in London. The three-division champion won the then-vacant WBC lightweight when he conquered Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) by unanimous decision.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.