Teofimo Lopez Jr. has expressed that he doesn’t respect Vasiliy Lomachenko or believe in his “hype train.”
Although Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) is a bit bothered by the recent rash of trash talk Lopez Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs) is dishing in recent weeks, the two-time Olympic gold medalist dished a heap of praise to his adversary ahead of their lightweight unification match Oct. 17 on ESPN.
“He is an excellent puncher, he has a high boxing IQ, he is younger, but we have the same fights on the list. I have vast experience during my fights in 12 rounds. So we will see how he can hold his own during the fight,” Lomachenko told Max Kellerman on ESPN’s “Max on Boxing.”
“I started to watch his fights, and I started to learn [about] him. I saw his boxing IQ, and he understands what he needs to do. He starts to feel his opponents very well. So we’ll see. It’ll be a very interesting fight for all of the boxing family."
The WBO, WBA and WBC lightweight franchise champion Lomachenko is looking to add the missing piece to his title collection when he faces the former 2016 Honduran Olympian and current IBF champion Lopez Jr.
To do so, he will take one more crack at a division he’d rather avoid.
“135 is not my weight class,” said Lomachenko. “For me, my weight class that is more comfortable is 130, but I need four belts. I need to be the undisputed world champion. That’s why I moved to 135.”
“I give all the answers to all the people after the [Lopez] fight. I just do my job, and my father [and trainer Anatoly] shows what we can do and who we are in the ring and who we are in boxing. That’s it.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.