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Lopez: After I Beat Lomachenko, I Want Bigger Names, Bigger Fights Than Verdejo

Teofimo Lopez obviously isn’t looking past Vasiliy Lomachenko.

The unbeaten IBF lightweight champion wasn’t trying to disrespect Felix Verdejo, either. When he was asked, however, about boxing Verdejo next if he beats Lomachenko on Saturday night, Lopez expressed interest in other opponents over Verdejo.

“After I beat Vasiliy Lomachenko on October 17th, I think that I wanna look ahead to bigger names and bigger fights,” Lopez responded during a virtual press conference recently. “I’m sorry, but I don’t think that Verdejo is one of those big names right now. I think that maybe if he becomes champion or something like that, then I will think that it will make sense to fight him.”

teofimo-lopez (16)

Puerto Rico’s Verdejo (27-1, 17 KOs) has won four straight fights since Mexico’s Antonio Lozado (40-4-1, 34 KOs) upset him by 10th-round technical knockout in March 2018 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York. He has especially demonstrated improvement while working with his new trainer, Ismael Salas, in his past two fights.

The 27-year-old Verdejo knocked out previously unbeaten Will Madera (15-1-3, 8 KOs) in the first round of his most recent action, July 16 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Nevertheless, Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) would prefer pursuing bigger fights than one versus Verdejo after facing Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) in their 12-round, 135-pound title unification fight.

“I know a lot of people, after I beat Lomachenko,” Lopez explained, “a lot of people are gonna come looking for a fight with me because that’s gonna mean that they’re gonna make a lot of money. So, that’s up to Top Rank and ESPN, if they wanna make that fight [against Verdejo]. But if it’s up to me, I think I’m looking for bigger names.”

Bob Arum, whose company promotes Lopez and Verdejo, wasn’t as dismissive of matching them as Lopez if Lopez overcomes Lomachenko on Saturday night.

“At 135, there’s some interesting fighters out there [for Lopez],” Arum stated during the same virtual press conference. “There’s Ryan Garcia, who fights under the Golden Boy banner. There’s Devin Haney, who’s with DAZN, but would probably be available. And there are a lot of other guys. Verdejo, I know what Teofimo is saying, but Verdejo, since [he is] under a new trainer, is looking absolutely great now. And he’s a potential opponent. So, it’s all good. And I know Teofimo is looking at it when he wins this fight. But even if he doesn’t win the fight, he’s still a major, major draw, and he can fight any of those guys.”

ESPN will televise Lomachenko-Lopez as the main event of a three-bout broadcast Saturday night from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). ESPN+ will provide coverage of the Lomachenko-Lopez undercard, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Walexhris on 10-14-2020

[QUOTE=richardt;20810751]And on the flip side, Lopez has never faced a guy with Loma's movement and defense. Both have strengths, that is why this fight is intriguing.[/QUOTE] True dat...

Comment by richardt on 10-14-2020

[QUOTE=Walexhris;20810201]I think more than ever, I don't think any of Loma's opponents had teo's timing[/QUOTE]And on the flip side, Lopez has never faced a guy with Loma's movement and defense. Both have strengths, that is why this fight is intriguing.

Comment by richardt on 10-14-2020

[QUOTE=big Lou dawg;20810124]Im drenlou been a poster on nsb since 2009.. Youll see what im talking bout richardt. Been bnf24 for the last 6 years or so but im back and im going to make a splash.. I expect my…

Comment by Silver Spear on 10-14-2020

[QUOTE=Boricua181;20809951]I just watched Loma - Lopez 24/7 parts 1 and 2, and have a better perspective of their feud. It is personal it turns out that after the Lomanchenko versus Pedraza fight. Lopez's father approached Lomanchenko and either went to…

Comment by Boricua181 on 10-14-2020

[QUOTE=Elpatron2;20810061]Me after watchn top rank prom. Looks like a rought one for teo whole nother level let's see[/QUOTE] He hasn't beaten Lomanchenko, and is already dismissing other fighters as future opponents. That's arrogance to an extreme, it's not confidence as…

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