Teofimo Lopez Jr. will walk into the ring against Vasiliy Lomachenko on Oct. 17 as the bigger man.
Once the tale of the tape hits the screen on ESPN, it will offer a slight glimpse into the physical measurables Lopez Jr. possesses, including a one-inch height advantage and three-inch reach advantage.
Lopez Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs) is looking to use his size and stop Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) in convincing fashion during their lightweight unification clash.
“Oh hell yeah, I gotta knock this guy out, man. Everybody loves knockouts, why not?” Lopez Jr. told ESPN’s First Take. “What I do is very exciting. I’m a young, hungry fighter. A lot of people may call me arrogant but when it comes to my sport, I’m very good at what I do.”
Lopez Jr. has knocked out six out of his last seven opponents, including Richard Commey in his most recent fight in the second round that allowed for him to capture the 135 IBF crown.
As the interview with Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith progressed, Lopez Jr. downplayed his knockout proclamation.
“I’m not going to look for that knockout. If it comes, it comes. But I trust my abilities,” he said. “I’m only getting stronger, and the fact that we’ve rested for this long, it’s going to be a bad night for this man … I think both of us probably needed the rest. It’s going to be a great fight to watch.”
In addition to knowing what a professional loss feels like, Lomachenko has also tasted the canvas before. He suffered a flash knockdown against Jorge Linares in his lightweight division debut in 2018 before bouncing back and scoring a 10th round TKO.
The WBA, WBO and WBC franchise champion Lomanchenko also strung a streak of four consecutive quits from 2016 and 2017 as a 126-pounder against Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga, Guillermo Rigondeaux, earning him the moniker of “No Mas-Chenko.”
Lopez Jr. proclaimed that he’s a different caliber of a fighter, particularly because of his size.
“The guys that he’s faced and made quit were just too scared of everything he was able to do to them,” he said. “I’m a big 135 pounder. I can be fighting at 140 right now. I’m very comfortable at this weight. Everything that this man does do that they say, he’s decreasing. I’m not even in my prime yet and I’m out here just outdoing guys. He’s on his way out, and it’s showing. Your body can only take so much damage, and I guarantee you we’re going to put some damage on this man.”
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.