Teofimo Lopez Jr. is a Brooklyn-based Honduran, but he is promising to showcase some elements of “Mexican Style” in his bout against Vasiliy Lomachenko.
If Lopez Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs) has his way against Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) Oct. 17 on ESPN, he will bring the fight to the Ukrainian with a come-forward strategy.
“I’m not a stupid fighter where I go in there and throws punches and expect to get lucky. No, everything I do is accurate, and it’s all pinpointed. I’m not the type of fighter that throws shots. I place my punches,” Lopez Jr. told Fight Hype. “He doesn’t know how to fight going backwards. Everybody is saying he’s the greatest fighter of all time, but you’ve got to learn how to fight with all attributes, bro.”
“Nobody even knows that I know how to fight going backward. In the amateurs, I was just a straight boxer. Everyone sees me now, coming forward, looking like a brawler or whatever you want to say, thinking I throw lucky punches.”
The IBF titlist Lopez Jr. is planning to punish the WBO, WBA and WBC lightweight franchise champion Lomachenko with his power, but if it proves to be futile, he’ll reconsider his strategy.
“If that comes about, then I’ve got another plan,” said Lopez Jr. “If you can’t take my shot, then I’m going to take advantage of that, and I’m going to press on you with it. I can’t wait.. On Oct. 17, I’m going to be able to show everybody what I’m all about. I’m very smart.
“I’m not expecting to knock this guy out in the 5th round, so I’m not going to force it. When I dissect him and do those things, we’ll see from there. I’m looking to be the first Latino to do it in this era.”
As confident as Lopez Jr. may be, and as much as he proclaims that he doesn’t respect Lomachenko, he is cognizant of the world-class level of competition that’ll be waiting for a chance to hand him his first professional defeat.
“I’m not going to sleep on this guy,” Lopez Jr. “Everybody has got the hunger to win. So I’m not going to underestimate him. I’m going to trust myself, and slow starter or not, we’re going to have a fight.”
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.