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Teofimo Lopez: Loma Fight Is Huge For Boxing, I’m Going To Make History

Teofimo Lopez Jr. knows he has a tall task in front of him as he prepares for his tussle against Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Lopez Jr. (15-0, 12 KOs), the IBF lightweight champion, has long been calling for the WBO, WBA and WBC franchise titlist Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), and his desire will soon become a reality when they square off Oct. 17 on ESPN.

“This is great for the sport. It’s huge. I’m about to make history and become undisputed [champion]. I’m very excited. I have all of the opportunities right here in my hands and I’m not going to let that go,” Lopez Jr. told ESPN’s First Take in an interview with Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith.

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Both fighters will be fighting in their 16th professional contest, but the 32-year-old Lomachenko’s experience and amateur pedigree is prodigious and well documented as a two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist who amassed a record of 396-1.

The Brooklyn-based Honduran Lopez Jr. is also a 2016 Olympian, but he never reached medal status.

The 23-year-old, however, is unperturbed by Lomachenko’s vast amount of experience.

“He’s a great fighter and has all of the accolades and achievements, and everything that he’s done. This is for all or nothing,” he said. “He’s very talented, and so am I. A lot of these fighters respect this man too much. I’m in the fight game. I respect no man once I am in that ring. That’s what we’re going to do. I get the job done against every fighter that I face.

Lomachenko has been adamant in recent years that his size is better suited to fight as a junior lightweight, but he’s still taken on all comers in higher weight classes. He looked human in wins at 135 against Jorge Linares and Luke Campbell. Against Linares, Lomachenko even suffered a flash knockdown.

Lomachenko has also dispatched the likes of Anthony Crolla and Jose Pedraza as a lightweight, but Lopez Jr. is an upgrade from the aforementioned quartet.

Lopez Jr. will look to prove that size matters once they square off.

“A lot of people talk down on me … Style-wise, I’m the kind of fighter to bring the fight to you. I look for the fight. Not only that, but I’m a big lightweight. He’s been off at 126, 130, and I’m going to make sure come Oct. 17 I’m going to bring him back down to 130.”

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.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by R-Hand Southpaw on 09-22-2020

[QUOTE=eco1;20772121]Dude: 1st: America IS a Continent, divided in 3: North, Central, South. 2nd: You might not have traveled a lot or even a little, People of the American Continent are indeed called Americans outside of the USA. We, the USA…

Comment by Shape up on 09-22-2020

[QUOTE=1hourRun;20763480]According to Bumochenko fans, if he beats green Teofimo Lopez for the IBF, Vasily becomes 'Undisputed' ; contrary to what the president of the World Boxing Council has told the media : that the 'Franchise' title is not a world-championship,…

Comment by eco1 on 09-22-2020

[QUOTE=R-Hand Southpaw;20771151]The only people in the world who identify as American are people from the USA. Ahem. The United States of America. And America is [b]NOT[/B] a continent LMFAO. North and South America are continents. North America consist of Canada,…

Comment by revelated on 09-21-2020

[QUOTE=budfr;20764448]Floys didn´t do anything to Canelo. If you mean hitting him with pitty-pat punches many times, hugging the moment Canelo conected, running and using illegal tectics, OK. [/QUOTE]

Comment by NachoMan on 09-21-2020

[QUOTE=R-Hand Southpaw;20771491]North America also consists of all those little countries between Mexico and South America. Panama, Costa Rica. Those guys. They're small but they're there. And lol I feel you but people like to have titles and in this world…

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