Teofimo Lopez is already filling prophecies in his career.
In his last fight, he stunned and devastatingly stopped Richard Commey in the second round via knockout to win the IBF lightweight title. It marked a feat he’d long been predicting -- that he’d win a world title by the tender age of 22 and by his 15th fight.
Lopez and his father and trainer Teofimo Sr. have been calling out pound-for-pound great Vasiliy Lomachenko for the last few years, and all signs are pointing for the two fighters to finally meet May 30 for a showdown at the Madison Square Garden in New York on ESPN pay-per-view, Lopez told BoxingScene.com.
An official announcement has not been made yet, but Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) is already preparing for Loma (14-1, 10 KOs) as if the meeting is weeks away.
“I’ve said [all along] that we didn’t have to ask for Loma, it was naturally going to happen,” said Lopez. “It took three years, but now it’s going to happen. I don’t think he expected me to do what I did [versus Commey]. Nobody has faced that version of me. Keep underestimating me, I love it. My skills are doing all of the talking.”
In his last fight against Luke Campbell, Lomachenko came away with a victory and the WBC, WBO and WBA belts at 135, but for very brief moments, he looked vulnerable and failed to deliver the knockout blow, even though he dropped Campbell. Lomachenko, who’d be more equipped to compete at 130, seemingly did not have the punishing power that night.
Lopez has 10 years of youth on his side versus the 32-year-old Ukrainian and said he wants to use that to his advantage in the forthcoming fight.
“I’m facing real contenders, real opposition and real challenges,” said Lopez. “We have a lot to lose, just like Loma has a lot to lose. There’s no losing with us. You see the confidence that my father has. A lot of people talk about [Lomachenko’s] technique, as well as my power.
“Every fight is the biggest fight of my life from here on out. I want to create bigger fights and better opportunities. I’m up for everything.”
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 and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.