By Ryan Burton
Despite suffering injuries, Teofimo Lopez has been very active throughout his young career. After fighting 6 times in 2017 and 4 times last year, the 21-year-old said that he plans on fighting another 4-5 times this year against better competition.
“We always have to stay sharp. That is the thing about us, we always stay ready. The plan is to fight 4 or 5 times this year. Next year it will be like two to three times that we fight. Once we become world champion then we will fight two or three times a year," Lopez told BoxingScene.com from his Las Vegas training camp.
Next up is a fight on the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan pay-per-view undercard. His opponent will be Edis Tatli (31-2) of Finland in what will be Lopez's first fight scheduled for 12 rounds.
The 2016 Honduran Olympian hopes to fight for a world title in July. He said that if that happens he would likely defend the title once before moving up to the super lightweight division.
“Let’s say if I fight for the world title in July then I will defend it in December and move up," Lopez said while revealing that it is getting tougher to make the 135 pound lightweight limit.
"It is getting there. It is not hard but I know that just a little slight mistake on my weight and it will be hard. Meaning if I get carried away a little bit when I am not training or fighting, that is what I have to be strict about. Right now we are maintaining weight and keeping focused. That is really it. I really have to maintain. My body is growing and ready to go to 140 and I have to keep it down a couple more months.
"I’ve been telling everybody. I told Bob and I told everybody that if they want to push the fight with (Vasiliy Lomachenko) to next year - I am going to say it like this, I gave them this whole year. If they want to push it to March I am not taking the fight. I am not going to wait that long. We could fight but it would be at a catchweight. I am not going to wait (at 135)."
Lopez hasn't been shy in calling out Lomachenko, who is a top 2 pound-for-pound fighter by most boxing pundits. He made it clear that if titles are going to be on the line that the fight needs to happen this year.
The New York native expects to be even more dominant than what he has shown in his brief career at lightweight. He believes that not having to cut those extra 5 pounds will make a big difference in how he performs in the ring.
"I will be hella strong. Stronger than I am now. Some people say I am small but I am not small at 135. Floyd fought at 154 and he was 5’7”, 5’8”, my height. It is just all in the skills. It doesn’t matter how tall or are or anything. We are ready for all those things," said Lopez.
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