Teofimo Lopez believes the issues he is facing outside the ropes are far greater than the ones inside it.
The former unified lightweight champion and current junior welterweight contender admitted in a recent interview that he has had to battle through some personal travails, as he looks to take on WBO 140-pound beltholder Josh Taylor June 10 in the headliner at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Most notably, Lopez said he is in the midst of a divorce with his wife, Cynthia. Lopez, to be sure, has publicly spoken in the past about his separation from his wife, with whom he shares a child. However, they were seen together the last time Lopez fought, in December, at Madison Square Garden against Sandor Martin.
“There have been a lot of personal issues,” Lopez told Punsh Drunk Boxing. “That plays a big role as you come up in the ranks and you’re a top fighter. A lot of things that people don’t really know, like right now, just a little insight: my ex-wife, she filed for divorce. She’s gonna take half of my money and everything else with it. Though, you know, it’s a part of it. It is what it is. It comes with the territory. You live and you learn. As long as I’m livin’, I’m learnin'."
Lopez said he took exception to his wife’s refusal to pass him his baby son after winning a disputed split decision over Martin in December. The exchange was captured by ESPN, which broadcasted the Lopez-Martin fight. Lopez lamented that he has not seen his son in some time.
“You know, I haven’t seen my son,” Lopez said. “It’s tough sometimes. For her to kind of diss me in front of the whole world by not passing my kid, or our kid, I should say, it’s stuff like that really [takes a] toll [on me]. I’m doing everything for my son. I’m doing this for the new generation of boxing. So when those things that come into play at that time, of course I’m gonna be very disappointed. But I’m learning throughout the works of everything. Such is life. it comes with the territory.”
“This is my third fight at 140, I’m facing the kingpin of the division, Josh Taylor,” Lopez continued. “That’s the thing. We aim for the impossible. Once we start doing it, everybody is just gonna just jump right into it again.”
Lopez has at times visibly struggled to balance his career with his personal life. Recently, he was lambasted by fans for making comments that appeared to be racist.
When asked if his out-of-the-ring troubles were more problematic than the challenges inside the ring, Lopez did not hesitate to answer, “Absolutely.”
“I’m 25,” Lopez said. “I’m still young, in that part of experiencing certain hardships in life that come with everything. …I take a lot of classes with mentors who can actually speak upon things, to actually grow your education.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.