Teofimo Lopez says he’s going to be looking to knockout Vasily Lomachenko in a takeover in 12 days from now on October 17th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
IBF lightweight champion Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) wants to add Lomachenko’s WBA/WBC/WBO 135-lb titles to his collection in less than two weeks from now in their fight on ESPN.
Beating Lomachenko will make Teofimo, 23, the undisputed lightweight champion, and turn him into a star overnight. All Teofimo needs is to take the 32-year-old Lomachenko’s scalp, and his life will change.
As of now, Lomachenko is still the favorite with the oddsmakers, and most boxing fans believe he’s going to outbox Teofimo and take him to school.
Arum compares Teofimo to Muhammad Ali
“You have to have a historical perspective. A guy that was loved by some but hated by most and was probably the most well-known boxer of all time, and that was Muhammad Ali,” said Bob Arum.
“When Muhammad Ali was still Cassius Clay, he would predict the round that he would knock his opponent out. He was very brash, and he became popular because of that and his performances.
“But Ali was derided by a lot of people. He was called ‘Cassius’ by a lot of people because he talked so much. Well, Teofimo was cut from the same cloth. Ali backed up his talk just like Teofimo has, but when a young man, a youngth athlete, is so loquacious, a lot of people tend to resent it, and that is really the fallback that is happening with Teofimo.
“Most people love that talk, it’s interesting, it’s aspiring, but some people resent it. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter. It’s how he performs in the ring, right, Teofimo?” said Arum.
That would be huge if Lopez backs up his talk and defeats the two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko. But for Teofimo to follow in Muhammad Ali’s footsteps, he would need to beat a lot more guys than Lomachenko. That fight would be the beginning.
Teofimo is confident like Ali was, but he needs to win as he did and beat the past. That starts with Lomachenko. If Teofimo is as good as some people think he is, he’ll defeat Loma on October 17th.
Teofimo talks about his self-confidence
“I think the fact that it comes to is that no matter what’s going on outside of the sport with the people and the fans, there are only two people that can determine the outcome; myself and the person I’m fighting, and that’s where my confidence leads to where I am who I am because at that particular moment I get to do what I can do.
“Can’t nobody tell me what I can do because I’m very outspoken about it because I believe in my abilities? Not only that. I’m the one that’s going to dictate the fight and put it on the lines.
“So if you don’t like who I am, it’s just who I am. That’s why it comes to inside the sport. I’ve learned to separate them both. I’m just thankful that I do have this confidence.
“There’s no such thing as overly confident. You are what you say you are. If you believe you’re the best, you’ve got to show it out there and do it every time. That’s what I’m going to do and do it each and every time,” said Lopez.
“It’s the takeover. We intend on coming in here and dethroning everyone, and the fact that we’re facing Lomachenko, it’s one to definitely talk about probably for the rest of my career,” said Teofimo.
It’s a lot easier for Teofimo to be confident with him fighting beatable opposition.
He hasn’t fought anyone good enough to take his self-confidence away and bring him back down to earth. If Lomachenko dominates Teofimo like many people expected to happen, he’s going to be humbled.
Lopez predicts knockout of Loma
“After this, I said I don’t want to hear about him, but it’s definitely going to be one to talk about because this guy is in the top five of the pound-for-pound list,” said Lopez.
“The takeover is something we came up with years ago, and it stuck with us. We are something different. We go in there and not only win impressively, but we come out with backflips and dances.
“Maybe in football, they do dancing wise. We think outside the box, and we think about entertaining the fans. This is true. This is the takeover. On October 17th, I’m looking forward to taking more things and moving on.
“Moving up to the 140 division, and who knows what my future holds? But I know Bob is going to call me the next Manny Pacquiao to take over. It’s going to be fun.
“The fight is definitely going to be going in my favor, and it’s going to be one to watch. I hope everybody tunes in to watch Edger Berlanga and all the other fights beneath this fight going on.
“I see this fight going one way, and that’s by knockout,” said Teofimo in predicting a stoppage victory over Lomachenko. “On October 17th, I’m going to be coming to take all the titles.
It’s not going to be easy for Lopez to knockout Lomachenko because the Ukrainian fighter uses a lot of movement.
He doesn’t come straight ahead like most fighters do when mixing it up. Lomachenko uses a lot of feints and attacks from angles. He’s always trying to get his opponents out of position so that he can land without getting hit back.
When Teofimo does land his shots, he may not be able to get much power on them because of Lomachenko’s shifting around.
Lopez not worried about going into later rounds
“One, Lomachenko isn’t Floyd, and two, I’m not Canelo,” said Teofimo when asked to compare his fight with Loma with the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Canelo Alvarez clash from 2013.
“It’s definitely a different aspect and a different look. I know a lot of people want to see that happen. People always want to take me to deep waters. What they don’t understand is that I live in deep waters.
“I’m a shark. They try to take me to deep waters, and it ends up becoming their downfall. That’s why if this fight goes 12 rounds, I understand Lomachenko is a slow starter, and he picks up as rounds continue, but so do I.
“I think this is definitely going to be a chess match and a great fight. I don’t see this as Mayweather-Canelo, but if it is, I’m Mayweather,” said Teofimo.
It could be a problem for Lomachenko if the fight goes into the later rounds because it means he will be getting hit a lot. When you’re facing a knockout artist like Lopez, you don’t want him to stay around for the full 12 rounds because he can do a lot of damage.
Lomachenko needs to go for an early knockout as he did against Anthony Crolla. He cannot afford to let Teofimo hang around into the championship rounds because there will be too many opportunities for him to do damage.
Teofimo not intentionally trying to irritate Loma
“No, I’m not trying to get under his skin. I’m just being outspoken,” said Teofimo when asked if he’s been intentionally trying to irritate Lomachenko with his comments.
“When it comes to that night, if he wants to take it out on me, great. I’m trying to take it out on him too. That’s what makes it a great fight, but that the same time, we’re trying to promote the fight.
“You know Vasily Lomachenko isn’t very talkative. He does all his talking inside the ring, and not only that, he’s not fluent in his English with him being Ukrainian and everything.
“It’s not much to get under his skin. If anything, my father maybe one of those guys because they had their own altercation in person. But honestly, that’s who I am. I look at it as a personal thing, and I’m looking forward to that night on October 17th,” said Teofimo.
Lopez may not be intentionally trying to upset Lomachenko, but he’s doing it all the same. I don’t think Lomachenko likes it one bit, as he’s used to being treated with reverence by his opponents. Teofimo isn’t showing Lomachenko any respect, and it looks like he sees him as just an average fighter.
Teofimo doesn’t have to respect Lomachenko outside of the ring, but he’s going to need to be on his guard at all times when they get inside it.