Josesito Lopez Interview Transcript – Thurman vs Lopez

Josesito Lopez – Thank you for having me. I’m exciting to be showcasing my talents and skills here in Brooklyn, and I thank TGB Promotions, FOX and FOX Deportes for having me. And you won’t be disappointed Saturday night.

Q
Do you feel like coming into this fight that you’re kind of getting him at the opportune time?

J. Lopez
You know what? I’m not expecting that or counting on that. I prepared for the best Keith Thurman that I’ve seen. I think it’s not easy coming back from a layoff.

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I know that myself, because I was myself in a two-year layoff about two and a half years ago. So I know the feeling. I know the obstacles that you have to go through physically and mentally. So I can’t assume it will be easy.

But either way — no matter what — he chose the wrong opponent to come back to. And I’m going to prove that.

Q
Does that sort of discussion about being a comeback fight irritate you, offend you or just make you more motivated to go do what you have to do? What’s your point of view on that?

J. Lopez
Yes, I wouldn’t say it offends me. There’s a lot of casuals that don’t understand the ins and outs and then don’t realize what I bring to the table. So no. It’s not bothersome, but to a lot of people — to those people that are thinking that way — it’s going to come as a surprise.

But for the people that really know boxing and really know the inside of my camp and my training, it won’t be a surprise when I pull off the victory.

Q
What is it that you have to do and excel at on Saturday to be able to turn back Keith Thurman, who you expect to be the best Keith Thurman that you’ve been seeing over the years?

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J. Lopez
You know what? Like I’ve mentioned before, I think overall in the fight, my skill, my power and my will will outshine all these obstacles that I have to get through to get a victory against a champion like Keith Thurman. So I’m just going to plain simply win.

Q
Can you tell us about your mental preparation for the fight?

J. Lopez
I’ve had a great preparation. I’ve been training in the training camp, actually the same training camp that Mikey Garcia trains in for his fights. Everything has gone great, went perfect, so I can’t complain about training camp.

The road here hasn’t been just this training camp. It’s really been a three-fight training camp where I’ve been casually just working my way up into a championship level with the help of Robert Garcia. He’s helped me get into the best shape and best skills possible for a fight at this level.

So I’m definitely championship-level. And I’m going to prove that I’m championship material.
Q
Does the top competition you’ve faced give you confidence going into this Thurman fight?

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J. Lopez
Well I wouldn’t say necessarily it gives me confidence. I would say this is not a place where I haven’t been before. My back’s against the wall, per se. I’m going in against a champion and I’m going against a tough opponent, a world champion.

So it’s all somewhere where I’ve been before and doesn’t – I’m not new to the game. I’m not -, this is not a new feeling. I’m going in. I know exactly what I have to do. And I’ve just got to go out there and execute.

Q
What are some of your favorite two fights that you’ve had that people would know about? What two fights do you like to talk about or remember in particular?

J. Lopez
You know what? I’ve had several great battles against some warriors, some very good champions. You know, I would say most recently would probably be versus Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana. Those were great battles.

I had a big disadvantage against Canelo weight-wise. But I showed my true grit and my will.

And Maidana was a very tough opponent, caught me with a good punch, and I was stopped early. But I think what I bring to the table now is adding a little more intelligence and skill to that will that I’ve showed in previous past fights.

Q
And you’re training now with Robert Garcia in Riverside. Who are some of the guys that you’re sparring with up there?

J. Lopez
Oh, I’ve sparred absolutely everybody in the camp. I’m sparring guys as heavy as fighting at middleweight. I really can’t name them all, absolutely everyone from 140 to 160 that Robert Garcia has in Riverside Training Camp. I sparred them all. They’ve all helped me.

For this training camp — I’ve pretty much sparred every undefeated fighter that we have. I’m definitely prepared. I put in the work and now it’s time to execute.

Q
What’s it like where everybody’s going to be fighting almost at the same time?

J. Lopez
Well I think when it comes down to the work in training camp, , we’re all focused and mentally prepared for this moment. I know we all have different obstacles and are going to different places in the world to fight. But we all want the same outcome for each one of us.

So we’re all prepared. It’s great being amongst other champions and other great undefeated fighters training for the same goal that we all have. So it’s definitely motivating. And we’ve all prepared well. And we’re all ready to get a W.

Q
When a fighter has those sorts of injuries Keith had and has to come back from that, you know, does that put a little seed of doubt in his mind?

J. Lopez
Yes. Like I mentioned before, I’m not counting on that. I know that I’ve gone through the same thing and it’s not quite the same the first fight back or maybe even the second fight back. But he’s a champion, and he’s obviously ready to come back, he feels like. So he must feel well with recovery.

I’m definitely counting on seeing a good Keith Thurman, a refreshed Keith Thurman from a two-year layoff. And just like it can be a bad thing, it can also be a good thing. So that’s something we can’t know, really, until we’re up in the ring.

Q
In those first initial rounds, do you believe that those are the best time to take advantage of Keith Thurman, while he’s still trying to shake off the ring rust?

J. Lopez
No. I wouldn’t necessarily say that. I’m going in there with a smart game plan to win round by round. But we’ve worked on every aspect of our game. So we’re prepared mentally and physically to just going in there and then doing our thing.

It’s not necessarily going in there to try to jump on him early. But I’m prepared to go as many rounds as it might take.

Q
Do you feel like people are kind of overlooking you for this fight? And if so, do you believe that has that added any motivation into the training camp?

J. Lopez
I don’t feel like people are overlooking me. People are overlooking me. It’s shown. I don’t mind it. Does it bother me? Not at all, really. It motivates me. It has motivated me. I’m definitely ready. And to whoever it may be a surprise to — I’m taking the championship belt this Saturday.

Q
Have you kind of taken anything from those past big fights?

J. Lopez
Yes. For those that haven’t seen since some of those big fights that I had in previous years, you’re definitely going to see an improved fighter, overall, in my aspect of boxing.

I had some good tough battles against some good champions. But if you look back and look at my fights, you could say I was one step behind them, in whatever it might have been.

When other opponents face those same fighters those champions that I’ve fought really displayed a lot more and were able to look a lot better against other opponents. But I’m definitely prepared. I’m ready to go. I’m anxious and I can’t wait to get this done.

Q
What most concerns you about Thurman going into the fight this weekend?

J. Lopez
You know what? I’m aware of everything. I wouldn’t say I’m just concerned of one thing. But, I know he’s obviously an undefeated champion for a reason. So he brings a lot to the table.

He’s skilled. He’s strong. He has good movement. So I’ve just prepared for that. So I’m aware of everything that he brings to the table. I’ve just got to go out there and execute my own plan.

Q
What would you like boxing fans to know about you coming out of this fight on Saturday?

J. Lopez
That you can’t really judge a fighter by his wins and losses. I’ve had some tough defeats and some close defeats. But wins and losses aren’t everything.

I’m a better fighter than I’ve ever been. And I’m at my best. So it doesn’t matter how many bumps on the road I might have had throughout my career. I’m still going to be a world champion.

J. Lopez
I’d like to let everyone know that come Saturday night, you’re going to see a great, great fight, a fight that you won’t forget. And make sure you don’t miss it and be there if you can.

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