The IBF world lightweight champion (up to 61.2 kg) Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KO) gave an interview to American journalist Dan Cannobio.
In the conversation, Teofimo told about his attitude to the future opponent, the United Champion from Ukraine Vasyl Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KO), commented on the words of the Ukrainian from the last interview, talked about the future fight and mind games.
— I read some quotes from your interviews. Where did you get this extra motivation? Because it seems like you have a real hatred for this guy…
— I don’t hate you. You get to the stage where you need to become a champion in the ring, a people’s champion. I think that’s what he’s missing. I think we should Wake him up. That’s all. I don’t hate him. I wish him nothing but greatness and success. He’s already shown it. But when it comes to meeting me, I’m the type of fighter that no matter what you’re trying to do, no matter what your goals are and what you want to achieve, I will destroy it!
— I read yesterday that you want to break his skull.”..
— I want to break my skull, because I haven’t fought in 10 months. Yes, my hands are itching to hit someone’s skull. And it will be his head. Yes, I think he needs to kick ass to stop this arrogance that he has. He acts like “I am the best” and so on. Everyone needs to get their ass kicked at a certain point in their life. And he hadn’t gotten it in a long time.
— You also mentioned that you talk a lot, do a lot of promotion. This is excellent. I think you’re happy to do this. He said one thing. He said that your fight will be like sparring. Your thoughts?
— [laughs] Oh, shit. I think they should help him with how to talk. I think that’s what he needs. He doesn’t know how to talk to the media properly. This all came from the fact that it didn’t improve this component. If he says that, maybe that’s how he looks at it. When I spar and when I have a fight-it’s completely different. If he thinks that, then he has a completely different plan for the fight, not the same as us. Even if it is a fight without fans — it is still a fight, and it goes in the standings. I don’t look at this fight as a sparring match.
— When did you realize that you got the fight you wanted for so long?
— I haven’t figured it out yet.” I think after I get all four titles and everything else, then it will come to me. I’ll say: “Oh, shit. Damn, it looks beautiful” [laughs]. I’m looking forward to it, honestly. We are ready for anything. Whatever it throws at us — we are ready for it. I’m determined. Like I said, I’m a different breed. He’s never met anyone like me. But I can say the same. I’ve never met anyone like Lomachenko. Different style, different movements… But he’s on his way to the exit. He knows that. I know that. It will all come down to who is hungrier. We will see this on October 17.
— Let’s talk about what really happens in the ring. We looked at the statistics of hits from Compubox. Lomachenko in the light division in the last four fights misses much more than he missed in 57 kg and 59 kg. This leads to the next question. You are not known as a multi-punch puncher, but a guy who stands at a distance and is able to deliver 50% of his power punches. In terms of style, will you go ahead and beat Lomachenko or will you be a little less aggressive?
“Everything you said. I’m just adapting to it. I think he’s the type of fighter who tries to come up and do what he does. As he always did with every opponent. He was hoping that Richard Commie would beat me in a fight.
— You think so?”
— I know. They didn’t expect a young cat who spent three years in the pros to do this to people who are 5-10-plus years in the pros. It all comes down to the fact that I’m a smart-ass fighter. I get in the ring and do what I do, said Teofimo Lopez.
— I know that all your conversations about Lomachenko are not just chatter. Do you really think you can intimidate him or get into the head of a guy like Lomachenko?
— We’re already there. It’s not even that we’re trying to get our heads around it. It just shows who I am. If I don’t like you, it all comes down to this. When we win, I want to see what happens after that. I’m very humble outside of Boxing, but when it comes to Boxing, that’s what I do. This is my thing, this is my job, no one can tell me what I can do, no one can stop me. I say my shit, but I also confirm it with a deed. I’m very proud of who I am. Call me arrogant, call me whatever you like. But I know guys look up to me. I know that everything that happens now is not accidental.