Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko's legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE

5 min


97
14 shares, 97 points

Teofimo Lopez felt something in the pit of his stomach last month while the craziness of coronavirus in New York multiplied and multiplied. He knew he had to leave the Big Apple, and leave fast.

“I was trying to make my wife go,” he tells Express Sport. “She was saying ‘it’s not gonna get that bad, it’s okay, I want to be at peace, be in my own bed’.

“I started thinking… I don’t know. My gut kept telling me we gotta leave. I could see it was getting worse and she noticed it.

“So we headed out to my sister-in-law’s house in Arkansas, we packed all the essentials, toilet paper included.”

JUST IN: Anthony Joshua calls Deontay Wilder’s CV ‘mediocre’

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko's legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko’s legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE (Image: GETTY)

On March 1, New York had confirmed just a handful of cases of the coronavirus. But fast-forward seven weeks and you’ll read 10,000 people have now died because of it.

Lopez is a boxing star in the making. Blessed with sharp looks, confidence on the mic, an undefeated record and power-packing fists, the IBF lightweight world champion always looks comfortable.

The 22-year-old, however, has asthma. And he needed to get out of Brooklyn, where his father emigrated to from Honduras, quickly.

DON’T MISS

Tyson Fury promoter Frank Warren fires back at Deontay Wilder

Anthony Joshua dishes high praise for trainer Rob McCracken

Boxing news: Anthony Joshua the ‘only’ fighter who can beat Fury

Arkansas hasn’t been plain-sailing either, though. Lopez and his wife Cynthia’s family had to take shelter in their house as vicious tornadoes swirled violently through the town of Jonesboro.

But COVID-19 and natural disasters behind him, Lopez tries to compare New York with Arkansas. He can’t. And how’s lockdown going?

“Amazing, said nobody ever,” he jokes.

Before all of this, a May 30 date was pencilled in for him to take on the wizard-like Vasyl Lomachenko. It was back in December when Lopez last took to the ring, destroying Ghanaian Richard Commey in two rounds to win his IBF title.

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko's legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko’s legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE (Image: GETTY)

WBA, WBO and WBC (franchise) champ Loma has what Lopez wants, the rest of the 135lb marbles. And obliterating Commey was the first step in getting to the man he really wants.

“I put my whole mind and soul into that Commey camp,” he says. “I knew that it was everything I always dreamt of when I first started boxing 18 years ago. I knew I wasn’t going to let any of my family or anyone I love interfere with that.

“When I threw my overhand right, I didn’t think I would hurt him with that one, honestly.

“Me and my father… we worked on a lot of things. I knew it wouldn’t go past six, I thought I would know him out between four and five but it happened earlier.”

{%=o.title%}

]]>

Lomachenko exudes so much confidence and rigour that it practically oozes out of him. He’s other-worldly in the ring but silent otherwise. He, like Lopez, is guided in the corner by his father, and he’s achieved three-weight world champion status in just 15 fights.

But the Ukrainian has done his fair share of talking recently. He said of Lopez: “The interesting thing for me, it will be to look into his eyes and his father’s eyes and see their reaction, after the fight.”

Lopez believes he has Loma exactly where he wants him.

“You know, we got in his head,” he explains. “Well my father got in his head. “You never really see Loma talk s**t. He’ll let his hands do the talking. He’ll beat these fighters and make them quit, that’s how he is.

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko's legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko’s legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE (Image: GETTY)

“He feels something with us. He feels threatened. He wants to show that when this is all over he wants to look us in the face and say some ‘don’t ever disrespect me again’ type s**t.

“I’m completely confident I’m gonna knock him out. It doesn’t matter what hand does it. One of them will knock his a** out.”

That’s about as serious as Lopez gets during his sermon on the lightweight division. But there are other characters at 135 who have starring roles to play.

Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia – all in and around the same age as Lopez, all without losses, all without world title belts. That’s advantage Lopez.

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko's legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko’s legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE (Image: GETTY)

I can say that at 23 years old I’ll be the undisputed world champion, that sounds good

Teofimo Lopez

“I came into the sport to fight the best,” says Lopez. “There are so many exciting fights out there for me.

“You got Loma, that’s one. Then Tank [Davis], that’s two, Ryan Garcia, that’s three, Devin Haney, that’s four, Luke Campbell that’s five. That’s five big paydays for myself.

“Luke Campbell and myself, we could fight at the O2 Arena if he wants.”

There’s also Haney, the so-called heir-apparent to Floyd Mayweather’s throne, own world champion status is so confusing it warrants a lot of thinking about.

 

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko's legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko’s legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE (Image: GETTY)

The 21-year-old keeps digging at his foes, including Loma, on social media, and just last week caused a storm after saying he would never let a ‘white boy’ beat him.

Lopez was sick of him before that. “It was like 2am, I was a little bit drunk, just kidding, I saw him on Twitter and I thought ‘man shut the f**k up!'” he says.

“He’s been throwing shots at everyone, he’s trying to keep himself out there, the difference between us is I earned my spot to make sure that I have a chance of knocking Loma out.

“Devin talks so much, he hasn’t got a real solid win, he hasn’t faced someone with a world title, defeated any world champions, these words are coming out of his a**.

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko's legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE

Teofimo Lopez promises to end Vasyl Lomachenko’s legend once COVID-19 passes – EXCLUSIVE (Image: GETTY)

“I thought just ‘shut up already’.”

As Lopez’s sermon comes to an end, he wants to make one thing clear – greatness is all that he’s after from boxing. At 14-0, there’s still so much to accomplish, and once life gets back to normal, he plans to do just that.

“I can say that at 23 years old I’ll be the undisputed world champion, that sounds good. It could be Devin Haney with all three belts and I would say ‘Imma kick a**’.

“I don’t fake it, I don’t say things I don’t mean.”


Like it? Share with your friends!

97
14 shares, 97 points

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
8
hate
confused confused
20
confused
fail fail
14
fail
fun fun
12
fun
geeky geeky
10
geeky
love love
4
love
lol lol
6
lol
omg omg
20
omg
win win
14
win

Read exclusive latest news on entertainment, music, gaming and more topics with unprecedented coverage from around the UK and US.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *