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Teofimo Lopez discusses his first world title opportunity

Lopez challenges Richard Commey for his IBF title this Saturday.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

During his open media workout leading into his first world title opportunity, hot prospect turned contender Teofimo Lopez fields some media questions. Check out some some excerpts of what he had to say below...

On feeling happy in training camp:

“Oh yeah. I feel much happier than all my other camps. I feel — not back to myself, just a new self. Just coming back rejuvenated, everything. All new feelings. So these are the things I’ve missed. My last two fights I’ve missed that...I needed those trials to go through in order to make who I am and how I feel today.

On how he’s grown as a man and a boxer over the past year:

“From last year to this year, man, a lot has changed. I mean obviously from winning so many prospects of the year to Sports Illustrated, ESPN, such and such. I think 2018 was a great year. This year is a year I needed to experience — a roller coaster ride for me. And I just feel like we gonna finish it the way we know how to, and that’s with a bang. So 2019, everybody knows what happened last year and Heisman Trophy night, so expect something in that kind of caliber.”

On if he’s still fine making 135 of if he’s thought about moving up:

“I feel like a champ. I feel great, man. Weight is not an issue. I been good mentally, physically, honestly the best shape of my life right now. And I think everybody just need to tune-in.”

On what he expects from Commey:

“I expect a lot from him...I expect he’s gonna go out there and do what he has to do.”

On why he was so disappointed in his last performance against Nakatani:

“I just want to be better. I just always wanna be better, that’s all me. But not everybody needs to know that, and that’s on me. Was it a horrible fight? The only reason why people hold on to it is because of what I said. But if I didn’t say anything they could’ve been like ‘hey, that was good, tough cat,’ whatever, blah blah blah. But they just went off of what I said so from this point on you just learn from all of those things.

“Nakatani, helluva fighter, tall, he has range, everything — but I just wasn’t there that night. you know, I’ll be real. I had so many things going on behind the scenes but, you know, we past that.”

On Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley suggesting he’s not ready for a world title shot just yet:

“They’re not in the ring fighting so, I mean, they’re retired for a reason. So I think everybody has their opinion, you know what I mean, and that’s about it. I’m out there and I’m gonna shine. December 14th, I’m shining. That’s why you see the gold and everything...”

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