Teofimo Lopez came in the favorite as a challenger tonight, and he showed why, as he stopped Richard Commey in the second round to win the IBF lightweight title at Madison Square Garden.
The 22-year-old Lopez (15-0, 12 KO) absolutely drilled Commey (29-3, 26 KO) with a right hand as both throw their rights at the same time, Lopez’ getting home before Commey’s could connect. Commey went down, but the 32-year-old veteran from Ghana got up and tried to fight on.
Lopez, smelling his chance, went for the finish, and as he battered Commey against the ropes, he gave referee David Fields no choice but to step in at 1:13 of round two, ending the highly-anticipated bout.
“I’m at a loss for words, but like the great KG said, ‘Anything is possible!’” Lopez said after the fight. “That’s a bad guy, that’s a bad man right there. Any shot (from him) could’ve done the same thing. It was gonna be an explosive night.”
A unification with top lightweight star Vasiliy Lomachenko was brought up, as expected. Lomachenko was in attendance at the Garden and would step in to take a photo with Lopez after the mics were put away, promoter Bob Arum standing between them.
It looks like the fight will happen, but Lopez didn’t make a particular callout this time.
“You guys know who I want,” he said, referring to Lomacheno without naming him. “2020, it’ll be going down, but as of right now, I’m gonna finish the year enjoying life. I’m more than an athlete. That goes for every athlete out there.”
“Now he’s a world champion. Welcome to my club. See you in April,” Lomachenko said in a post-fight interview with Bernardo Osuna.
Lopez also repeated something from his past. Just about a year ago after Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy, Lopez knocked out Mason Menard at the MSG Theater and put Murray’s jersey on. This year, hours after LSU’s Joe Burrow took the Heisman, Lopez knocked out Richard Commey and donned Burrow’s jersey in the ring.