Teofimo Lopez delivered on his much-hyped promise on Saturday night, stopping 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) is now looking set to face WBA and WBO titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko in April 2020, or at least that’s the current plan.
Lopez talked about the big right hand that ultimately led to the stoppage in round two.
“I think we both saw it. I didn’t see the replay, I don’t know how it went, but there was a lot of shots I saw that were open,” he said. “I had to close the gap with him. Richard Commey, he has a lot of experience, so he was trying to keep me away from him, but I started working the jab a lot.
“He threw his jab, he threw his right, and I knew I had to move my head more, block the jab. I came with the overhand right and just clipped him at the right time.”
Lopez continued to express his respect for Commey (29-3, 26 KO), pointing out that he was marked up from a simple jab by the Ghanaian fighter.
“With a guy like that, you can’t let him breathe, you gotta finish him the moment you get a chance to, but you gotta be smart doing it,” Lopez said. “He didn’t throw, he was real hurt at the end, and I just kept taking advantage of it. I know how Richard Commey is, when he gets hurt, he’ll come and throw his shots. Those shots, they’ll hurt you. He’s a tough dude.”
Lopez said he’s not really that focused on the achievement of becoming the first world champion of Honduran descent, though it does matter to him. He said he’s simply happy with himself for the first time in his life.
“For once in my life I am actually proud of myself for the way everything turned out,” he said. “It’s been a long time to say that. 22 years. It’s not even about winning the world title. This is bigger than me. It’s just the fact of how hard shit can be, man.”