Fans dug the take no prisoners approach used by Teofimo Lopez in his Saturday night takedown of Diego Magdaleno in Texas, underneath the Sergey Kovalev dissection of Eleider Alvarez.
Not everyone across the board was as enamored of Lopez’s exuberance following the knockout of Magdaleno; specifically, people reacted to the gravedigger sweep motion the Brooklyner did on the Vegas-based boxer while he was still shaking off cobwebs that came from filthy left hooks.
I talked to Lopez about that kerfuffle on Tuesday, on the Everlast “Talkbox” podcast. He said that he is in fact a feeling and caring person, but was caught up in the moment, because Magdaleno had lit his fire with trash talk. The 12-0 hitter, a lightweight star as we speak, said Magdaleno irked him because he talked poorly of Honduras, where Lopez’ ancestors come from.
Tuesday night, I checked in with Bob Arum, who promotes Lopez, under the Top Rank banner. What did he think of the celebration?
”I’d caution him in the future not to do that,” Arum told me for Bad Left Hook. “But he is exuberant, that is part of his charm. He’s young, he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. But those of us that view things a little differently, (the sweep motion) wasn’t a very sportsmanlike gesture. It’s like in football, you score, and you can celebrate, but if you taunt the other team you get a penalty. I will be talking to him.”
—Michael Woods, a Park Slope, Brooklyn resident, was a staff writer at NY Newsday, before joining ESPN The Magazne (2003-2014). He calls fights for Facebook Fightnight Live, which has drawn over 4 million views over a span of 26 events, and an edition streams on Friday.