Lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KO) has already grabbed a lot of headlines in his young boxing career, with his flashy style, highlight reel knockouts, and strong promotion from Top Rank.
The 21-year-old New Yorker returns this Saturday at Madison Square Garden, featuring on the Crawford-Khan pay-per-view undercard against former European champion Edis Tatli (31-2, 10 KO) in a 10-round bout.
Fight Hub spoke with Lopez about that bout, and of course about Vasiliy Lomachenko.
On how close he is to making weight
“We’re right there, single digits left to drop the weight, and we’re good. ... I’ve been craving salmon, spinach with salmon, things like that.”
On how long he thinks the fight will take
“Anything under six rounds. Why more than usual? You never know. When I fought (Diego) Magdaleno, I knew I could’ve stopped him at any time. It’s just when I feel like it.”
On his father scouting Edis Tatli
“This guy is easy. He’s too slow and he’s too lazy with his jab and things like that. My father already — I already know when he tells me those things what I have to do.”
On this fight being different than the others
“It’s pay-per-view! The main difference is that it’s pay-per-view. That means it’s just that little — it’s where I grab, a reach away from turning that from being the undercard on pay-per-view to headlining on pay-per-view. Obviously not right now. We’ve still got to work our way to it, but it’s just right there. I can feel it and I can taste it. It’s the opportunity, it’s a big platform on ESPN pay-per-view. It’s up to me to know I can headline on this.”
On fighting Vasiliy Lomachenko
“Max (Kellerman) and everybody was saying, ‘Who have I fought? Look at the fighters that Lomachenko has fought.’ But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who I fought, it doesn’t matter who he’s fought, people want to see this fight happen. Teofimo is on there. I don’t have a world title, guys. I know I’m not a world champion. I believe it in my heart and my soul I’m a world champion already, but I’m not a world champion yet. But yet, at the end of the day, I’m on the same list with all these other champions that have been in multiple divisions as champion. To be honest, I’ve done my shit, and look where we’re at. All I’m saying is, give me the opportunity.
“But I’m not looking at that right now. My main focus and my main objective is winning and looking spectacular come April 20 against Edis Tatli. I’m done answering these questions about Lomachenko. I should’ve never went out my way to show everyone that we wanna fight. Obviously he did what he did, and we’re gonna move on.”
On eventually headlining the main arena at Madison Square Garden
“I believe we’ll be back in July and headlining at the Garden. It could be the Theater, depending who we fight.”
His prediction for Saturday
“Teofimo Lopez, the Takeover. As always. Prediction I call, it’s not gonna go past six rounds. Body shot.”