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Teofimo Lopez: People are ready for me against Lomachenko

Teofimo Lopez wants Vasiliy Lomachenko, and thinks the public wants it, too.

Top lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez stopped Edis Tatli in the fifth round on the Crawford-Khan undercard, and now has his sights set on a main event world title fight in July, if he can find one.

Lopez spoke with media about his win over Tatli, his desire to fight Vasiliy Lomachenko, how much longer he has at 135, and more.

On what he wants next

“The world title. We already called out Lomachenko, we said all those things. They’re not gonna make the fight happen, they want to make the fight bigger. They think that Teofimo needs more fights to make that fight bigger, but honestly, people are already ready for it. We’re looking for the IBF with Richard Commey, or the WBC title. One of those we’re gonna have on July 9 of this year.”

On making 135 pounds

“This weight is really annoying. My body’s growing. I’ve been trying to hold it. Let’s see what happens. ... No, (I can’t make it until Super Bowl 2020). I don’t think I can make it until December, to be honest. After the weigh-ins and everything, I felt it. My body don’t wanna cooperate, and I’m not gonna go against it. If I go against my body, I’m gonna end up hurting myself.”

On his message to Lomachenko

“Let’s make the fight happen. I’ll do July. They’re not gonna make the fight happen any time soon.”

On other names he wants

“Richard Commey and the WBC title. Mikey (Garcia) is not going back down to 135, so the (vacant) WBC title with Luke Campbell. We’ll probably be in Madison Square Garden in July. July could be me and Richard Commey, he says he’s coming back in July, let’s make that fight happen. Hopefully we can do it. But the thing is, guys, I’ve tried. I really tried. I’ve tried to go out of my way, and honestly, I think I did a little too much trying to go out of my way. No matter what we try to do, these guys don’t want to fight us. They’d rather fight someone else. ... We’re there.”

On the win over Edis Tatli

“Tonight this guy was just picking his shots, trying to keep his distance away from us. Every time we were throwing punches, he was spooked, he would keep on his toes. That’s what made it a little annoying. (European fighters) are very defensive, but sooner or later, you break them down. I had to find my distance a little more with him, keep it calm, I was doing the shoulder roll, he wasn’t really doing nothing. I started walking him down, he seen that. He tried. It didn’t work. I was picking my shots, and then right there, right hand to the body.”

On when he thought he could take Tatli out

“After the second or third round, every time I threw a right hand or something, he was freezing. My father was telling me, ‘This guy’s done already, wipe him out.’ He reminded me what round we were in, because I told him we weren’t going past six rounds.”

On if it bothers him to finish everyone early

“No! Why do you think people loved Mike Tyson? He went in there, saw and conquered. He knocked people out. That’s what people want to see, knockouts.”

On changing things in camp

“We’ve got to fix a couple things in camp, personally. Not strength training or anything, just personally with the team. That’s the only thing we’ve got to fix up, then we’ll be more than ready for July. It wasn’t the best performance and it wasn’t the best camp, but we still came out victorious.”

On dealing with Tatli

“It’s true, styles make fights. When you fight someone like that, very defensive, it can be annoying. I felt like I was a little anxious, I had to calm it down a little bit. ... I was touching the body all day. I knew one of them was going to end up stopping him.”

On a message to Richard Commey

“Richard Commey, let’s make the fight happen. Everybody wants to see it. You’ll make big money. Trust me.”

On what stole the show

“I thought Crawford was gonna steal the show. I thought he was gonna finish him, but I don’t know what happened. ... I think we stole the show.”

On who he wants to face at 140 if he moves up

“All the champions. Jose Ramirez, all those guys. The WBC is pushing, man. WBC wants Teofimo to represent their belt. ... I wanna collect something at 135, I gotta collect something. ... I gotta go big or go home.”

On Lomachenko possibly facing Commey

“That’s what they’re probably going to do. I think Richard Commey would rather fight Lomachenko than Teofimo, and I know the inside of why.”

On fighting Felix Verdejo

“Verdejo had a tough fight with Bryan Vasquez. It went the distance. ... I feel like a lot of these fighters — they had tough competition, but I think the fans wasn’t as excited as they usually were. I got them a little hyped up.”

On whether he’d fight Amir Khan

“I would fight Khan. I’ll fight Errol Spence, I’ll fight Khan, I’ll fight all these guys, honestly. I’m a big 135-pounder. Mikey (Garcia) is a little shorter, but Mikey’s tough. He’s Mexican, he has that blood in him to keep going and dig in. He went the distance with Errol Spence. I think I’m over my head, but I’ll fight any of these guys. I’ve sparred with (Yordenis) Ugas, I’ve sparred with Shawn Porter, I’ve handled my own with these guys. I usually spar guys that are 154, 160, and I buckle them.”

On how much he has left at 135

“I want Loma now, but they’re gonna push it. They wanna do Loma and me next year. If we could make it happen in December, then I’ll hold it. I can’t promise you guys this. It’s my body.”

On fighting Devin Haney

“Who is that guy?”

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