Teofimo Lopez’s rise was meteoric and now, now it gets that much more interesting.
That’s because what goes up must come down, and now the Brooklyn-born hitter, who just got married and is now traveling and enjoying newlywed time, is experiencing a little bit of the down.
Not because he lost, he didn’t — he beat Masayoshi Nakatani on ESPN+. But he didn’t get one of those highlight reel KOs, and he heard fans barking at him on social.
Lopez was a guest on Max Kellerman’s ESPN boxing magainze show on Friday, and they discussed how family issues impacted the fighter going into his recent bout.
“I have to regroup within myself,” the boxer admitted, because of making weight, and worrying about how some in his family aren’t so supportive of his union, and he wants to rectify that.
He will look to figure things out, or if he doesn’t, he won’t fight until his head is screwed on tight and straight, he told Max.
No fight with Richard Commey, he told Kellerman, until all the outside the ring stuff gets sorted.
Commey holds the IBF 135-pound strap and a tango between the two has been put in place. But details have to be ironed out, and one of those details is the mind of Teofimo.
(Oh, and when might that fight be taking place? “November it looks like, but the noises from Teofimo — I’m not sure he wants it. Have you seen the interview with Max Kellerman?” asked Commey manager Michael Amoo-Bediako.)
Teofimo spoke more, and it is clear that his mind is in a different place than it was a year ago, or even back in March. The deaths of Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan do make one think harder about doing this for the enjoyment of watchers, he noted.
”I beat myself that night, I wasn’t there mentally,” he said of his effort versus the Japanese boxer.
He’s been doing it for 17 years and he realizes the foes will get tougher, and he needs an inner circle that is fully on the same page with him. He wants that to happen, and thiks he will pummel Commey when his head is on right, he relayed. And yes, a fight with Vasiliy Lomachenko is still on his to-do list.
”Right now we’re going to take a step back and regroup and Teofimo’s definitely going to be that knockout artist and entertaining fighter again,” he asserted.
My three cents: boxing is so complicated. They say teamwork makes the dream work, and when the team is working off of different script, it makes the dream harder to pull off. What we are seeing is a work in progress now that Teofimo enters territory that is unfamiliar, in the ring and outside of it. It’s a lot to handle, and it makes the Lopez story maybe not as alluring to the masses, but no less intriguing for us who enjoy the full facet of the drama panorama that is boxing.