clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez display a calm intensity at final press conference

New, comments

Lomachenko and Lopez didn’t get over the top at all, but the seriousness of Saturday’s event was fully on display.

You don’t have to wade too far into a hype package for Saturday’s huge fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez to find animosity from either man. With Lopez, it has often been boldly outspoken. With Lomachenko, it is largely in response, but there’s a cold seriousness to his replies, too.

Lopez has said many times he does not like Lomachenko. Lomachenko hasn’t said the same in so many words, but it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to get the sense that the feeling is mutual.

Wednesday’s special press conference was something of a disappointment if you were looking for theatrics or even any real trash talk. It was a calm Q&A session hosted by ESPN’s Joe Tessitore. But if you just wanted to see two guys who are very serious about what is a very serious fight, you certainly got that.

The full press conference video is up top in the post, but if you can’t listen to the whole thing, we’ve got the quotes for you just below.

Vasiliy Lomachenko

On the magnitude of this fight for fans: “It’s a very good, very big fight for people who love boxing, who understand boxing. I think it will be a historic fight.”

On the fight having “four” belts on the line: “When I came to professional boxing, I always wanted to be undisputed world champion. I was trying to do this at 126, after that I went up and tried at 130. Now I’m close to my dream at 135.”

On having a long layoff: “I’ll see Saturday. I don’t know. I’ve never been out of the ring for a year. This will be the first time, and I don’t know.”

On fighting without fans: “We just need a ring, judges, and TV, that’s it. And of course the belts.”

On how Lopez stacks up against prior opponents: “I can answer after Saturday. For now, I don’t know.”

On why he says he’s never shown all his skills: “It depends what he brings in the ring. ... I think it will need to be an aggressive style (from him, to show all my skills).”

On calling Lopez’s KO of Richard Commey “lucky”: “It was very fast. They were just going to hit each other and Lopez was the first to land the punch.”

On Lopez lacking big fight experience: “He has big amateur experience. We have the same professional record, almost the same. So we’ll see.”

On the beef and trash talk: “I’ve seen (the interviews). I don’t understand it. It’s not my native language. I don’t know what some of the words mean. But for me it’s just words. Saturday, we will see.”

On his stated desire to cause Lopez pain: “Yes, during the fight, if I find a good way to land a good punch, I will do it.”

On his father’s game plan: “It’s the same, but of course we have a little bit different plan. We hope it will work with Teofimo.”

On getting hit more at 135 than lower weights: “At 135, we have a different reach, different size of opponents. That’s why there’s a difference in landed punches. It’s harder for me fighting at 135.”

On sharing the stage with Teofimo for an hour: “I’m thinking only about the fight. That’s it.”

On what he expects from the fight: “I think it will be like a chess match.”


How to Watch Lomachenko vs Lopez

Date: Saturday, Oct. 17 | Start Time: 10:00 pm ET (Main Card) / 7:30 pm ET (Prelims)
Location: MGM Top Rank Bubble, Las Vegas, NV
TV: ESPN (Main Card) | Stream: ESPN+ (Prelims)


Teofimo Lopez

On the magnitude of this fight for fans: “It’s everything. It’s the best fighting the best, and that’s what it comes to. All the belts. Everything’s on the line in Vegas, just like everything else, all-in.”

On possible being the youngest fighter to win “four” belts: “That’s where ‘The Takeover’ comes in. That’s not just a phrase we throw out there. This is the part where I’m leading the new generation. Winning this is that stamp and that mark for the new era. That’s what it’s all about. I’m very happy about it.”

On having a long layoff: “I feel great, but for both of us, it’s the same thing. I’ve never had this long of a layoff. But I was still working out as much as possible. I’m a big 135-pounder, so I always stay in shape. I’m ready.”

On fighting without fans: “It goes for both of us. We’re prime time fighters. He’s fought in arenas that have been sold out, I’ve fought in arenas that have been sold out, and we drive off of that. This time around, it doesn’t change. We adapt to it. A true champion can adapt to anything. My job and my thing is to have all these belts wrapped around me after the fight.”

On what he senses in Lomachenko: “When we, after everything, when we do our whole thing, the reason I say I look through him, you know why? It’s because in order to be the best, there’s so much more to this than that. All (the belts), I’m gonna collect. I worked my ass off for it.”

On what he may have seen in past Loma fights: “I don’t watch any of my opponents. I let my team work on that, and they pinpoint everything, then we work on it in the gym. Whatever he’s done in (a prior) fight, it’s gonna be different against me. I can’t reflect on who he fought, because they don’t fight like me. I’m not gonna get the same Loma that fought Linares or Pedraza. When we get in the ring, then I do what we’ve been working on.”

On why he doesn’t watch his own highlights: “Tunnel vision. I want more. The job’s not done. I don’t need to look at what I’ve done in the past. I’m looking ahead and looking forward.”

On Loma saying he landed a “lucky” punch against Commey: “I guess I’m gonna be landing a lot of lucky punches on Saturday.”

On his big knockout winning his first world title: “I’ve always had confidence. What it does, it puts that mark that I’m here. I talk a lot, of course, but I back it up each and every time, and I believe in my abilities. That all comes through having faith, man. I do what I do through faith. Landing that right hand, I’m ready for everything. I can hurt you with my right, I can hurt you with my left.”

On a perceived lack of big fight experience: “That’s what it takes to go from a good fighter to a great, all-time fighter. You gotta do things like this. We’ve spoken about this for a while now. Why am I gonna go back on my word? I talk the talk and I walk the walk. I believe that I can and I know I will become undisputed world champion.”

On his many viral videos and statements: “I’m an entertainer. Everybody’s getting this fight because I’m an entertainer. Many people look forward to seeing Teofimo, maybe it’s not just the knockouts, it’s the backflips, the celebrations. I’m just the type of person, it’s all about entertainment. I’m in the entertainment sport. What it comes to is, I like to show off.”

On any of the emotion spilling into the fight: “We can touch gloves. If he doesn’t wanna touch gloves, that’s on him. But I’m gonna go by the rules. We gotta touch gloves before we even get the bell. That’s how I look at it.”

On whether he can gain respect for Lomachenko: “Afterwards, it’s two guys thuggin’ it out to be great, to become undisputed world champion. May the best man win. That’s how I look at it. I came out here and I busted my butt to have this. It’s all about the glory. Whatever he does afterwards, it’s on him. Whatever I do, I have a goal and a vision for it.”

On off-setting Lomachenko’s foot work: “I’ve only been three or four years in the pros, so you guys haven’t really gotten to see all of me yet. I’ve only been able to give you guys what the (opponent) gives me. I have foot work, too. I’ve been a boxer. I am a boxer. ... It’s so much more than just being a strong fighter and coming forward. It comes to the ring IQ. 18 years (boxing), I don’t look that bad.”

On his current relationship with his father/trainer: “I love that man to death. I’m always gonna back him up. We’re the dynamic duo. They want to air (past issues) out during fight week, but I’m zoning that out. I’ve talked to him, we’ve hugged it out. That’s what a father-son relationship is. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the person that pushed me to keep going, and I think (Vasiliy) could say the same thing with his father.”

On promising a knockout: “Tune in. You guys don’t want to miss it. Just enjoy the show. It’s ‘The Takeover’ against the ‘Hi-Tech.’ Two guys going at it. Anything can happen. One punch can change the fight, and one punch can end the fight. Tune in.”

On sharing a stage with Lomachenko for an hour: “I see — he knows it’s gonna be a fight. Whether it’s a chess match or not. He’s got the ring IQ, and I think he sees the ring IQ in me. We’re gonna display it, and I’m looking forward to it.”