Teofimo Lopez- Lomachenko Opponents “Respect This Man Too Much”
With his Unified Lightweight title showdown for October 17th now official, IBF World Champ, Teofimo Lopez, wants to make perfectly clear that unlike some of Vasiliy Lomachenko’s previous opponents, he’s not afraid.
Lopez kicked off the promotion for next month’s 135 lb. battle for all the belts in the Vegas, Top Rank “bubble” by appearing on ESPN’s “First Take” program co-hosted by Molly Qerim, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman.
And when Steven A. put the question about Lomachenko seemingly “psyching out” previous opposition, Lopez quickly refuted that about those fighters compared to himself:
“He’s a great fighter. He has all the accolades and achievements that he’s done….This is for ‘all or nothing.’ This guy is very talented, but so am I,” Lopez told ESPN.
“The thing is, a lot of these fighters respect this man, too much….I don’t respect no man, once I’m in that ring. And, that’s what we’re going to do.”
The Ukrainian former Olympic Gold Medalist and now, the WBA /WBO and WBC “Franchise” Lightweight titleholder Lomachenko is set to take on the young, unbeaten, IBF champion Lopez from New York in the in one of the top fights at any weight in the remainder of 2020.
Lomachenko 14-1, 10 KOs and Lopez 15-0, 12 KOs were originally supposed to fight on May 30th at Madison Square Garden before the Coronavirus outbreak shut down the sport in mid-March. Top Rank’s Bob Arum had been looking at Saturday night dates in late September and October, with maybe some socially distanced fans able to attend.
Instead, Top Rank will keep it within their controlled environment at the MGM Grand conference center.
Further, after Lopez and Lomachenko finalized their deal earlier this week and Top Rank officially announced on Tuesday that they will headline on regular ESPN pay cable Saturday night October 17th. The fight could have easily been put behind the separate ESPN+ paywall or been made into an ESPN PPV for even more money.
However, Arum wanted to make it available to as many fans as possible through the popular ESPN outlet.
Now, it will be up to the fighters to deliver. And, Lopez at least says, that he’s ready to take on arguably one of the top 2-3 tactical fighters at any weight in the sport.