Paint Teofimo Lopez Sr. as a bit delusional. Paint him, also, as a proud father and trainer who has dreams of world domination for his son.
Undefeated 23-year-old Teofimo Lopez Jr. is the current IBF lightweight champ, but that title is a bit of a wink, wink “he’s champ, but not REALLY champ” thing. Everybody with even a bit of knowledge of the current boxing scene recognizes WBA/WBO champ Vasilily Lomachenko as the REAL champ at 135.
But Teo Jr. is getting his chance to change all that on October 17 when he clashes with the two-belt titlist. Lomachenko is universally regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the game. Teo Sr. realizes what a big opportunity this is and is confident that his son won’t disappoint.
“My Son Has Everything to Beat Lomachenko”
“I believe my son is faster than Lomachenko, I believe my son is smarter than Lomchenko, and I believe my son is stronger,” Lopez Sr. told A.B. Boxing News. “So he has everything to beat Lomachenko. Lomachenko is used to winning. He’s used to lining people with all of these things that he does in the ring but that’s not going to faze my son. My son has no respect for him … My son is going to beat him so bad that Lomachenko is going to be out for months, or a year or so. He’s going to be devastated.”
And, for those who compare his son’s challenge of Lomachenko to Canelo Alvarez’s challenge of Floyd Mayweather back in 2013– something more akin to a learning experience than a legitimate challenge– the proud dad has a response for that, too.
“We’re Going to Destroy Lomachenko.”
“We’re going to go into this fight to destroy Lomachenko. It’s not going to be like Canelo and Floyd Mayweather. Everyone is going to realize come October 17 that they made a big mistake,” Lopez Sr. continued. “Everyone knew that with Canelo going into this fight with Floyd Mayweather, it was going to be very hard. Canelo went in very heavy, and everyone knew that if Canelo was going to fight Floyd Mayweather, it was going to be [physical].”
Lopez Sr. is so confident of his son’s success that he’s already looking to secure his place in history.
Bigger Than Floyd Mayweather
“My son is the first person to win a world title from Honduras. Sooner or later after he unifies the 140 pound weight division as well they are going to make a monument of him in Honduras. We’re going to accomplish even bigger things than Floyd did.”
Those are mighty big hopes and dreams for a fighter who has yet to really beat any A-plus elite fighters. But the eye test shows that Teofimo Jr. is a very talented fighter with next-level offensive skills. It would be a mistake to write him off in his challenge of Lomachenko.
But one still has to wonder whether Teofimo Sr., the proud dad and trainer, isn’t setting himself up for a big letdown.