By: Hans Themistode
It’s been an explosive start to the career of Lightweight contender Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs). He has made the rounds on Sports Center high light reels for his eye catching knockouts. He might be only roughly 3 years into his career, but he has managed to fight his way to a mandatory position against current IBF belt holder Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs). These two are slated to face off on December 14th, at Madison Square Garden, in New York City.
Following Lopez’s most recent bout, a win against Masayoshi Nakatoni, he heard criticism about his performance for the first time. Nakatani, may have been an undefeated fighter coming into the bout, but he was a relatively unknown commodity.
Lopez would go on to win the contest, but his streak of 5 straight knockout wins came to an end. After the contest, Lopez was not pleased with his own performance, nor was he was happy about personal issues that were going on in his life. With the biggest fight of his young career just a few short months away, Lopez was happy to report that the personal issues that he was dealing with are now a thing of the past.
“I spoke too much about what was going on personally,” said Lopez. “What I needed to do was take a step back from boxing for a little bit and that’s exactly what I did. I just needed to regroup and figure out a few things but everything is one hundred percent for me and I will be ready for my title shot against Commey.”
The IBF belt holder will undoubtedly be the best opponent he has ever faced, but Lopez will have a difficult time focusing on just him come fight night. As first reported by promoter Bob Arum, the winner of Lopez vs Commey have agreed to take on arguably the best fighter in the world in Vasiliy Lomachenko(14-1, 10 KOs) following their contest. For Lopez, should he be victorious, a contest against Lomachenko would be a dream come true.
“I have the chance to win the IBF world title from Commey and then win every belt from Lomachenko. I’ll be undisputed at 22 years of age. That’s unheard of.”
Lopez is right. Becoming an undisputed world champion at such a young age is a feat that hasn’t been done in the sport of boxing. Still, with his dreams almost accomplished, Lopez is keeping his focus on his fight come December 14th.
“I see it as an explosive fight and a great fight and somebody will get hurt.”
Lopez vs Commey is sure to be an action packed slug fest from the very beginning. With the winner of this contest receiving the opportunity to fight for every belt at the Lightweight division, the motivation for this contest will be at an all-time high.