By: Hans Themistode
Trash talking in the sport of boxing happens often. It isn’t surprising considering both opponents are gearing up to punch one another in the face. Yet, no matter the amount of death threats that are lobbied towards one another, usually after there done busting each other up, both fighters embrace.
Animosity draws more eye balls to the television screen, but often times it’s manufactured. But in the case of Teofimo Lopez and his lightweight unification bout against Vasiliy Lomachenko, he simply doesn’t like the Ukrainian native. And there’s nothing fake about it.
“This is personal,” said Lopez to ESPN. “I think for sure it is. I just think that he is a conniving son of a bitch.”
Both Lopez and Lomachenko are different in every sense of the word. On one end, Lomachenko racked up an amateur record consisting of 396 wins against only one defeat. He also took home two Olympic gold medals. In the pro’s he was fast tracked to a world title, fighting for said belt in his second pro contest before winning it in his third.
Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) on the other hand, was completely different. His amateur career was an impressive one, holding a record of roughly 150 wins against just 20 defeats. He was also a 2016 Olympian, but fell short of obtaining any medals. Furthermore, he didn’t win his first world title until his 14th fight. Fast when compared to most, but a snails pace when juxtaposed to Lomachenko.
Merge those facts with Lopez coming from Brooklyn, New York while Lomachenko grew up on the other side of the world in the Ukraine and you’ll not only notice how different they are, but you’ll also notice that they aren’t likely to spend any quality time with one another.
With that being said, Lopez may not come from his world, or even speak his language, but the IBF belt holder knows the universal language of respect. Something that he believes Lomachenko knows nothing about.
“In order to get respect, you’ve got to give respect. I know he approaches me as more like a piece of gum in his shoes or something. Like who is this? Let me take it off, like eww this is nasty. I think it’s more like disgust, like I shouldn’t even be mentioned. I appreciate it though, don’t worry, its cool with me. Fuck you too.”