By: Hans Themistode
He’s been called a bitch, a piece of shit and every other derogatory word in the English dictionary. Yet, throughout every single curse word that has been thrown his way, unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko has managed to remain calm.
His opponent in IBF belt holder Teofimo Lopez has made his disdain for the Ukrainian as clear as possible. In a recent interview with ESPN, the Brooklyn native was asked how he feels about his dance partner this upcoming weekend. Words at this point were of no use to Lopez, so instead, the pugnacious knockout artist spat on the floor as a description for his opponent.
For Lomachenko, trash talking has never been his style. Opponents have attempted to draw out a reaction from the 32 year old, only to be greeted by a smiling face with his hands behind his back.
Lomachenko has always viewed his matchup with Lopez as just another business venture and checkmark on his road to becoming undisputed. With that being said, the multiple division champion wants to do some serious damage to his opponent.
“I want to beat him very badly, very, very badly,” said Lomachenko to The Ring magazine. “I want to really beat him badly. (Lopez’s father) thinks (Lopez is) a big superstar like Tyson Fury. That’s why they do the trash talk. They act like they’re a big superstar, but they’re not.”
The sport of boxing has seen opponents dish out a beating of a lifetime to one another and not feel any ill-will afterward. The build up of animosity brings in a proliferation of viewers and fattens the wallets of everyone involved.
But when it comes to Lomachenko’s true feelings towards his opponent, absolutely nothing is manufactured.
“What do you think? Of course I don’t like them. They’ve been talking bad things about me which is not real things, not reality. So, of course, I’m going to not like them because they’re talking too much about me.”
Although Lomachenko hasn’t appeared to be rattled, he has been visibly irritated by the nonstop smack talk that is taking place from both his opponent and his father. Regardless of that, promoter Bob Arum has been up close and personal during the Ukrainian products closed door training camp and came away believing he’s as locked in as ever.
“Nobody has trash talked him before,” said Arum. “You look at all the other opponents, they were guys who were confident, not confident, guys who were respectful and this is the first opponent that he’s had who has done the trash talking, so he wouldn’t be normal if he didn’t react. But let me tell you something – I visited him (recently in camp). I spent quite some time with him, watched him train. I mean he is dedicated. He is serious. I mean, he is a machine. But, again, I would have said that about all of his fights. Lopez has been trash talking, so this is something that hasn’t been done to Lomachenko, so obviously, there’s a reaction. He’s just responding to the trash talk.”