Teofimo Lopez looked relaxed; curiously relaxed. Perhaps too relaxed. The IBF lightweight titlist has grown his hair out.
He sat on the edge of the ring apron in a New Jersey training facility close to Philadelphia recently, and spoke candidly with The Ring about his weight, his confidence and what he plans to do against Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Lopez (15-0, 12 knockouts) is scheduled to meet the 32-year-old Ring Magazine, WBA and WBO lightweight titleholder in a blockbuster on ESPN, which will take place on October 17 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Flanked by his father and trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr., known as “Junior,” and Joey Gamache, a new addition to Team Teofimo, Teofimo Lopez was his usual candid self—though serene.
Gamache has been working with Lopez since he demolished Richard Commey in two rounds back in December—Lopez’s greatest victory to date. The great get here is that Gamache was also in Lomachenko’s corner for a few fights, too.
Team Teofimo continues to point out that Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) is 32, with over 400 fights on his body. They continue to point out that Lomachenko is predictable.
Lopez, 23, was 146 pounds entering this week—way ahead of his training schedule.
“I feel good, I do feel relaxed and this probably the best training camp that I’ve ever had,” said Lopez, who’s been in training camp for a month. “We’re putting a lot of work in. We haven’t changed anything. The only difference is I’m getting stronger and I’m getting faster.
“I have this (fight). This is my home—in the gym, doing what I love to do. I look at everything as a puzzle, you have to put the pieces together and I’m putting the pieces together.
“We’re putting a lot of work into this. I feel good. Four weeks into camp, this is one of the best, most-active training camps I’ve ever had. I feel more confident and structured than I ever have.”
The Ring will be be providing more stories in the coming weeks as the Lopez-Lomachenko megafight nears.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.
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