Teofimo Lopez Jr. could have gone in a different direction after running over Richard Commey via second-round knockout to capture the IBF lightweight title. He could have moved up to 140 pounds or stayed at 135 and slow-played his way to the top lightweight in the world.
Instead, the 23-year-old decided he wanted the man many pundits view as the pound-for-pound king of boxing, three-belt lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez gets his chance on Saturday night when he meets Lomachenko for the undisputed lightweight championship.
Along with holding the WBA (super), WBC (Franchise), and WBO lightweight titles, Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a three-division world champion. Even with all of those accolades Lomachenko brings to the table, Lopez doesn't view "Loma" as his sternest test to date.
"It's not going to be my biggest challenge," Lopez told Stats Perform. "I'm just going to adapt to the fighter. I think honestly, the amount of calculating his movement he does. That's all it is. That's not going to be an issue once I see what I see. I adapt to everything quickly. I'm ready for fight time. We could fight today, and I'm ready."
While he doesn't have the experience advantage coming into the fight, Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) holds the edge in the power department. Lomachenko was knocked down in his May 2018 fight against Jorge Linares before rebounding to win by tenth-round TKO. Because of that and what he's done in the past, Lopez feels Lomachenko won't be able to absorb the type of punishment he's about to bring on Saturday night.
"I don't (think he can handle my power), and if he does, we got others things ready for (him)," Lopez said. "I expect him to get hurt badly with the explosiveness I bring to the table."
The one thing Lopez and Lomachenko can agree on is their disdain for one another. Lopez wasn't on Lomachenko's radar until he garnered a championship belt and views this as just another fight and the New York native isn't too impressed with Lomachenko's resume. To Lopez, it's about knocking the Ukranian off the top of the proverbial mountain.
"It's all about knocking off the guy that they call No. 1 off the top," Lopez said. "I'm aware of everything, and I'm just observing all of that and taking it in and just getting the job done on Oct. 17."