Teofimo Lopez remains confident ahead of his fight against Vasiliy Lomachenko, but he refuses to underestimate his opponent.
The undefeated IBF lightweight champion squares off against WBA and WBO titleholder Lomachenko on Oct. 17.
Speaking to ESPN’s First Take podcast, Lopez talked up a fight that he has long wanted.
“This is great for the sport. It’s huge. I’m about to make history and become undisputed. I’m very excited. I have all of the opportunities right here in my hands and I’m not going to let that go,” Lopez said.
At 32, Lomachenko is nine years his rival’s senior, and has another 397 amateur fights to his name, and twice won the Olympic gold medal for Ukraine.
Vasyl Lomachenko: "Teofimo Lopez can talk all he wants. He's very good at talking. He has done nothing but say my name for the past two years. Good for Teofimo. He will eat my punches and his words. I will be the better man, four titles will come home with me to Ukraine."— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 8, 2020
Lopez acknowledged everything his opponent has achieved but was far from overawed.
“He’s a great fighter and has all of the accolades and achievements, and everything that he’s done. This is for all or nothing.
“He’s very talented, and so am I. A lot of these fighters respect this man too much. I’m in the fight game. I respect no man once I am in that ring. That’s what we’re going to do. I get the job done against every fighter that I face.”
The American fighter also believes that his relatively large size for the division gives him an advantage over his opponent, who has boxed over a few weights throughout his career.
“A lot of people talk down on me, style-wise,” he explained.
“I’m the kind of fighter to bring the fight to you. I look for the fight. Not only that, but I’m a big lightweight. He’s been off at 126, 130, and I’m going to make sure come October 17 I’m going to bring him back down to 130.”