MUST READ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE TEOFIMO LOPEZ'S

By G. Leon

12/02/2019

Greg Leon: Congrats on your recent destruction of Diego Magdaleno. Teofimo Lopez Jr: "It was a good fight overall. I wasn't as happy with my performance as a lot of people and that's because I know there's things I've still got to perfect. Everything was good though, we went seven rounds. I knew I had to stay calm and collected and pick my shots, and that's what we did."
 
GL: From what I saw, it looked like you were really trying to get him out of there in the first two rounds. When you didn't get rid of him, it seemed like you took your foot off the gas a bit in rounds three and four before turning it back up in the fifth. Would you say that's accurate?
 
Teofimo Lopez: "I noticed that he was still there. I was like alright I got something for him. I'm going to take my time and pick my shots and just change the game a little bit. I adapted to him and I was just having fun in there. The whole thing was just fun to me and I was just enjoying giving him a long ass whipping."
 
GL: You're going to be back on April 20th in your third fight in four and half months. Do you have any idea who you're fighting yet?
 
TL: "No. As of right now I don't know anything, my father doesn't know anything. They're not going to put us with [former WBO lightweight champion] Jose Pedraza or [WBA/WBO champion Vasiliy] Lomachenko on April 20th. Who they're going to put us in with, we're not sure yet, but we'll find out soon."
 
Teofimo Lopez Sr: "What I'm thinking Greg is that [promoter] Bob Arum wants to be very careful with what he's doing right now. We can't put him in there with a guy that's going to put his headliner at the Garden in July in jeopardy. I don't think the next opponent is going to be at the top level because they want to preserve that July fight. Arum is being very cautious with this because he's got a plan...
 
GL: (cutting in) And prior to the Mason Menard fight if you would have told people that the plan is to get LomaFimo popping...
 
Lopez Sr: (cutting back in) "That's my f**king plan. I told Bob Arum from the moment he signed my son he doesn't need any more two million dollar fighters, he needs a $50M dollar fighter. I didn't say no names, but Terence Crawford and this other guy (Lomachenko), I mean we could do that in one f**king night. He doesn't need that shit bro. He needs another Manny Pacquiao and now everybody is starting to understand that what I've been saying is true. My son is going to back it up and he knows I've been saying the shit for the longest, just nobody believed me."
 
GL: LomaFimo didn't become a serious consideration to boxing people until after your son's win over Menard. I think the performance against Magdaleno only threw gasoline on that fire.
 
Lopez Sr: "We made this happen, my son fought for this. Nobody even thought we had a chance to be a good prospect or a chance to be where he's at right now. With twelve fights he's the best fighter on the planet right now, with no doubt. That Jose Ramirez fight on Sunday was the most disgusting shit I've seen in my life. This guy's talking about fighting my son if he moves up to 140. Please. He's not going to fight nobody, my son would kill him. In boxing 99.9% of people are naive and don't understand the game."
 
GL: Fimo, how do you feel about this. Your father says you're the best fighter in the world right now. A $50M fighter, how do you receive that? Do you embrace it? Does it put extra pressure on you?
 
TL: "No pressure. My dad has been like that since I came out the womb. (laughs) I'm used to it. The reason I'm able to stay so calm in the ring is because I grew up learning about pressure. I grew up with all that pressure from my father and I learned to adapt to it. He talks very highly of me and what am I supposed to do but back him up? I'm always going to back my father up and I'm never going to let him look like a clown."
 
Lopez Sr: "You know when he was 14-15, I would look at a lot of fighters and be like these guy suck. With Floyd Mayweather I would look at him and think this guy is the best fighter ever, but to be honest with you, I can't even look at Floyd's fights right now because they're so f**king boring."
 
GL: Then you start seeing that he lost his second pro fight. (laughs)
 
TLSR: "You saw that shit! That was garbage! My son grew up loving Floyd and this is what motivates us and I thank Floyd for that, but when I recap what he was doing, it's like we're on another level. It's like going from a Mercedes Benz to a Rolls Royce."
 
TL: "One thing's for sure though, Floyd paved the way for us. You've got to look at somebody in order to get a grasp on what you can do."
 
GL: And if you're not looking at the best you're looking wrong.
 
TL: "That's right, so it was a lot of him, Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. These are guys that I used to implement and look at a lot. Pernell Whitaker too. Guys like that they paved the way, now it's just that we take over and we do better than they did."
 
GL: What you say is your primary focus right now Fimo? Is it a title fight? Is it Loma? Something else?
 
TL: "My purpose right now is to become a world champion at 135. It doesn't matter who against, I want the title. Then I'm probably going to defend it one time and move up to 140. I've been at this weight for six years, so I just want to reward myself with winning the world title before I move up."
 
Lopez Sr: "I think Bob is going to make that easy for us...
 
TL: (cutting in) "The only reason it's going to be easy now is because of all the hard work we've been putting in."
 
Lopez Sr: "We're only going to need one or two fights though to get all of belts."
 
TL: "Look at the guy that they just put in against Richard Commey. That was horrible, but they find ways to get guys to win a title. I could have fought Richard Commey for that title. The guy that he fought was 13-1 with 6KO's. That was a wipeout. That was nuts for him to win a title off that, it was simple. Then they were saying that was going to be a tough fight, bullshit, get out of here."
 
GL: How do you feel about headlining at Madison Square Garden over the summer?
 
TL: "It's a blessing. It's just levels to it though you know. You work your way up the ladder one step at a time and we're almost there man."
 
Lopez Sr: "But we're not going to give them any more time than December or early January, that's it."
 
GL: You're talking about LomaFimo.
 
TLSR: "Of course, because that's the fight to put all the titles together."
 
GL: That's Bob's plan.
 
TLSR: "He'll probably have three and we'll have one."
 
TL: "But then by the end of the night Teofimo has four."
 
TLSR: "There you go. There's no way that guy is going to beat us. We're going walk right through him, it's probably going to be easier than Magdaleno."
 
GL: If you keep doing what you're doing and acquire a belt in the process do you think he's going to go through with that fight?
 
TL: "I don't think so."
 
TLSR: "He has to. If he wants to get all the belts and fight on PPV, my son is the only PPV fight out there for them. Nobody else could give them a PPV and if they don't want to do the fight then the whole world will know they ran. We got two more fights before we get him."
 
TL: "If that. If they give us him, but for me if he fights us it's for the money and if he doesn't it's because he don't want it. It's a win-win there."
 
TLSR: "We're going to get him and when we get him we're going to destroy him. I know he's going to have people around him who try to protect him from the fight because they know he's going to lose. They're going to be telling him go back down to 130."
 
TL: "He's already been talking about moving back down to 130 and I think that would be his way out. I've told people that this is going to be my last year at 135, so they're going to have to weigh it out."
 
TLSR: "We're just getting started too. My son is only at 40% of the capacity of what he's going to transform into. He's going to continue to do things people never seen in boxing, this is God given."
 
GL: There's no question about that and Fimo has been looking every bit of the part, now we just got to see the opposition continue to step up. 
 
TLSR: "The better the fight the better he's going to be. Supposedly better the fighter, because everybody is f**king garbage to me."
 
GL: Ain't that the truth. (laughs)
 
TL: "We don't need Lomachenko. When it comes down to it Lomachenko is going to need us more than we need him. I know how to sell myself when it's all said and done. Bob Arum said if there's anybody who can make a PPV fight with these fighters it's me and he knows that. Lomachenko has been a pro for five, six years already and all he's making is $2M per fight and that's because people don't really know him outside of boxing. Only diehard fans know about him. I'm not trying to take anything away from the man, but at the end of the day this is a business and people want what sells. He's not really doing that. He's technical, but technical isn't bringing money in the way they want it to be. At the end of the day this is a boxing business."
 
TLSR: "And December in the city is beautiful. Everybody is going to be in the Holiday spirit and we're going to sell out Madison Square Garden."
 
GL: I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't ask this question. Do you have any regrets about the extent to which you celebrated your KO over Magdaleno?
 
TL: "People don't know the background story. They could judge me off what I did if they want to, but I don't regret anything to be honest. He said what he said, he talked crap about my parents home country, he said a lot of personal stuff that I don't ever say about any other fighter that I face, so he got that man. I'm ruthless in there, I don't regret anything. Check this out Greg, every time I finish my celebration with a backflip and I don't do nothing else. I leave it as is, that's it. When you take it to the personal level you're going to get more. You're going to get what you've got coming and that's what I did that night."
 
"Whether people love it, hate it, they don't know the background to it. I'm not like that. If you look at all my other celebrations I leave it as is, but he took it to a whole different level and that's what he got. Don't talk shit. That's for everybody to know. You could talk shit about me, that's fine, but the moment you start mentioning my family and stuff...I never talk bad about my opponents family or anything because that's personal shit. If I talk shit it's directly to the fighter, so that's for all t fighters to know, if you want to talk about my family and you want to get personal then you're going to get personal shit and I'm not going to feel bad at all. If I take your head off I'm taking it off."
 
GL: Does your father boisterous nature make it difficult for your opponents not to mention him?
 
TL: "I don't know."
 
GL: He's hard not to mention, sounds like if you're opponents don't want personal shit they need to stay silent.
 
TLSR: "You know what? It wasn't even Magdaleno that started all that shit, it was that f**king guy Ernesto Amador."
 
TL: "Yep and make sure you put that out there, Ernesto Amador is the reason that Magdaleno got that ass whipping like that. When my parents are waking me up during my rest time to show me what this guy is saying, what do you think I'm going to do? I took matters into my own hands."
 
GL: It's nearly 1am on Tuesday morning and we can mess around and be talking all night. Looking forward to speaking with you guys again soon, any closing thoughts for the fans?
 
TL: "I'm back on April 20th, that's official. We don't know the opponent yet, but I want to thank everybody who has been supporting us. Tune in more, there's better celebrations and more respectable ones that will be on the way. It's the Takeover as always and this one is going to a PPV you're going to want to watch."
 

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