Teofimo Lopez praises ‘dirty opponent’ who taught him a lot
Two-weight world champion Teofimo Lopez praised a former opponent for his dirty tactics and teaching him a lot.
The New Yorker, known as “The Takeover”, defends his WBO and Ring super-lightweight belts on Thursday, February 8 at the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas to Jamaine Ortiz.
Speaking in an interview with Fruity Slots, the 26-year-old Lopez humbly paid homage to his most recent opponent, Josh Taylor.
“Josh Taylor is a great fighter and he’s beat all of the top guys at 140, he’s a really good champion and I wish him nothing but the best in the future,” he praised.
“My experience of fighting him was that he was strong, smart, he fought dirty a little bit but he knew how to get away with it.
“He’s intelligent and I could see why became the undisputed champion at the time. I learned a lot from Josh Taylor.”
The Brooklyn boxer then named Terence Crawford and Devin Haney as opponents he would like to face, but placed George Kambosos at the very top of his hit list, desperate to avenge his split decision defeat from 2021.
“There are lots of people mentioning my name, but it’s all strategic moves. I’ve had this before with George Kambosos, but now I have the experience. That’s why it’s great to have those L’s on my record, it’s great because it’s not a loss, it’s a learned lesson, because now I know why focus is important from a mentality point of view.
“My focus has only been on Ortiz, just last night I was film studying him. The talk about the other names is just nonsense for me right now. I’m blocking the noise. Do I want to face Haney and Crawford? Absolutely! But my first task is Ortiz.
“Crawford says he’s just travelling this year and I wish him the best, but may we meet eventually. I don’t want to name the names of who I want to fight because honestly, I’m bigger than all of them and they know it. But I’m going to avenge that loss to Kambosos, I’m telling you that. If that presents itself in the ring. That man better have bodyguards.”
Lopez has warned Jamaine Ortiz that he has gotten faster, stronger and sharper, then boldly declared, “There will definitely be a knockout!”
Fans can watch all the fight week events live and free on Top Rank’s YouTube channel