Teofimo Lopez refers to himself because the “Takeover” as a result of he envisioned himself as a boxing famous person lengthy earlier than he took over the light-weight division because the undisputed champion.
Eight months in the past, Lopez anticipated to defeat Vasiliy Lomachenko, who on the time was considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxer, however Lopez was caught off guard when he held the Ring Journal belt, the title that serves as a reminder that he’s the one who beat the person.
“Had it in my palms and it made me cry,” Lopez mentioned concerning the lineal belt that’s been round almost a century. “The Ring Journal been within the sport the longest since 1922 with Jack Dempsey and so many different nice champions which have carried that belt.”
At age 23, Lopez continues to be aiming to take over the game because the face of boxing, however he mentioned he’s taking child steps, ones that can require dangers.
Lopez took a danger by leaving his promoter, High Rank, and ESPN – the printed accomplice of High Rank – to hitch the just lately based Triller Combat Membership for a one-fight partnership. Lopez will make his first undisputed title protection towards George Kambosos Jr. on June 19 to headline a Triller pay-per-view broadcast from LoanDepot Park in Miami.
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) declined High Rank’s preliminary supply, which was reportedly $1.25 million, to battle Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) on ESPN with thousands and thousands watching, however Lopez pushed for a handbag bid and the gamble paid off with Triller successful the rights to broadcast the battle. Lopez mentioned he expects to make round $8 million for the upcoming bout.
“Triller Combat Membership and Triller, they know precisely what they’re doing,” Lopez mentioned. “With the quantity of leisure that I’m really going to be concerned in with these guys and the quantity of expertise that they’ve right here, it’s phenomenal and I can’t imagine it. Generally it’s like, ‘Whoa.’”
Maybe Lopez gained’t have the identical viewership numbers by not preventing on ESPN, however Triller has made an instantaneous influence on the boxing panorama by distributing a recent broadcast that appeals to a youthful viewers. Triller made headlines and supplied quite a few viral content material by internet hosting the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. and Jake Paul-Ben Askren bouts up to now 12 months.
The Lopez-Kambosos occasion can be hosted by celebrities Mario Lopez and Snoop Dogg, and Triller just lately added Corridor of Fame boxing announcer Jim Lampley. The cardboard may even function performances by hip-hop artist Meek Mill and reggaeton acts Myke Towers, Farruko, Lunay and Gente De Zona.
“I’ll danger it each time for myself,” Lopez mentioned. “I’ll wager on myself and I’ll double down each time. It’s not concerning the cash. It’s concerning the respect … I’m the undisputed light-weight champion, then deal with him just like the undisputed light-weight champion.
“However hey, issues occur and at the least Triller noticed it. Now we’re within the ‘TrillerManila’ and we’re simply doing our factor, so it’s simply that now. I’m giving them the flavour. I’m giving them the sauce. I’m giving them the issues they wish to see from a fighter standpoint. And the leisure half is what I’m going to deliver. I’m not only a boxer, I’m not a brawler, I’m an entertainer when it’s all mentioned and carried out.”
POTENTIAL LOPEZ-HANEY BOUT
Lopez mentioned there are not any laborious emotions between him and High Rank.
“We’re cordial,” Lopez mentioned about High Rank. “We’re companions in a roundabout way proper now in the intervening time. Ain’t nothing private. It’s simply enterprise.”
Lopez mentioned High Rank just lately tried to barter a battle for him with Devin Haney’s representatives. Haney holds a bit of the WBC light-weight title and doesn’t view Lopez because the undisputed champion.
“Let’s make the (express) battle occur,” Lopez mentioned about Haney. “You’re saying this and also you’re saying that. Earlier this week, you had been supposed to satisfy with my promoter Bob Arum and y’all pulled out, so we will negotiate this battle.”
SHIP HAS SAILED ON LOMACHENKO
Lopez mentioned he’s aiming to knock out Kambosos and is pushing to battle Haney subsequent, however he doesn’t see a rematch with Lomachenko taking place.
Lopez mentioned there’s no level in preventing Lomachenko once more as a result of he gained by a large margin on the scorecards for a unanimous resolution in October.
“That ship has sailed with Vasiliy Lomachenko,” Lopez mentioned. “I beat him honest and sq.. I scored it 9-3. I don’t know what he’s speaking about with a draw and all that. That’s due to his pleasure and when the ego is available in. He is aware of he misplaced.”