Teofimo Lopez Ready for the Richard Commey Challenge!
On December 14, Teofimo “El Brooklyn” Lopez (14-0, 11 KO’s) will fight for his first world title and he could not be more happy. He will challenge the hard-hitting Richard “RC” Commey (29-2, 26 KO’s) for his IBF world lightweight title in the belly of the legendary MSG located in Manhattan, New York.
The meaningful bout will air live on ESPN.
A HICCUP OR EXPOSURE?
Ironically, this title fight is coming directly after what many view as his shakiest performance to date. On July 19, El Brooklyn was pushed the full twelve rounds for the first time when he went head to head with the atypically tall Masayoshi Nakatani (18-1, 12 KO’s).
Prior to this contest, Lopez fans had become accustomed to him blowing over his foes like a strong October wind does a pile of raked leaves. The only other times that Lopez went to the cards were against, Juan Pablo Sanchez and Christian Santibanez, and both of these were six rounds affairs.
The IBF #1 contender gives his thoughts on the matter in an interview conducted by AB Boxing News.
“Does he have the experience as in the caliber of fighters that he has faced and everything? Yes, you know, he’s been there with Robert Easter, he’s been there with Ray Beltran, people that know what they’re doing. But the thing is, he ain’t never faced a fighter like me!”
Yet, when in with the long and rangy Nakatani it was clear that Lopez was being forced to work and think harder than usual. Following the bout, he attributed the poor showing to his opponent’s height and family issues outside the ring.
Rightfully so, the loose comments garnered Lopez a bit of negative blow-back from the fans and some in the media who felt these were excuses. Regardless of what the public or press feel about the matter, for Lopez it’s all water under the bridge.
“A lot of people thought I couldn’t go twelve rounds in a fight and I finally go twelve in a fight, you know? Was it the best performance I ever had? No. B performance? It was a B, I’d say B+ or a B- you know, but we got the job done.
“I’m my worst critic. There were things I shouldn’t have said but we’re past it.”
EYES ON THE PRIZE
With Nakatani in his rear-view mirror El Brooklyn is solely focused on Commey, who many think will best Lopez. Nevertheless, Lopez is brimming with confidence due to the amazing camp he said he had.
In fact, Lopez is so amped for this upcoming assignment that he insists that the fight will not go the distance. Truthfully speaking, considered the style and punching power of both men, it’s certainly not out of the question to foresee this ending in a stoppage.
“I look forward to now because now I get to show everyone, you know this is a well prepared and better camp this time around. I have an assistance coach now Joey Gamache, with us in this camp, my father Teofimo Lopez senior is still as the head coach, and you know its great work, a great team […] this fight is not going to go the distance, for sure! You got two heavy-hitters, somebody is going to go down.”
If Lopez does find himself successful, even though he would be a new lightweight champion, he knows his days in the division are numbered. It’s no secret that Lopez has had issues making 135lbs and it appears that his days of toiling with the weight are just about done. Belt or no belt, El Brooklyn has already determined that he will be moving up to super lightweight in the very near future.
“Right now my main focus is Richard Commey, and then afterwards they’re talking about pushing me and Loma and after that I’m moving up to 140.”
By: Bakari Simpson