Teofimo Lopez Sr. was in a lodge foyer in New York Metropolis in December 2018. The world did not know but, however when he met Vasiliy Lomachenko – the two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-part world title and boxer king pound for pound – and held out his hand, Lopez’s plan for his son was already in movement.
Lomachenko stared at Lopez, and as Father Mark Kriegel defined final 12 months, that look despatched a message.
I am higher than you. Your son is just not on my stage.
However Lopez Jr.’s success informed a unique story. After beginning his skilled profession in 2016 with spectacular victories, he promised to “take over” boxing and paved his manner for it – by defeating Lomachenko.
The Lopez household has been proclaiming Lomachenko for 2 years and predicting victory. On Saturday evening, predictions and clues will result in some of the vital fights of 2020 when Lopez takes on Lomachenko in Las Vegas. This is a have a look at how Lopez earned his shot in opposition to Lomachenko, and the knockouts and banter that paved the best way.
October 10, 2016: Prime Rank indicators Teofimo Lopez Jr. for a multi-year promoting contract.
“I feel this child is an actual expertise,” Prime Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum informed ESPN. “The [matchmakers] are actually excessive on him. He is a extremely robust child and has a extremely nice future as knowledgeable. He is a superb fighter. “
Lopez, then 19, is already evaluating himself to a number of the greats.
“I am an entertainer – I’ve to entertain,” says Lopez. “My model – I am technical, very technical. I am very sensible after I’m within the ring like Albert Einstein. I am like a Sugar Ray [Leonard], Floyd Mayweather. I am a boxer, however when the knockout comes, it comes. “
February 1, 2018: Lopez posted “The Takeover” on Instagram forward of his battle in opposition to Juan Pablo Sanchez in Corpus Christi, Texas on February 3, 2018. Lopez gained a unanimous resolution in six rounds in his eighth skilled battle.
Could 12, 2018: Lopez continues the takeover with a KO of Vitor Freitas within the first spherical. Lopez celebrates victory with Fortnite’s “Take the L” dance. The battle takes place on the Lomachenko-Jorge Linares map on the Hulu Theater in Madison Sq. Backyard in New York, and the dialog begins a couple of attainable battle between Lopez and Lomachenko.
Teofimo Lopez Jr. lands a grazing proper hand sending Vitor Freitas to the massive display screen, and he makes use of Fortnite’s “Take the L” dance.
“I like that. I reside for it,” says Lopez. “I informed you this was ‘The Takeover’. I’ve educated laborious and I am all the time able to placed on a present for all of the followers. I’ve the facility to harm folks. I am not right here to play.”
July 14, 2018: Lopez scores one other spectacular TKO win, this time in opposition to William Silva in Spherical 6.
Teofimo Lopez fiercely beats William Silva within the sixth spherical, knocking him down to enhance to 10-Zero and celebrating in model.
“Man, what can I say? I informed you I used to be going to take over,” Lopez stated through the post-fight interview.
Lopez breaks his hand through the battle after which has an operation.
Starting of December 2018: A number of nights earlier than Lopez is because of battle Mason Menard at Madison Sq. Backyard, Lopez tells Sr. Mark Kriegel that he met Lomachenko within the corridor of the lodge the place each fighters reside.
Teofimo Lopez describes his mentality within the ring and helps his father’s phrases.
“How are you, Lomachenko?” Says Lopez Sr. and provides his hand.
However then Lomachenko provides it this view.
Lopez Sr. begins yelling, cursing, and making a scene.
“Yo, you will not do something. We’re coming for you. F — you! Come on Saturday, we’ll steal the present!”
Teofimo is aggravated when his father tells him. He can see Lomachenko, a boxing king, disrespect his father with out saying a phrase. It makes him offended, explains Lopez Jr. Kriegel. Alternatively, his father makes him offended too.
“Why would you try this?” Teofimo says he was considering. “Now I’ve to scrub up your mess.”
December 8, 2018: Whereas his son is preventing on the Lomachenko-Jose Pedraza card on the Hulu Theater, the elder Lopez tells Kriegel that he felt the warmth from Prime Rank for insulting Lomachenko. Senior pulls his son apart earlier than the strike. “Now we have to do one thing nice,” he says. “You need to look spectacular.”
Teofimo kisses his father on the cheek. “I’ve you dad. I’ll all the time have your again.”
Lopez scores Mason Menard’s first-round knockout in simply 44 seconds. After the win, he guarantees to win a world title in 2019.
“In 2019 it is ‘The Takeover'”, says Lopez Jr .. “‘The Takeover’ has began. In 2019 you will notice me with a strap with the world champion on it. We’re within the section of my profession the place we’re can change the boxing and produce it again. All of you have not seen something like me in a very long time. “
Teofimo Lopez knocks out Mason Menard with a brutal proper hand, then places on a Kyler Murray jersey and does the Heisman pose.
Lopez Sr .: “It was as if God had spoken to me once more.”
Father and son observe the primary occasion from a lounge within the backyard. Lomachenko, nonetheless recovering from shoulder surgical procedure, beats Pedraza.
Teofimo turns to his father. “Dad,” he stated, “you bought into his head.”
Later within the month, ESPN named Teofimo as Prospect of the Yr 2018.
February 2, 2019: Lopez continues his acquisition with a formidable spherical of 16 in opposition to Diego Magdaleno on the Ford Heart at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Teofimo Lopez brings it as much as Diego Magdaleno with a knockdown within the sixth spherical and a devastating knockout within the seventh spherical to finish the battle.
“Teofimo Lopez, whether or not you hate him or like him, you may nonetheless be watching him,” says Lopez Jr .. “What I am doing proper now could be entertaining. [In] In 2019 we’re prepared now [to fight for a world title]. Now we have to work within the fitness center. There’s all the time room for perfection. “
February 19, 2019: Lopez tells Max Kellerman that he needs to face the world championship title.
“If [the fight with Lomachenko] occurs, it occurs, “says the boxer.” What we’re in search of is a world title. Who at present has a world title, Lomachenko has a world title, Richard Commey, he has a world title, Mikey Garcia has a world title, however he is proper now at 147 … we’re right here to battle the world champions, we’re right here to win the world title, regardless of who it’s. “
Lopez additionally tells Kellerman that Lomachenko is predictable.
“I really feel like [Lomachenko] does the identical factor again and again in relation to footwork and transfer to the identical facet. There are three or 4 methods to beat Lomachenko. … however I am unable to inform. “
April 12, 2019: Lomachenko beats Anthony Crolla, and on the post-fight press convention, Lomachenko is requested who could be essentially the most troublesome to battle in what order, amongst Garcia, Lopez and Luke Campbell.
Lomachenko says, “I feel so [hardest] can be Campbell, second place is Mikey and … second is Mikey, “utterly ignoring Lopez.
After the battle, Lopez’s father informed FightHype.com: “[Lomachenko’s performance was] terrible, terrible for me. After we throw jabs, we throw jabs to kill you. Everybody who throws bumps like [Lomachenko throws]I do not actually prefer it. Everyone seems to be in search of an amazing efficiency and what to place into an amazing efficiency higher convey a thrill, you understand, and everybody was simply plain calm all through the efficiency. He knocked the man down, however you need to go in there and never respect Lomachenko. You need to go in there and attempt to take the battle off him. … My son goes in there, you understand, to whip your ass, he does it from the beginning. We’re not going to only let Lomachenko try this. “
When requested how they’ll get a battle with Lomachenko, Lopez Sr. says they’ll get a KO win in a title shot after which go to Lomachenko to finish the takeover.
“We’re preventing in a co-main occasion on pay-per-view that I am unable to bear in mind having Lomachenko on a pay-per-view card,” says Lopez Sr.. “My son solely has 12 fights and in his 13th battle we’re within the co-main occasion of a serious map, the [Terence] Crawford[Amir] Khan is preventing in New York Metropolis which is the most effective situation, I imply taking out the man in New York like he all the time did. He is been to New York 5 occasions, and knockout 5 occasions. It may be the sixth knockout in New York, and we’re simply going to make it devastating and entertaining the best way everybody needs it, you understand.
“Lomachenko stated he would not need to battle my son until he has a belt, so we’ll convey the belt after which you understand what you are going to see? You may see him drop to 130 as a result of he is scared mine has son, and I already know that … my son goes to take this man [Lomachenko] in lower than three rounds. “
April 19, 2019: Lopez reveals confidence forward of his battle in opposition to Edis Tatli, telling ESPN’s Mark Kriegel he’s the most effective fighter on this planet.
“You have not seen something but.”
– Prime Rank Boxing (@trboxing) 19th April 2019
When requested who the most effective fighter on this planet is between himself, Crawford and Lomachenko, Lopez emphatically says, “I’m as a result of I’m. I’m simply so nice – individuals who come to go to me.”
When Kriegel asks Lopez what is going to occur within the battle with Tatli, Lopez predicts what is going to really occur.
“What you’re going to see isn’t just pace, energy, but additionally ring IQ,” he says. “That is the entire thing: I am a tech after I’m there. It is all about leisure, man, have a look at the celebration, the Fortnite dances, all of it comes collectively and ends with a backflip and name it an evening . “
April 20, 2019: Lopez destroys Tatli in a fifth spherical knockout on the Crawford Khan card and two days after the battle, which he posts on Instagram: “We got here, we noticed, we conquered! #TheTakeover”
“I desire a world title subsequent. That is what I need. We promised to take over the present and I took it again,” Lopez stated after the battle. “I’m prepared for [world titlist] Richard Commey or the [potentially vacant] WBC title. So long as it is a title, I am able to go. No person can take my energy. “
June 29, 2019: Realizing that he has to win a world title to solidify the concept of preventing Lomachenko, Lopez publishes a photograph of himself with Commey, a possible opponent on the time.Bye for now. “
July 16, 2019: Lopez and his father are company on the three Knockdown Rule podcast, hosted by Mario Lopez and Steve Kim. Teofimo Lopez Sr. calls Lomachenko “horrible” once more.
Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez Jr. had been raised very in another way by their fathers.
“Everybody glorifies this man and that is one factor that [Teofimo] doesn’t perceive. The man [Lomachenko] is terrible, “says Lopez Sr.,” we’ll take this man out in lower than three rounds, I am going to inform you now. “
Lopez Jr. is not too well mannered of Lomachenko both.
“He had an enormous newbie background, he had an enormous newbie pedigree and all that stuff,” he says. “He paved the best way. Do not get me improper. You’ll be able to’t take that away. But it surely’s the truth that somebody actually knew him in addition to they do now? No. It is as a result of we talked about him and one thing.” and we’re sizzling now. “
Lopez Sr .: “He did not do something.”
Lopez Jr. is only some days away from Masayoshi Nakatani, however he and his father transfer on to Lomachenko to finish the battle.
“Folks need to see this battle they usually name it a mega-fight,” Lopez Jr. stated through the podcast, as if chatting with Lomachenko straight.
“My husband, you have been a two-time Olympic champion, a number of weight class champion and so forth, however you continue to cannot get a pay-per-view battle?”
17th July 2019: Two days earlier than the Nakatani battle, Lopez Jr. shares his three-fight plan with ESPN, which features a victory over Nakatani, a battle in opposition to Commey for the IBF light-weight title, after which Lomachenko in a unification battle.
Teofimo Lopez Jr. is one among boxing’s biggest rising stars, but it surely would not come with out the great assist of his coach, father, Teofimo Lopez Sr.
It is a very exact plan.
“What I see in my son is the most effective fighter who has ever lived,” Lopez Sr. informed ESPN. “That is how I see my son. I’ll by no means lie about my son. If my son sucks, he sucks and he would not be in that sport.”
Lopez Jr. understands what his father is attempting to do and would not see it as strain.
“There are occasions … I feel he put me in that place,” says Lopez Jr .. “All proper, I’ve to help him … I am not going to get anybody to make enjoyable of my father. “
July 19, 2019: Lopez wins a unanimous resolution over Nakatani, however he would not look good in beating the tall and lanky fighter. Is he prepared for the highest fighters at 135 kilos? Is he prepared for a title shot?
Masayoshi Nakatani hits Teofimo Lopez with one punch together with his proper hand and Lopez responds with one punch of his personal. For extra prime rank boxing, join ESPN + https://plus.espn.com/ right here.
“I simply want small enhancements. It is a part of the method. I am grateful now,” stated Lopez after the battle. “It was my first foremost occasion. It was 12 laps. Am I pleased with it? No, however I am proud that I confirmed everybody that I can do 12 laps.”
Lopez had earned a title shot in opposition to Commey, the IBF defending champion. The takeover was one step nearer.
December 14, 2019: An unimaginable TKO second spherical win over Commey to win his first world title removes any doubt about Lopez’s expertise.
Commey places a proper hand down. Lomachenko is subsequent.
Teofimo Lopez Jr. dons a Joe Burrow jersey after beating Richard Commey at MSG in December, much like how Lopez wore a Kyler Murray jersey when he gained final December.
“I am speechless in the intervening time. It is a dream come true,” stated Lopez after the battle. “”[Commey] is a foul man. His shot may have achieved the identical to me if he’d hit me with that shot.
“You all know who I need to battle subsequent – 2020 goes to be a giant 12 months. The takeover is right here and you have not seen something but.”
Lomachenko, who’s on the ring, informed ESPN reporter Bernardo Osuna after Lopez’s victory: “Now he is world champion. Welcome to my membership. See you in April.”
Could 19, 2020: After intensive discussions, it’s clear that Lomachenko and Lopez have their eyes fastened on one another. There isn’t a one else within the image and each fighters state that they’re able to battle even with out followers.
“When speaking to Lomachenko and Lopez, neither of them need an intermediate battle,” stated Arum. “So we would plan that in September with or with out an viewers.”
Lopez Sr. reiterates a need to go to Lomachenko sooner somewhat than later.
“100%,” he says. “We do not want any enhancements. We give attention to Lomachenko. That is all we would like is Lomachenko.”
July 22, 2020: Lopez Jr. information movies posted on Instagram and Twitter calling Lomachenko and telling him to “convey my belts”.
“Sure, and do not forget to convey my belts.” – – @ TeofimoLopez
– Prime Rank Boxing (@trboxing) July 22, 2020
August 12, 2020: The simple union battle between Lomachenko and Lopez is formally introduced for October 17th on ESPN.
August 13, 2020: Lopez Sr. predicts a 3rd knockout victory for his son and says the battle will make Teofimo “a superhero”.
“It will not even take three rounds,” Lopez Sr. informed ESPN after the battle was introduced. “If this monster hits him with the primary blow, you will notice an injured canine with no legs. He is achieved. The primary blow will change the entire battle. He’ll want he was by no means on this ring.”
“Two years in the past, do you bear in mind after I began doing this, are you aware why? As a result of God put that in my head. God put that in my head and I do know we needed to hit him. And let me inform you one thing … There has by no means been anybody on this planet who predicted a World Cup [for Teofimo] within the [just] 15 fights after which Lomachenko in our 16th battle.
“This child is from one other planet, this child is just not regular,” he stated of his son.
Whereas Lopez Jr.’s pockets for the battle is smaller as a result of followers cannot take part, Lopez Sr. persuaded his son to take the battle, saying that if he hadn’t made it, it will have had an enduring unfavourable impression on his profession.
“I informed him, ‘I am going to offer you my proportion, brother’, I do not care about cash,” recollects Lopez Sr. “That is what we did this – for – for glory. You’ll be able to ask for something after that need.”
And a win can be of nice significance to Lopez’s legacy too.
“That is the battle that can make my son a superhero,” says Lopez Sr. “He can be like Superman.”
September 8, 2020: Lopez Jr. says on ESPN’s First Take that he plans to give up Lomachenko.
“The whole lot this man does they are saying: [making opponents quit], he is losing a few pounds. … He is already on the best way out and it reveals, “says Lopez.” Your physique can solely take a lot, a lot harm, and I assure we’ll do some hurt to this man. “
September 29, 2020: Lopez Sr. tells ESPN that their dialog made them rattle Lomachenko and that his son will take him out on October 17th.
“Lomachenko would not know what’s coming. He is very nervous. I do know we’ll win this battle earlier than my son walks within the ring as a result of that is my job – I’ve to get inside Lomachenko’s head,” stated Lopez Sr. says. “He is by no means talked nicely a couple of boxer and now he is saying my son has a excessive IQ in boxing, and earlier than he stated that. I do know I am on his thoughts.
“And my son is just not the identical boxer who beat Commey – he is a boxer who believes extra in himself. Destroying Commey, an individual who has by no means knocked out earlier than, a robust boxer, a superb jaw and the type how we destroyed he gave my son extra confidence despite the fact that my son all the time has the arrogance. Lomachenko would by no means have achieved this to Commey. This battle would in fact have Lomachenko gained, however he would have gained on factors – he would have by no means blown him like mine Son.
“My son removed Commey rapidly, and so will Lomachenko.
“I already predicted the battle would not final six rounds, and that is precisely the way it will go,” stated the older Lopez. “We have been proper all alongside, and we’ll be proper on this battle too. There isn’t a manner a 126-pounder goes to beat my son. It is simply inconceivable.”
“”[My son] will look manner higher than some other fights he has fought. This Lomachenko man goes to make us look good, and I am unable to wait. I informed everybody that the higher the fighter, the simpler the battle can be for us. “
Have a look again at Teofimo Lopez Jr.’s biggest wins as he fearlessly rose to victory and gained the IBF light-weight championship.
October 12, 2020: Lopez Jr. says it doesn’t matter what his dad says, he is aware of it is due to the belief he has in him to ship within the ring.
“I like my father,” Lopez Jr. tells ESPN, “but it surely’s not about proving his prophecy. He talks no matter he needs to speak. He made it greater than it needed to be – I feel everybody should congratulate him. ” However what it truly is is simply that he is aware of what I am about. He talks what he talks, he’s very assured as a result of he sees in me what nobody sees in me but. “