IBF lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez is up for his biggest test so far in his boxing career.
The 23-year-old Brooklyn native will be facing one of the very best fighters boxing has ever seen – WBA and WBO lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
The pair will square up on October 17 in Las Vegas with Loma being the heavy favorite in the fight.
Lomachenko has all the skills and amateur background, but Lopez got the height and reach advantage which could be a huge factor.
“Oh hell yeah, I gotta knock this guy out, man. Everybody loves knockouts, why not?” Lopez Jr. told ESPN’s First Take. “What I do is very exciting. I’m a young, hungry fighter. A lot of people may call me arrogant but when it comes to my sport, I’m very good at what I do.”
The American KO’d six of his last 7 adversaries and his last win came against Richard Commey last December when Lopez stunned him in the second round to claim the IBF throne.
“I’m not going to look for that knockout. If it comes, it comes. But I trust my abilities,” he said. “I’m only getting stronger, and the fact that we’ve rested for this long, it’s going to be a bad night for this man … I think both of us probably needed the rest. It’s going to be a great fight to watch.”
“The guys that he’s faced and made quit were just too scared of everything he was able to do to them,” he said. “I’m a big 135 pounder. I can be fighting at 140 right now. I’m very comfortable at this weight. Everything that this man does do that they say, he’s decreasing. I’m not even in my prime yet and I’m out here just outdoing guys. He’s on his way out, and it’s showing. Your body can only take so much damage, and I guarantee you we’re going to put some damage on this man.”