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July 10, 2018

By G. Leon

How has everything been going in preparation for your fight on ESPN Saturday night in New Orleans? Everything has been good, camp has been good. We've just been maintaining from last camp and you can expect to see another exciting performance on Saturday night from me. What I bring to the table is something different, it's entertainment and I guarantee you you're going to see another knockout. 

GL: What do you know about your opponent William Silva?

Teofimo Lopez: "I let my coach, my father handle that. I don't watch any footage of my opponents. I know he's taller than me but that's about it. We're about the same in reach, I know he's 25-1 and his only loss came to Felix Verdejo. I know he's never been stopped, so I'm looking forward to doing something different this time around. He's never faced a fighter like me and on Saturday night you're going to see what happens."

GL: What kind of Fortnite dance can we expect if you score the knockout you're looking for?

TL: "I don't know yet. I was planning on doing the flipping sexy, but it's risky at that moment. I'll see what I come up with. It might not be a Fortnite dance it might be something else."

GL: Did you expect that to go viral the way it did after you knocked out Freitas?

TL: "I knew it was going to go out there, but I didn't expect it to go as viral as it did. I planned the whole thing. I knew when I dropped him I was going to do the Fortnite dance. I know no boxer has done it and what better place to do it than the large platform of ESPN?"

GL: Freitas had a nice sparkly record coming in and you got him out of there nice and early. To be perfectly honest the shot didn't look like the most devastating blow. When you hit him with the punch did you expect it to be a knockout?

TL: "I hit him hard. It doesn't look from the angle, the angle they have it at it doesn't look like I touched him at all, it looks like I just skimmed him. Deep down he knows I hit him hard and clean and I felt the shot. If you look at the video when I landed the punch I backed off because I knew it was a good shot. It almost knocked him out of the ring and I know there's a lot of people saying it was a fake knockout and stuff like that, but I don't understand people nowadays, it's crazy the things they come up with. It's boxing an at the end of the day nobody is planning a knockout, sometimes it happens that way. 

"I don't know what else to say to the fans, I just make it look so easy, don't hate me because of that. I've worked too hard for this. When I fight William Silva in my first ten rounder and he's apparently my first tough tough opponent that's going to bring the best out of me, when I take him out in the ring what else are they going to say? I'm not an ordinary fighter."

GL: All you could do is your job which is beat the guy they put in front of you and keep on winning.

TL: "As long as I keep winning that's all that matters, it doesn't really matter to me what outside people say, but honestly I just make it look so easy and it's not that they're bums, I'm just that good. Come Saturday night, I'm just going to make it look so, so...I'm just going to have fun in there so make sure you tune in to ESPN, I'll be the co-main event and it's going to be my first ten rounder, but I guarantee you it's not going to go ten rounds."

GL: You fought on May 12th and you're back in the ring basically two months later, did you take any time off after your last fight?

TL: "All I did was maintain myself for the week or so after the fight. When I'm not fighting the max I go up in weight is like ten pounds. I do get up higher than that and I'm always training and I always stay ready. That's the thing about it, you have to be disciplined. One thing that I enjoyed about watching Floyd is that he's dedicated to his craft. At the end of the day he knew what he had to do. It's not about how you got it, it's about how you kept it."

GL: One thing about Floyd is he's always been a hard worker. Even when he was on top with all of his money in a semi-retirement he always trained and never had any bad habits. 

TL: "Absolutely and every fighter could get it. Every fight could get it, but it's about how you keep it. Floyd learned how to keep it and if he could do it I know I could do it. This will be my last fight as a twenty year old, I'll be twenty-one by the end of July...

GL: (cutting in) Then you'll be old enough to buy a drink.

TL: "That's the thing, I don't smoke or drink. The only thing I'm going to celebrate when I'm 21 is I'm going to be able to go anywhere, anytime I want to. I go to clubs and stuff like that, but I don't drink. It's not because of my age, I just choose not do. You always have to take your surroundings, look what just happened with Shakur Stevenson. Hopefully he learned his lesson on this one, I was very upset at him over that, but I don't smoke or drink and that's why I keep getting these blessings."

GL: That's why it looks so easy. (laughs)

TL: (laughs) "They're never going to understand me man, but it is what it is, it's the fight game."

GL: There's a pretty big lightweight unification bout coming up with Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter. Who do you like in that one?

TL: "I got Garcia. His pressure is going to run down Robert Easter to the point where he folds. Mikey is going to accumulate him with so many punches that they're probably going to stop it. Robert Easter has been looking horrible in his last couple of fights, he really has. Those were fights that he was supposed to win by a margin and they've been really close. I think his lifestyle is catching up to him as well. I don't know man, a lot of these fighters are looking like shit now it's crazy. It's better for me though, because all it does is make me look better."

GL: Some fighters get overpaid and don't know how to handle it, some fighters do.

TL: "I truly believe I was made for this, I was born for this particular sport. I found what I was great at and I know I talk a lot, but I believe in myself and what I can do in that ring."

GL: You're crossing the line from a top prospect into a blossoming contender. In your minds eye how long before your in the ring with a top ten contender lining that title challenge up? I know you're young and there isn't any rush, but when would you like to fight for your first title?

TL: "I see myself fighting for the world title before the end of this year or early next year. I will be a world champion at 21 years old, mark my words. It's not about the age, it's about the way I've been fighting and getting everybody out of there. Styles make fights. William Silva is supposed to be my toughest opponent to date and his only loss was to Felix Verdejo and that fight went the distance. I know this guy isn't no chump and he's got experience, but I've got experience too. I've been around fighters like him. Right now I give it two or three more fights, I believe that I will be fighting for a world title very, very soon."

GL: What made you want to get into boxing in the first place?

TL: "I didn't choose boxing, boxing chose me. My father was training for himself and the next thing you know it latched on to me instead of him. My dad always brought me around so I could be with him, but not to train. One of the coaches there let me put on the gloves and did some mitts with me while my dad was parking the car, you see at that time my father was limo driver and had he asked the coach if he could watch me while he parked the car out back, and by the time my dad came back I had already learned two or three combinations in that time frame."

GL: How old were you when this happened?

TL: "I was only six years old. That's why I say I didn't choose boxing it chose me. Everything happens for a reasons, I'm here now 15 years later and it's crazy."

GL: Other than Mayweather, who are some of the boxers you looked up to coming up?

TL: "Mike Tyson. I love his anger. It reminds of something that I am that I only bring out when I fight, that's why they fall. Mike Tyson was another role model for me despite his downfall and the mistakes he made. He was somebody I looked up to an I still do. Who I really like is Pernell Whitakter, that man was smooth, but the list goes on and on. People think I'm just an aggressive fighter, but no fighter has brought the best out of me. I want that challenge and hopefully William Silva can bring it out of me. At the end of the day I'm going to do what I have to do, but this is going to be a good fight, one the fans have got to watch."

GL: Closing thoughts?

TL: "Just tune in. 7PM ET/4PM PT I'm going to be the co-main event and I'm fighting a guy that is 25-1 so if you want to see entertainment tune in to watch Teofimo Lopez. I'm looking forward to celebrating a victory, if you want to see a knockout, you've definitely got to watch this fight. I'm on my way New Orleans! Saludo to all Latinos, 718 stand up!."

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