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December 06, 2018

TEOFIMO LOPEZ: "I'M GOING TO TAKE OVER BOXING-TUNE IN ON SATURDAY TO WATCH GREATNESS!"
By G. Leon

Lopez says there's no way Menard will go the distance

GL: How has everything gone in preparation for Mason Menard on Saturday night? What you can expect from me is definitely another great show. I plan on putting on another great performance and taking over. I know Mason Menard is a tough fighter, of course Top Rank is giving me an opponent that is another step-up and I'm definitely ready for it. Everything that they're going to give me I'm going to handle and I can't wait for Saturday night. GL: Do you think Menard is a step up from Silva? Me personally I think, well, I don't feel like it is. I feel like it's more of a tune up fight, but we'll see on Saturday night. Hopefully he does something in the ring that makes me feel like he was a step up from Silva and tougher than Silva.

GL: What are your thoughts of Menard as a fighter? He was schooled by Devin Haney out killed by his speed.

TL: "I am looking to be aggressive, defensive and then I've still got the speed. I'm going to bring everything I have to Menard and if he can take it then we'll have a fight and if not it'll be another early dance. I train really hard for this fight and when I fought Silva my father told everyone that he wasn't going to pass five rounds because I was looking strong and my power is crazy right now. He wound up being wrong by 15-20 seconds. This time around he's telling me that it should be over in less than four rounds."

GL: Does that put extra pressure on you?

TL: "Not at all. Whether I get rid of the guy before or after four rounds, I know I'm going to stop him inside of ten. There's no way in hell that a man is going to take that much of a beating for ten rounds, but if he does, I'll take my hat off to him, but based on the way I dissect fighters there's no way he's going to last ten rounds with me. We train like we're fighting twelve rounds and my conditioning is over the roof right now."

GL: How's your hand feeling? Will you feel confident throwing it with the small gloves back on?

TL: "Absolutely great. I've been using it in training and usually two weeks before the fight I put on the smaller gloves and start hitting just to see how my hands feel. I'm using the gloves that I will be using for the fight, they're not the gloves I'll be fighting in obviously, but they're the ones I'm using in the gym are the same brand and size."

GL: This is your fourth fight at the Garden. None of the first three went longer than two rounds. What's your prediction for this fight?

TL: (laughs) "We're going to do what we came here to do. We're going to put on a show for New York."

GL: What does a victory on Saturday night mean to you?

TL: "It just goes to show everybody that no matter what, even if I'm coming off an injury with surgery it's not going to be anything different. There's not going to be any flaws, no rust, nothing. I'll be back on the same track like I never left. I'm going to keep getting better and better with each fight and plus then there's the celebration and who's going to want to miss that? That's what a lot of people are coming to watch, they know I'm exciting, they know I'm coming to knock my opponent out and then after I do, I'm going to be doing another celebration to get everybody excited."

GL: Would you be disappointed if you weren't world champion by next year at this time?

TL: "I would and if that were the case I would laugh an think that these guys don't really know what they have. That's just my opinion and how I see it. If anything I'll just go to 140 if I have to."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

TL: "I want everybody to know that I'm not just here for now, I'm here for the future and I'm going to take over the sport of boxing. When I hang up my gloves people will mention my name whenever they mention boxing. Make sure everyone is tuned into to ESPN on Saturday night at 9PM ET/6PT and you're going to see greatness in a fighter."



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