Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr emanates from LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida on Saturday, June 19th. The next event from Triller Fight Club broadcasts on pay-per-view via FITE TV.
This clash for the undisputed lightweight world championships (WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, and The Ring) tops the marquee of this card. I was able to speak with reigning undisputed champ Teofimo Lopez ahead of this high-stakes clash.
Lopez vs Kambosos Jr
I saw an Instagram post of yours from earlier on in the month. You were shouting out Ray Boom Boom Mancini becoming WBA lightweight champion of the world.
I’m kind of curious just with you on this individual journey carving out your own legacy as a champion, how important is it to you to also be mindful and appreciative of that history?
“I’ll be honest, I look up to all those guys. They all paved the way for all of us. I mean we’re all here today and why we still love the sport of boxing is because we think about those old times too. I guess a lot of us probably would love to go back in time. Just enjoy a little bit more, you know. The game has changed. People want to make X amount of dollars without facing the tough competition, you know, and it’s ridiculous. I look at it like this man, winning all those belts, I envisioned it. I felt it and I already had dreamt it over the years, you know.”
“Our goal is always to become undisputed world champion or world champion. I got to that. But winning the RING Magazine (belt) and when I received it in the mail, I cried. I cried, why? Because I know the background to it all. It’s been in the game since 1922. Jack Dempsey has worn it and so many other great champions have held that belt. So I know the honor of carrying that belt. I appreciate the sport. I love boxing, I really do. And it breaks my heart to see how these corrupted middlemen just get involved.”
“And they think that it’s okay for them to try to take all the pie and we’re over there risking our lives. But, you know, getting away from the political part, my whole thing is I just know that the boxing gods are right behind me, man. And they support it, you know. That’s why I always give acknowledgment to Boom Boom Mancini. We got Larry Holmes, we have Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson. I mean, the list could go on and on of all the great champions that have paved the way for me. That have paved the way for all of us.”
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I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.