Teofimo Lopez, Top Ranks Rising Star.

Teofimo Lopez, Top Ranks Rising Star.
By Amanda Armstrong
Photos Amanda Armstrong
While  on the road this year to fights, there has been one young fighter who has caught my eye.
I could not ignore the Brooklyn based Teofimo Lopez. My first encounter was at Madison Square Garden for Conlan VS Ibarra. One young boxer was walking around the Theater shaking hands and smiling before weigh ins. He had stopped to have a lengthy chat with Bob Arum, and both were all smiles and laughter. That night Lopez earned him self another KO on his record in a quick flurry of hand speed. It was also after the fight in the hotel lobby where again I saw Teofimo shaking hands with fans, and hanging out with family. Dressed in a sharp suit he signed his banner and took group photos (yes of course this is where I jump in). After the impromptu photo shoot I got to talk with father and trainer Teofimo Lopez Sr. (aka  Junior Lopez) and Teofimo himself. Both of them professional and polite, and Senior was one delighted father (rightfully so). That night coming off KO #4!

Teofimo Lopez at only 19 years old is now 5-0, and 5 knock outs. He is one of three newly signed Olympians to Top Ranks stable of fighters. This is how you start a career as a prospect! Teofimo Lopez started boxing at the age of 6, he stepped into the competitive ring at the age of 8. Traveling the country and working 6 days a week got him to 2015 National Golden Gloves. Next stop, Olympics. Teofimo set out to earn himself a spot on the team, more focused than ever. Long work outs, later nights got him the wins he needed in the Olympic Qualifiers. That garnered him the accomplishment of “Outstanding Male Boxer” out of the entire tournament. Unfortunately he was not chosen to represent the USA due to AIBA (Amateur International Boxing Association) politics. This quickly crushing the dreams of Teofimo that he has been moving toward since he was 6 years old.
There’s always a plan B…
Being the son of Honduran parents, and holding a dual citizenship gave Team Lopez a second chance at the young fighters dream. He became the only boxer to represent Honduras in the Olympic Continentals ( also the South American qualifier, in Buenos Aires, Argentina). The dream was now alive but he was going to have to have to apply himself even more so for his passion. They were only going to take the top 3 boxers in his weight division, Teofimo would have to work.

Devastating left hook that puts opponents on the canvas. Under card Top Rank Conlan VS Ibarra
Teofimo Lopez VS Daniel Bastien/On Top Rank

The work paid off, making it to the finals after beating Ecuador, Mexico, and Argentina ( the host country). But Teofimo was about to experience another upset by loosing via decision against Venezuela. Many
had believed Teofimo had won and the boo’s were audible. Lopez still performed a backflip in the ring once he lost the decision.
“They didn’t want me to win,” Lopez said. “They came here to see me lose. I’m not Honduran. They called me ‘gringo.’ It’s like a slap in my face.”
Father Teofimo Lopez Sr.;
“I was expecting it,” he said. “They took it from him after he won the Olympic trials too. If we had represented the USA we would probably have had a better chance of winning.
“He won the fight. But I told him from the beginning, you got to kill this guy, otherwise you are not going
to win.”
Teofimo Lopez stayed positive leaving with the Silver and became the only Olympian boxer in all of
Central America.

Back to the Garden in the “Big Room”
Teofimo Lopez VS Ronald Rivas on the Crawford/Diaz under card.
Looking for KO #5 came quickly for Lopez in round 2 of 6, time: 2:21. But it was HOW it was done. It was
in devastating left hook fashion where the final blow came from. Lopez stuck his entire body into that pivot and unload his left hook. Easily taking the head off, leaving Rivas on the canvas wondering where he was.

A quick chat with  Lopez Sr.

I had a quick touch base with Teofimo’s father and trainer ‘Junior’ Lopez the other day. To ask about preparations for the next fight, and when will I see them in Las Vegas:

“Well we been doing this for 14 years we always ready we never stop working he might rest a couple days but we go back to the gym right away he is used to it right now we just working power and speed. Remember he is only 19 years old and hasn’t developed yet he is getting much much stronger every month. We really don’t know but I think we will be fighting in Vegas soon I hope.” 
On Deck
Teofimo Lopez is scheduled to meet with Christian Santibanez (5-6) in Tampa, Florida on July 7th 2017.

A quick look at Crawford VS Diaz

Crawford VS Diaz, brilliantly entertaining, bizarre, and technically stunning boxing.  WBC and WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford was on Saturday night, and the crowd was treated to a show. The entertainment came from the two athletes in the ring, early on there was great back and forth action, ending in post bell stand off. It was an early sign of what was to come…

The bizarre, a couple of times referee Steve Willis had to urge Diaz to come forward to fight. Never before have I heard a stadium erupt in laughter during a fight! At one point the two met in the center NOT throwing punches. I really thought Crawford was challenging Diaz to a dace off in the center of the ring. Again referee Steve Willis tells the fighters to fight.

In later rounds as the domination continues from Crawford it became for wildly entertaining and funny? While Crawford would set up a triple jab for a classic right Diaz would shell up on the ropes. After several set ups of the soft jab in Diaz’ face Crawford would knock on top of his head. As if he was knocking on the door to be let in.  At this point Crawford was the alpha in the ring and he was just there to take the mick out of Diaz.

Technically stunning; Crawford was “King of the Counter Punch” with his uppercuts all evening. Making Diaz eat one after another, after his(Diaz) punches misses. Time after time Crawford sets up a vicious right with a triple jab to smother Diaz leaving him shelled up behind his gloves. It just seemed that Diaz couldn’t get anything else going after the first few rounds.

Another  dangerous place Diaz found him self was up on the ropes. Crawford repeatedly baited Diaz to the ropes to play a game of switch-a-roo, swiftly grabbing his elbow and tossing him into the ropes. There Crawford handed down  combos of 4, to 6 punches every time. It’s a place where you just don’t want to play .

This was probably the most fun I have had during a fight, to think I would find myself that entertained with laughter during a fight. Crawford put on an amazing show with some the best boxing basics. This was a counter punch clinic, a rope work clinic, a setting up the cross clinic.  But each one of those seemed to dismantle Diaz. After 10 rounds trainer Joel Diaz stopped the fight to save his beaten and swollen fighter.

Attendance 8026
Steve Willis calls a halt end of round 10
 Quotes Below from Terence Crawford
1st and foremost I would like to thank God and dedicate this fight to my aunt who recently passed away
I came out SouthPaw because I do what I want in there – it’s my ring
(I did southpaw) Because that’s what i wanted to do
It’s a fight – you can’t be nice in there – my dad taught me as a little kid to be mean in there – you can’t go in there and play around
Who’s next?
Pacquiao – that’s the only fight out there I’m looking for.  Indango came to my fight – where is he? if he is here i am ready to fight him also
But who know s that’s not up to me
Bob Arum he is working on a fight right now and when that fight is over we will see.
Is P4P important to you?
Of course that’s what we all do it for bleed seat that’s what we all do it for.
 Joel Diaz

Olympian Teofimo Lopez goes for KO #5

Friday, May 19th 2017

Madison Square Garden

Photos: Amanda Armstrong

Today, Teofimo Lopez (4-0) weighed in and faced off against Ronald Rivas (5-5-2).  In 2016 Lopez was one of three Olympians signed to Top Rank.  And then in 2017 I was treated to my first Teofimo KO at Madison Square Garden. I had ventured out to cover Conlan VS Ibarra, after watching and meeting Teofimo Lopez I became a fan.  While waiting for Team Ibarra after the fight I ran into Lopez and many of his fans. We did a quick photo session, and ended up having a great conversation about his career. Lopez is a very personable young man and is definitely being ran as a professional business. With this grooming I can see Lopez rising in the ranks to be a super star with Top Rank.

Teofimo Lopez : 134.8

Ronald Rivas : 135.4


To watch the Crawford Diaz under card go to www.TopRank.TV .