Trying to understand the motivations of some people can be a losing proposition.
Take former lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez who fights Josh Taylor on June 10th in New York City.
Last week he said, “I want to kill Josh Taylor,’ said Lopez – “What he f##k does that mean? Well, let’s get back to boxing. That is boxing. You’re probably going to lose your life.”
Talking about killing an opponent is asking for it. And Lopez received it in droves. Classless.
Deontay Wilder did the same thing a few years ago.
One boxing fan suggested Lopez needs psychological help. Another called him out for making an idiotic statement.
According to reports, Lopez came close to dying last December after losing his belt to George Kambosos. Air was surrounding his chest and heart – plus his neck. A punch in the right spot – could have rendered him down and unable to breathe.
A brush with death can change a person – usually for the better. Not seeing that in Lopez. I, along with Dennis Taylor, interviewed Lopez five years ago. He was nice and polite.
Winning said title from Vasyl Lomachenko has been anything but dreamy for Lopez. His life is chaotic at best. Fights with his family are commonplace.
His wife is divorcing him. Even his boxing ability has come under fire.
Lopez was fortunate to get the nod over Sandor Martin last December.
After the bout, he was overheard in his corner muttering, “Bro, do I still have it, man.”?
Kambosos said, “Teofimo looks mentally not there anymore. His interviews are strange, with him saying things he can’t possibly believe.”
Lopez later said he didn’t mean it, He’s fine – bragging as much as usual.
Former undisputed champion Taylor, winner of 19 straight fights, has likely never had a crisis of confidence. Even his razor-thin over crafty Jack Catterall in Glasgow seemingly had no public effect on Taylor.
Taylor has grown tired of Lopez – walking out on a joint interview conducted at badleftkook.com
“I’ve heard enough of this guy,” said Taylor, getting up from his seat. “Hey, I’ve had enough of listening to you waffling on, a lot of shit.”
“30 years old (actually 32), he’s gotta leave,” Lopez said after Taylor exited the room. “He’s gotta leave, all good. Hey, but we stay.”
If Lopez loses to Taylor, many will be insisting he leave. He won’t.
The guys in the white suits might get him first. Lopez has fought 18 fights, with 13 knockouts. His power can be scary.
Taylor holds victories over Miguel Vasquez, Viktor Postol, Ryan Martin, Ivan Baranchyk, and Jose Ramirez. He captured the Muhammad Ali trophy by defeating talented Regis Prograis in 2019. His fights are usually exciting. Southpaw Taylor likes to mix it up. Finding the aggressive Lopez won’t be a problem. Taylor wants a knockout.
“I won’t predict a round, but I can knock him out. If I don’t knock him out, I will punish him.”
The oddsmakers have installed Taylor as a slight favorite.
Both fighters are coming off uneven performances. Lopez should be near or in his prime. He’s the more talented fighter, but that alone doesn’t guarantee victory.
So much to prove, so much to lose.
If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”
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