There was a time when Teofimo Lopez’s brash demeanor and unfiltered trash talk was seen as a positive. It was almost a breath of fresh air in a world of canned, predictable fighter talk.
That time has passed.
The 25-year-old Lopez now looks more unhinged than unfiltered and has transitioned from “he speaks his mind” to “somebody have a talk with this kid.”
In his most recent foray into off-putting, self-delusional nuttiness, the former three-belt lightweight world champion has talked about actually wanting to kill upcoming opponent Josh Taylor.
The killing talk actually began awhile back in his now infamous racially-charged interview with Punsh Drunk Boxing where said he was leaving ESPN and that “If they want the black fighters they can keep them.” In that masterpiece of career self-sabotage, Lopez also bragged about being able to legally kill a man in boxing.
Well, Lopez recently came back to Punsh Drunk Boxing for another go at looking goofy AF and he would double down on the “killing” talk.
“I said it like it is. I want to kill Josh Taylor,” Lopez confirmed. “What the f**k does that mean? Well, let’s get back to boxing. That is boxing. You’re probably going to lose your life. What does that mean? This is what we sign up for. If I’m going to die in the ring, I went out like a champ. Boxing today is the gladiator days.
When I fought Loma, I took his heart, especially in that twelfth round when I said ‘come on’ and he pulled back. See, I took your heart. Boom. Won the fight. With Taylor, he got no heart. Taylor got no heart, so what can I really take from this man? His life. His life. And the only way I’m going to make a statement is by doing that. I’m not sorry about that…How do I put fear in everyone else’s eyes. How do I put fear on fear’s eyes? Take a man’s life….We’re going to fight anyways. I’m not fighting him as a businessman. No, I don’t like nobody. I don’t like nobody…I’m sorry. I know people are going to really twist my words again on this one, but, you know something? I don’t give a flying f**k. I don’t care. Because this is the sport that we are in.”
The 32-year-old “Tartan Tornado” and reigning WBO junior welterweight champ, Josh Taylor, hasn’t been shy about playing junior psychologist when it comes to Teofimo Lopez.
“[There’s] A little bit of bravado, a sort of front and then you see the fragility of him on camera in his last couple of fights,” Taylor said of Lopez’s state of mind.
“So you can see he’s a little bit fragile and a little bit mentally weak. So I can definitely use that to my advantage.
“He might be doubting himself, maybe thinking ‘I’m not as good as I thought I was or as big and strong as I thought I was.’ Putting a lot of pressure on himself by talking so much nonsense that he talks, him and his dad.
“Putting a lot of pressure on his own shoulders. So I think that’s maybe got to him a bit in recent times.
“I do think he’s a little bit fragile mentally sometimes. Yes I do.”
On June 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York, Lopez could very well be facing the toughest challenge of his career in Taylor. The burden of proof will be on him to prove that he is not only of sound body, but of sound mind. From everything he’s displayed publicly for at least the last couple years, the latter is doubtful.