Teofimo Lopez wants to win ‘triple crown’ of boxing against Terence Crawford

“My thing now is going for a triple crown,” said Teofimo Lopez.

The enigmatic king of the 140lbs division was speaking exclusively to ProBox TV, and discussing his career achievements. He has been recognised as the top dog at both lightweight and junior-welterweight, and despite facing Jamaine Ortiz at 140 on Thursday in Las Vegas, Lopez is more than happy to move up in weight in his bid to scalp another big-name champion. And the man in his sights is welterweight supremo Terence Crawford.

“We did two of them,” Teo said, talking about ruling two weight classes. “135 was Loma, [140 was] Josh Taylor. Now I want 147, Crawford. And if it’s not Crawford at ’47 then we will do it at ’54. It’s okay with me.” 

Then, Lopez tried to explain why he would feel comfortable jumping two divisions to box at junior-middleweight.

“You’ve got to understand, look at Floyd Mayweather, he would weigh in at 154 probably weighing 151, and these guys maybe blow up at 170-180, and that didn’t stop him from beating the breaks off them,” Lopez explained. “It’s not about the weight bully, when I faced Josh Taylor, we boxed 12 rounds and he fought dirty and the referee allowed it and he was putting all his 168lbs on my body. Big dude, by the way. Tallest dude I will ever face and he was like a giant. I could see why he beat these guys, like Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez. So when it came to it, it’s not about the weight bully. That’s a myth.” 

Lopez said that he has been dropping sparring partners – to the head and body – and he says his passion for the sport is rekindled, to the extent that he wants to make boxing better.

“Boxing made me who I am today, so all I can do is play it forward,” said Lopez. “That’s the only thing that keeps my passion, it keeps that flame, that burning heart, and I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for boxing, building me from a boy to a man.” 

Of course, there are plenty of opponents around his own weight, without having to make the leap to Crawford, but Lopez does not think his own rivals want to face him.

“I waited for Tank Davis and nothing,” Lopez continued. “I waited for Devin Haney. Nothing. I waited for Terence Crawford. Nothing. Nobody is holding down. Everybody is just collecting what’s theirs, and saying, ‘This is mine, I’ve got to take care of me and my family’. Yes, you do, but what about the next generation behind us that are looking up to us and saying, ‘That’s the fighter I want to be like?’ That’s inspiration.” 

Now Lopez insists: “It is set in stone for me to fix boxing,” and that he “Came back to make boxing great again.”

“I know as long as I keep facing the fighters, calling out champions like Terence Crawford, people are like, ‘This man’s crazy’,” Lopez joked. “Well, yeah, I’m crazy. I’m crazy to be great. “When was that a problem? Roberto Duran fought all of the other Four Kings and is a guy everyone respects highly. Muhammad Ali faced Joe Frazier and so many other great champions and got dropped in front of the world. Who cares? You go, and you stand up… I have one loss and did that stop me from becoming a two-time undisputed world champion? “It has finally fallen on to me. Tank doesn’t have a loss. Devin Haney doesn’t have a loss. Ryan Garcia may have a loss, but it was against Tank in a moment that they needed. Terence Crawford doesn’t have a loss, all these guys are undefeated, still have their O. It was great and all, when it was Floyd Mayweather. This is not the Floyd Mayweather era. This is bringing boxing back to what it was before, the best fighting the best whether they had a win or a loss.”

Lopez reckons Ortiz will not make it beyond four rounds, because Teofimo’s “man strength is kicking in.”

He also said being part of a show is important to him, and that he is “bringing back the Prince Naseem [Hamed] times.”

“You’re going to see a show before the show...” Lopez promised. “We’re going to bring back boxing in an entertainment way.” 

Lopez is 25 and already calling himself a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, based on what he has done so far. But he is not just happy talking about the sport, he wants to talk about the business, about how he has attracted large sponsors, including Busch, Beats and the energy drink Reign. And while he is happy boxing in America, he knows there is plenty of action elsewhere. 

“Everyone’s going to Saudi Arabia, and love to the Prince, His Excellency and all that but it’s like, ‘Come on guys, you guys are just doing it for the money pit and boxing’s just starting to realise that,” said Lopez. 

“We lost our twin towers. We lost Showtime and HBO. Boxing’s on its way out. DAZN boxing’s about to be done,” he claimed. 

But when Lopez looks at his own future, it is hard for him not to bring it back to the brilliant Crawford.

“A lot of people don’t want to invest in me just yet because they think the George Kambosos situation is going to come against Jamaine Ortiz, I already know that,” Lopez said. “I’m going to make that nine-figure check. I promise you. I believe it [the Crawford fight] will happen in 2025. That I believe… I challenged him because I’m the better fighter. I’m great. They never faced a fighter like me. Ever. … I’m not even in my prime. I’m 26. I’m a baby in boxing.”