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Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on DAZN.com.
Teofimo Lopez doesn’t hold back when discussing the impact that 2021 has had on him.
The world’s premier lightweight intended to spend the year as active as possible but numerous circumstances out of his control have prevented him from pushing on with his career after being named the best fighter of 2020.
Dogged by Triller’s inability to stage his mandatory defense against George Kambosos Jr. combined with enduring the effects of COVID-19, the last 13 months have been turbulent for the Brooklyn fighter. At 24 and with time on his side to make up for lost time, Lopez remains positive even though some frustration did set in.
“I should’ve just retired,” jokes Lopez to DAZN, a grin adorning his face as he reflects on the most recent period of his young career. “For you, it’s been a year, for me, a fighter, it feels like five or 10 years. Everything happens the way it does and I still trust in the process.
“I definitely would’ve loved it to fight more this year and that’s what the goal was, to fight two or three times this year, but things happen. I got COVID, [Triller] postponed the fight numerous times. I’m here now, it’s fight week and I’m going to make sure that 2022 is my year.”
With disappointment well and truly behind him, Lopez’s focus stretches far as he knows he has the potential to land multiple superfights over the next few years. First up is Kambosos, and despite the Australian not possessing the profile of Gervonta Davis or Ryan Garcia, the challenger is confident.
Lopez is insistent that his imminent opponent won’t make it out of the first round.
“I can switch the momentum when I need to and that’s a key factor in my arsenal,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what this guy can do. I’m looking forward to a one round war. I honestly don’t think this fight will go past the first round.
“I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been stopping sparring partners to head and body. I’m praying it’s worse than the Mason Menard fight.”
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