For a brief period of time, Teofimo Lopez was on top of the boxing world.
Lopez stunned fans everywhere when he upset Vasyl Lomachenko in October of 2020 to unify the IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine lightweight titles.
But the shine quickly faded when Lopez lost those belts in his following fight to George Kambosos Jr.
Lopez has since rebounded with wins over Pedro Campa and Sandor Martin. But he faces his stiffest test since the loss when he steps into the ring with Josh Taylor on Saturday night for the WBO and Ring Magazine welterweight titles.
Ahead of that fight, Lopez has made some extremely controversial comments.
“I said it like it is: I want to kill Josh Taylor,” Lopez said on the interview posted on YouTube on May 29. “Well, what the f*** does that mean? People are like, ‘Get back to boxing.’ Well, that is boxing. This is what we sign up for,” Lopez said in an interview with the YouTube channel Punsh Drunk Boxing.
Lopez then doubled down during a press conference on Thursday.
“You aim at death for that’s where life begins,” Lopez said. “Everybody is scared of death. I don’t know why. We’re all going to die, but at least if I die, I’m dying for something that means something and will last forever. That’s what greats are all about.”
Boxing, of course, has a dark past with fighters dying as a result of fights. And matches are meant to be an exhibition of skill rather than some craven fight to the death.
Yahoo Sports writer Kevin Iole ripped Lopez for his comments.
“It’s not boxing and it’s not what any fighter signs up for. Anyone who believes that is disturbed and needs help,” Iole wrote
And fans seem to agree.
This is sad to see, no fighter should wish death upon his/her opponent in my opinion. It is a sport at the end of the day, fighters have families that love and support them. Being the reason someone loses their life to win a boxing match is a feeling nobody should want to endure. https://t.co/8L7LRZW9Fn
— ad.boxing (@boxing_ad) June 3, 2023
What a tit, boxing normally teaches people respect
— Anthony Fowler (@afowler06) May 30, 2023
Taylor has since responded in an interview with BroBible’s Jorge Alonso.
“He can come try and take my life, let’s see who is the one who ends up in the back of an ambulance, that may be a horrible comment back but let him come and try, let’s see what happens, good on him,’ he said.
Either way, it appears there’s no love lost between the two.