We the people in media dig drama, and so sometimes we make it seem like there’s more of it present than there actually is.
That could be the case in the matter of Teofimo Lopez. The Brooklyn born boxer, fighting under the Top Rank umbrella, was by the middle to end of last year and into earlier 2019 the hottest prospect going. Then, he came back down to earth just a bit. We the press heard whispers before his April bout against Edis Tatli, and unspecified references to a less than smooth camp. Then, we got the fuller picture, of sorts, when Lopez, age 22, shared that he’d been dealing with rough waters in the area of family life. Not everyone in his family approved of his relationship with his girlfriend, who then became his wife, we heard. And that was spurring drama, and that drama was affecting his training, and he said, his showing in his July 19 scrap versus Masayoshi Nakatani, in Maryland.
..won but he didn’t dominate, he didn’t gain one of those viral video KOs…and afterwards, he told Max Kellerman that his camp wasn’t as good as it could have been, because family matters were affecting his head. THAT has to get sorted, before he can move forward and continue to be the sort of prospect-contender that his backers and excited fans had supposed, he shared.
So, where is his head at? Is he getting things back to a stable place, which will have him able to glove up with his body and brain in sync?
I asked Lopez’ manager, David McWater, for an update on Lopez, and when he might be fighting next.
First off, McWater said he thinks the family drama deal isn’t the stuff of stunner soap operatics. So, Lopez isn’t going to up and retire over it? “He’s fine,” McWater told me. “Lot of hype.”
Talks are being held now, between Team Lopez and Top Rank, and Team Richard Commey, about a date and a site and all that. Commey, the classy hitter from Ghana, holds the IBF 130 pound strap.
“We’re trying for Madison Square Garden (the Theater),” said McWater, who low-key is now one of the topmost managers in the game. “November is the likely landing place for that scrap, he said, with “an outside chance of December.”
Teofimo’s dad is a driven type, and some outside looking in wonder if maybe that father-son dynamic could be a little charged. I asked the Split-T boss McWater if he had any insight there…I mean, could there be a chance that Teofimo brings in a co-trainer, to augment dad’s presence?
“Training is his father’s area, I don’t get involved,” the manager said. “But I do believe Teofimo wants to bring in an ore experienced second.”
Young fighters, just about every darn one, experiences growing pains, in one form or another.
With high expectations comes more chatter, more people focusing on you, and the pressure can grow. The best ones adapt, as the best ones adapt in the ring when one thing isn’t working as well as hoped. Right now, Teofimo is in trying-to-adapt mode. My guess is he succeeds, he has been a high achiever to now, and that typically holds true moving forward, even in rockier terrain times.
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Woods hosts the Everlast “Talkbox” podcast, now in its third year of existence. Latest guests are Vergil Ortiz Jr and Andrew Cancio.