By Tré Berry III | 10/20/2020
(Entering into the conversation a couple of ways)
BOXER: 🇭🇳🇺🇸Teofimo “Takeover” Lopez🇺🇸🇭🇳
FEATS ACCOMPLISHED: Successfully Becoming the Youngest Undisputed World Champion in The 4-Belt Title Era, Also Becoming the First Latin Blooded Undisputed World Champion in Boxing Since the Great Roberto Duran
THE PATH TO THE GOAL: The journey of the young fighter out of Brooklyn, New York City – has been fun ,and though we have no idea where it will go from this moment forth, that only adds to the excitement. As for this snapshot in time where he sits and pivots at the absolute pinnacle of his young career, 🇭🇳🇺🇸Teofimo “Takeover” Lopez (16-0-0, 12KO) also secured a couple noteworthy achievements en route to his grand victory on Saturday night over acclaimed boxing legend Vasiliy Lomachenko. It is time to delve into what he was able to accomplish for him and his brand going forward.
LOPEZ – A BOXING DREAM NOT DEFERRED
The young strong fighter of Hondurian descent had dreams of becoming a Champion, and more. Fully confident in his beliefs, he catered his mindset to the “speak it, believe it, receive it“ mantra, and worked hard in the gym, working as hard as the belief he had in himself. He is an avid fan of Martial Arts legend/philosophical pioneer Bruce Lee, and as a young man, he has the privilege of studying his moves, and his messaging on media platforms to process, and incorporate for himself. The one message that he gravitated towards was Bruce’s famous “be like water” statement said in an interview.
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” – BRUCE LEE
While the world has gravitated to this saying the most out of Mr. Lee’s quotables, only few understand the true context in which it means. You have to be 🚰formless, and be cognizant about not succumbing to the pitfalls about strictly holding on to one philosophy in the face of circumstances that challenges firmly what you believe with merit. Being formless is the quintessential way to adapt to any circumstance that you find yourself in, and that is where Teofimo Lopez last Saturday showcased his ability to think, counterpunch, and to adapt to multiple looks without becoming a victim of his own rigidity.
A WEALTH OF DATA IS A WEALTH OF TIME
Against Lomachenko, in the early going of the fight, Lopez was able to change multiple looks to give Loma a boatload of information to 💽download, which as we all know in this era of our lives, it takes a while to transfer data on and off of your 🖥️computer/devices, and the more data it holds, the longer it will take. The correlation between that analogy (if you will), and what had transpired in the fight is that Vasya took an unusual amount of time circling away from the action in the first portion of the fight to analyze Teofimo’s movement, and time can be your enemy if not properly managed.
Now to be clear, Lomachenko was equally hampered by his father 🗣️Anatoliy’s gameplan – but we will get to that another day. As for Teofimo’s part in the narrative, and direction of the story, he was able to work in the spots where Lomachenko was left rendering and watching, which with all components spoken of up top, were the main proponents to why Lopez jumped out to a lead in the first half of the fight.
GUT-CHECK TIME REVEALED POSITIVE RESULTS FOR TEOFIMO LOPEZ
In the second half of the fight was when Lomachenko decided to press heavy on the gas-pedal and finally come forward with his patented 🤺fencing-like probe of the right hand, taking the close angles and landing unorthodox combinations in abundance. Teofimo landed just enough to keep himself from getting physically overtaken by the aggressiveness that was absent from the Ukrainian’s 🧰toolkit in the first part of the fight. Lopez looked deadset on trying to land the sneak right uppercut, getting in a couple, but most of them were picked off by Lomachenko back-arm positioning, and weaving out of the way, getting his head off of the line.
A note to now make public – I was in the post-fight presser after Teofimo’s demolition of 🇬🇭Richard “RC” Commey, and I stood next to Teofimo’s Father/Trainer. I overheard him in a conversation state that they had a secret punch in the bag for Lomachenko, and viewing how the fight played out, it was abundantly clear that they wanted to use the right uppercut at the proper angle to catch Lomachenko coming in, though that didn’t quite plan out the way they wanted to, so they altered their approach in live time to shift towards differing tactics.
Teo did a decent enough job there in adapting, opting to hit the body with the right hook whenever Loma would spin out to his right, making enough contact to where the elbow could not reach down to, just to keep Lomachenko honest. While Lomachenko was rampaging and causing a 🌪️serious storm in the second phase of the contest, Lopez never lost his wits about him, or allowed his confidence to dwindle.
No one but the 📝Judges knew where the official scoring was, but with the final round manifesting, Teofimo fought with sheer guts and showed the true heart, and disposition of a Champion – as did his opponent, but what we tangibly knew about Lomachenko, we didn’t tangibly see from Lopez in a tough spot in his career, until the time where he NEEDED to be that resolve or pillar of mental strength, so one thing that Lopez can hang his hat on and forever be proud of, is that he surely “behaved” like a true Champion in his biggest moment.
As Teofimo behaved like a true Champion, the judges awarded him of his efforts and rendered him a true Champion, unifying all RING/WBA/WBO/IBF/WBC “Franchise” Titles to become the Undisputed Lightweight Champion of the World. At the age of 23, he is the youngest Undisputed Champion since the 4-world-title alphabet era. Lopez is also the 1st Latin boxer in 42 years to become Undisputed Champion since Panamanian boxing legend 🇵🇦Roberto Duran did so in the same division, by unifying the WBA and WBC Titles, defeating rival and fellow great 🇵🇷Esteban DeJesus in their rubber match.
Certainly the cherry on top for Mr. Lopez is to be recognized in that light in possession of everything, to further accentuate his proud nature as a Honduran-American, and writing a piece of history that allows him to celebrate where his blood resides, as well as the strings that are attached to him back home in the Big Apple, 🍎🗽New York City – the most famous city in the world, whom he now has in the palm of his hands.