By: Hans Themistode
There’s a question currently circulating around boxing circles. One that, depending whom is asked, the answer varies mightily.
It’s safe to say that this current generation of boxing stars is spearheaded by the likes of Terence Crawford, Tyson Fury, Errol Spence Jr. and a long list of others. However, Canelo Alvarez currently sits atop the majority of pound for pound lists and is viewed as the cream of the crop.
The next generation of fighters has many young bright stars such as Ryan Garcia, Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, etc. Each of those aforementioned names has reason to believe that they will carry the torch as the face of boxing for years to come. But there is one name who is firmly under the belief that his current body of work makes him the clear next head honcho.
“I’m the leader of the new gen,” said undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez during an interview with Fight Hub TV.
The assertions of Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) makes his young competition apoplectic. At every turn, the Brooklyn native finds his name brought up in conversations surrounding possible showdowns. Whether it’s the persistent call outs from WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney or the bold knockout threats of Gervonta Davis, Lopez finds his name in the headlines often.
While he doesn’t mind being provoked into a fight, Lopez is busy scrolling through each man’s resume. After taking several minutes to read off each name, the surly knockout artist quickly realizes that they are all unworthy.
“I’m not saying no to these fights but in order to prove that you are competition to me then you have to show me something. They fighting over each other’s leftovers. I’m looking at another meal.”
For Lopez, claiming the scalps of both Richard Commey and Vasiliy Lomachenko has not only vaulted him into the pound for pound discussion, but it has also left his trophy room overflowing with gold. Despite Haney holding the WBC lightweight title and regardless of Davis possessing the WBA “Regular” belt, their trinkets play second fiddle to the one’s currently wrapped around the waist of Lopez.
So while his contemporaries continue their efforts to call the shots as to when and where a matchup with Lopez will take place, the 23-year-old simply shakes his head and reminds them that everything he has accomplished has made him the boss of the next generation.
“Last time I checked I got all the belts, last time I checked I’m highly respected. And last time I checked, I earned my stripes. I don’t say no to any of these fights but I lead, I don’t follow.”