Boxing Star Teofimo Lopez I'm Gonna Slap The S**t Outta Vasyl Lomachenko

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NO CHALLENGE TOO BIG
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Teofimo Lopez says the violence won't end when the bell rings Saturday night ... 'cause he's promising to attack the world's top pound-for-pound boxer -- and he even wrote the TMZ headline for when it goes down.

"Teofimo Slaps The S**t Outta Viva Lomachenko!!"

Yeah, he's probably playin' around ... but you get the point. Teofimo wants to put hands on Lomachenko.

22-year old Lopez is 14-0 with 11 KOs ... and is considered one of the best young prospects in the entire sport.

He's fighting IBF champ Richard Commey Saturday night at Madison Square Garden ... and, while he's super focused on keeping that undefeated record, he admits he's got his eye on a fight with Vasyl Lomachenko.

"I think Saturday night, I kinda put the exclamation point on it, showing everybody that we are ready to take on who they say is the pound-for-pound best. For me, I don't see him as the pound-for-pound best."

If Teofimo wins, a fight with Vasyl is likely to go down in 2020 ... or sooner. As in Saturday night ... 'cause Lopez says VL will be in the building

"He'll be in New York for the fight and everything to watch ringside," Lopez says ...

"So, I get to slap him afterward. It'll be cool."

Keep your head on a swivel, Vasyl.

Leon Spinks Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer ... 'Showing Signs of Improvement'

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Boxing legend Leon Spinks is battling prostate cancer that spread to his bladder -- but the family is hopeful he'll pull through.

TMZ Sports broke the story ... 66-year-old Spinks has been fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital.

Now, a family spokesperson is revealing more details about Leon's condition.

"Leon is currently in intensive care of a Las Vegas hospital receiving attentive medical care to suppress prostate cancer which he was diagnosed with earlier this year and has since spread to his bladder."

"The last few months have been an agonizing roller coaster for Leon and his wife, Brenda, with continuous hospital stays."

"Leon is showing small signs of improvement and progress. A miraculous fighter his entire life, we are optimistic and hopeful that he will  move out of ICU soon."

"The power of prayer is real and his family is beyond grateful for all of the tremendous love and support."

Spinks is in the boxing Hall of Fame -- he most famously defeated Muhammad Ali in 1978.

Deontay Wilder Blessed Bomber!!! 1-on-1 With Pope Francis

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Warning to all of Deontay Wilder's future opponents -- the dude's got The Holy One on his side now ... 'cause the Bronze Bomber met Pope Francis!!

The WBC heavyweight champ and his fiancee, Telli Swift, -- who runs the Boxing WAGS Association -- hit up the Vatican after visiting a children's hospital in Rome on Friday -- flying all the way across the world to see the Pope -- and they got the VIP treatment!!

"What a honor it was to meet the #Pope @franciscus today," Wilder said of the visit. "He’s truly a remarkable man that represents True Love, Happiness and World Peace for all human race."

What's even cooler -- Wilder brought a pair of boxing gloves for Francis to sign ... and he happily obliged!!

It appears the 2 really hit it off, 'cause Wilder revealed they talked pizza and boxing ... and it turns out Francis is a fan!!

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"you know he’s apart of the #BombZquad Family Baby."

"Much love from me Pope Francis and I’m wishing you many many blessings your way"

Pope Francis has turned into a bit of a sports fanatic recently ... he was also gifted a signed Lamar Jackson jersey last week!!

And, just for the hell heck of it -- BOOOOOOOOMB SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!!!!!

Larry Holmes I Didn't Always Like Leon Spinks ... But I'm Praying for Him

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WISH HIM THE BEST
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Pure honesty from Larry Holmes ... who says his decades-old feud with Leon Spinks was real and mean, but he's praying for his old rival to fight through his current medical crisis.

If you know your boxing history ... you know Holmes had REAL animosity for both Leon and his brother Michael Spinks.

In fact, Holmes knocked out Leon in the 3rd round of their 1981 title fight -- only to get beat TWICE by Leon's bro Michael later in his career.

Now, with Leon fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital, we asked Holmes how he felt about the situation ... and his response was about as real as it gets.

"Leon was a fighter that ... if you ain't ready, don't get in the ring with him! Because he's ready. He fought hard, man."

Here's where things got real ...

"I didn't really like him as much as a fighter because he said some things to my wife that I didn't like," Holmes said ... "And, I held it back on him a little bit."

"But, when it came down to me fighting him, he was total different guy."

Holmes added, "You don't want to kick a man while he's down. That's what a lot of people want you to do, kill him while he's down. I don't want to do that. I'm not mercenary. I got in the boxing game to make money, to take care of my family. Not to hurt nobody."

"And, I hope that I didn't hurt him, but I probably was one of the guys that caused whatever problem that he's having now."

Now, Holmes says he's calling for the entire boxing community to pray for Larry -- explaining, "He was one guy that he gave it his all."

Amanda Nunes Warns Claressa Shields ... Fighting Me Would Be Grave Mistake

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TRY SOMEONE ELSE
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UFC champ Amanda Nunes says it would be "impossible" for Claressa Shields to beat her in an MMA fight ... and she's warning the boxing star to back down before she gets hurt.

Shields is the biggest star in women's boxing by far -- she's undefeated, holds multiple belts and Olympic gold medals. But, she REALLY wants to fight Amanda and recently started MMA training in hopes of making it happen.

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The good news for Shields ... Dana White told us he's interested.

The bad news for Shields ... Amanda says she would SQUASH Claressa like a bug.

In fact, Amanda's fiancee Nina Ansaroff -- the #5 ranked UFC women's strawweight fighter -- thinks Shields is in for a rude awakening about the difference between MMA and boxing.

"She would have to win enough fights to even get into the UFC to even see Amanda. I don’t think that’s possible. Because there’s girls now that are coming from a wrestling background."

Amanda added, "We can get a girl from low rank right now in 135 and put her to fight. [Shields] wouldn’t pass the 1st round."

More bad news for Shields ... if an MMA fight doesn't happen, Nunes says she has ZERO interest in taking a boxing match with Claressa.

"I'm not a boxer, I’m an MMA fighter. If I wanted to be a boxer, I would be."

Meanwhile, Nunes is gearing up to fight Germaine de Randamie on Dec. 14 at UFC 245 -- guessing Shields will be watching.

Boxing Legend Leon Spinks Hospitalized In Vegas ... 'Fighting for His Life'

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6:12 AM PT -- 12/12 -- A spokesperson for the Spinks family gave TMZ Sports a statement, saying ... "Leon is currently hospitalized and in the care of an exceptional team of doctors. We kindly request that privacy be given to his family at this time."

"His wife Brenda and their family would like to graciously thank all of Leon's friends and fans for all of the outpouring support of love and prayers."

Boxing legend Leon Spinks -- who famously beat Muhammad Ali in 1978 -- is fighting for his life in a Vegas hospital, TMZ Sports has learned ... and his wife is asking for prayers.

Details surrounding the 66-year-old's condition are unclear -- but we know his family and friends are very concerned.

In fact, Leon's wife, Brenda, went to social media saying, "Reaching out to ask you to kindly send some prayers out for my Beautiful Husband Leon so that he may overcome the obstacles that have crossed his path."

Spinks has fought back from serious medical situations in the past -- he was hospitalized in 2014 after a piece of bone from a chicken wing caused major damage to his intestines.

The boxer underwent several surgeries and spent weeks recovering at a rehabilitation center.

Spinks is a boxing legend -- he was inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame in 2017.

His 1978 victory over Muhammad Ali to win the heavyweight championship of the world is widely considered one of the greatest upsets in boxing history.

Spinks is also a military veteran who served in the U.S. Marines from 1973 to 1976.

Originally Published -- 12/11 10:37 AM PT

Manny Pacquiao Gets College Diploma ... I'm An Inspiration!!!

The average starting salary for a college graduate is $50,000 ... so good news, Manny Pacquiao -- you're finally gonna make some money!

The 40-year-old boxing superstar just got his diploma from the University of Makati in the Philippines, joining more than 400 other graduates Wednesday at a massive ceremony in his home country.

Pac only announced his decision to attend Makati to try and earn a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science (Local Govt.) earlier this year ... so he clearly moved fast through the program!

Of course, Manny is a Senator in the Philippines -- so, guess it's good he's learning more about his field, right?

After the graduation, Manny issued a statement about his achievement ... saying, "It is never too late to dream bigger dreams. It is never too late to accomplish our dreams."

He added, "I am excited to receive my diploma and display it on the wall."

"Let this victory outside the boxing ring serve as an inspiration for people who are struggling to fight, to rise above adversity, to conquer and to embrace life and all its difficulties.

FYI, Manny has reportedly made around $500 million in his celebrated boxing career -- with a possible mega-rematch with Floyd Mayweather on the horizon.

But yeah, stay in school kids.

Jussie Smollett 'Attacker' Clout Keeps Coming ... Meets Floyd Mayweather!!!

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One of Jussie Smollett's alleged "attackers" is on a roll -- shortly after starring in his first movie ... he's hanging out with one of the biggest celeb athletes in the world.

Abel Osundairo met up with Floyd Mayweather this weekend at the undefeated fighter's gym in Las Vegas ... then hit up his club later on for more face time with the boxing champ.

We broke the story ... Abel's been training with Floyd's renowned trainer, Nate "The Snake" Jones, in order to advance his own promising boxing career after winning a title in Chicago's Golden Gloves tourney in April -- a fight that wasn't staged!

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We're told Abel's preparing to give it a shot at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo -- representing his home nation, Nigeria -- and meeting with Money Mayweather should provide a ton of inspiration.

The Osundairo bro isn't just succeeding in boxing either ... he's on the up and up in the showbiz world too. We broke the story ... he landed the lead role in the low-budget film, "Friends Family & Lovers," directed and cowritten by the guy who also cowrote the Master P produced comedy "I Got the Hook-Up 2."

It didn't earn any Golden Globes noms or anything ... but still. Ever since being linked to Smollett's "hate crime" in Chicago on that bitter, cold night in January ... Abel's been heating up.

Can't say the same for Jussie.

LL Cool J Drops Truth Bomb on Andy Ruiz ... You Blew It!!!

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KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE
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LL Cool J says Andy Ruiz broke the golden rule when it comes to STAYING successful -- he got comfortable.

If you know LL, you know he's a HUGE boxing fan (see: "Mama Said Knock You Out") ... and it's obvious he was disappointed to see Ruiz blow his run as heavyweight champ.

Ruiz told TMZ Sports he didn't take training camp seriously and "ate everything" -- which is why he showed up to the Anthony Joshua rematch 15 pounds heavier than their first fight.

PARTY ANIMAL
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"At the end of the day when you step in the ring you gotta be ready. And, if you’re not ready for whatever reason it doesn’t matter, you win or you lose," LL said ... "And he wasn’t ready."

"I got respect for [Ruiz]," the rap legend explained -- but he noted, "You can’t come into the ring 16 pounds heavier!"

LL knows a little something about sustained greatness -- he's been famous for almost 4 decades -- and he had a little advice for Ruiz moving forward.

"It’s the things you do in the valley that gets you to the peaks. And, it’s the things you do at the peaks that extend the peaks. Part of being great at anything is having the discipline to stay focused when you’re successful."

Listen to LL. He knows.

Deontay Wilder Rips Anthony Joshua 'You're Boring, Scared and Full of S**t'

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I'M HIS WORST NIGHTMARE
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Deontay Wilder just WENT OFF on Anthony Joshua -- saying he fought Andy Ruiz like a COWARD ... and says AJ will get "demolished" if they ever get in the ring together.

"He didn't want no engagement," Wilder said about the Ruiz fight ... "He was just scared."

"You got a 6-inch height advantage, you got an 8-inch reach advantage. Why is you running from the smaller guy?"

Wilder says Joshua's style was boring as hell -- "Punch, hold and grab like you scared of confrontation!"

"When you're dealing with Deontay Wilder ... I woulda came in and demolished him!"

AJ has said his plan is to eventually fight Wilder to unite the heavyweight belts, but Deontay says AJ is full of crap ... claiming Joshua wants absolutely NO SMOKE.

"He definitely don't want me, for sure. I live in his dreams, I'm his worst nightmare."

"A lot of people read into [Joshua's] bulls**t and we can understand and identify and we know it's bulls**t coming out of his mouth. We just don't have enough toilet paper to wipe it as it comes."

Bottom line ... Wilder says he's ready to destroy Joshua whenever AJ is willing to sign the contract -- but he ain't holding his breath.

In the meantime, Wilder is gearing up for his own rematch against Tyson Fury in what could be the best fight of 2020.

Stay tuned!!!

Andy Ruiz On Anthony Joshua Loss ... I Partied Too Hard and Ate Everything!

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PARTY ANIMAL
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"I think I ate everything ... EVERYTHING ... that's why I gained so much weight."

That's Andy Ruiz keeping it all the way real about his loss to Anthony Joshua -- admitting to TMZ Sports he just let himself go leading up to the rematch.

"I was having too much fun, I was celebrating too much," the former heavyweight champ told us at LAX.

Ruiz says his partying was also out of control leading to the Dec. 7 fight in Saudi Arabia -- "Just being with my friends and just celebrating. Drinking a few more Coronas than I should have."

FYI, Ruiz weighed in at 284 lbs for the rematch -- 15 pounds heavier than his weight for the June 1 fight, when he shocked the world with a 7th round TKO over the British superstar.

Still, Andy tells us he was impressed with his performance despite being out of championship shape.

"Even out of shape, even the way that I was training back and forth (between Mexico and California) ... f**king, I did pretty good, dude! I did pretty good! But, I wish I had taken it more serious."

Ruiz lost via unanimous decision -- and even though he suffered a gnarly cut over his eye in the fight, he's in pretty good spirits. He also showed us the cut and it's already all stitched up.

Now, Ruiz says he plans to take some time off and hang with his family before trying to lock down a 3rd fight with Joshua ... a fight Andy says he'll PROPERLY train for.

"For the 3rd fight, I'm gonna give it all I got! I want those belts back!"

UFC's Max Holloway Down to Box Mayweather ... 'I'm Not Scared!!!'

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UP FOR THE CHALLENGE
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If Floyd Mayweather is serious about boxing a UFC fighter, Max Holloway says he's ALL THE WAY DOWN!!

The reigning UFC Featherweight champ has a solid stand up striking game -- and sources tell us that's exactly what Floyd is looking for in his UFC opponent.

So, when Max rolled through the TMZ Sports office ... we asked if that was something he would seriously consider.

"I want a Money Belt! Why not?!"

He added, "I would love to do that. He's one of the best guys to ever do it. And, to share the boxing ring with him, it would be a checklist for sure."

Holloway says he's already in INSANE shape -- and 12 rounds in a boxing ring would be "easy work" since he's already a cardio machine!

But, even if the Mayweather fight doesn't work out, Max says he's still interested in taking a boxing match ... especially with Dana White gunning to launch Zuffa Boxing in 2020.

Max says he's always wanted to box -- and brags that he's got a pretty solid Philly Shell ... but first, his focus is on beating Alexander Volkanovski on Dec. 14 at UFC 245.

Volkanovski is currently the #1 featherweight contender and he's currently on a 17-fight win streak ... with victories over guys like Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.

Andre Berto Clowns Floyd Over 'Circus Fights' ... Let's Rematch Instead!!!

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ROUND TWO
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Floyd Mayweather vs. a UFC star is nothing more than a "circus fight" -- according to pro boxer Andre Berto who says he's ready to step up if Floyd wants a REAL challenge in 2020.

Of course, Berto -- a former welterweight champ -- fought Floyd back in 2017 ... just a few months after Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao.

Berto lost the fight ... but tells TMZ Sports he knows what he did wrong and things would go MUCH differently if they fought a second time.

"It was hard to catch him the first time," Berto says ... noting he would "let his hands go" a lot more in the rematch.

As we previously reported, Floyd is looking for TWO boxing matches in 2020 -- one against a pro boxer and another against a UFC star.

Berto thinks Floyd is too afraid to take on a legit contender -- explaining, "I doubt he's gonna come in and fight any of these other hungry champions out there."

"He might come back for one of these circus acts."

Berto says taking on an MMA fighter is nothing more than a "money play" -- "He's just making sure he's still getting paid."

Larry Holmes Mike Tyson WASN'T Toughest Opponent ... It Was Ken Norton!!!

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BACK IN THE DAY BOXING
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Mike Tyson is the only man to ever knock out Larry Holmes ... still, the boxing legend tells TMZ Sports "Iron Mike" ain't the toughest fighter he fought.

Holmes was a beast in the ring who scrapped with Tyson, Holyfield, Spinks and just about every other dominant heavyweight of his era. So, when we saw him in NYC, we asked if Mike was the hardest guy he ever faced.

His answer ... nope.

"My toughest opponent was Kenny Norton. I fought Mike Tyson, I was kinda over the hill a little bit. I had retired then I came back and fight Mike Tyson. I really wasn't in that good of shape."

"If I could do it all over again, I'd take more time and do it right."

FYI, Holmes -- 69-6 as a professional -- was 39 years old when he was dropped 3 times and KO'd by Tyson in the 4th round of their January 1988 fight.

In his 75 pro fights ... it's the only time Holmes was knocked out.

As for his 1978 fight with Norton ... it was a 15 round war that Holmes won by split decision -- earning him the WBC heavyweight title.

We also hit Holmes with a question about the ultimate dream fight -- Muhammad Ali vs. Mike Tyson -- in their primes ... and asked who'd win.

"Mike Tyson would get beat up 'cause he's a face fighter. He comes in down low, and Muhammad Ali is a jabber," Holmes says ... "He'd get that jab in there just like he did with Joe Frazier. So, Mike Tyson would have to get around that jab, and he'd have a lot of problems getting around that jab."

"Mike Tyson would've been knocked out by Muhammad Ali."

UFC's Jorge Masvidal Gunning for Mayweather Fight ... 'I Can Box My Ass Off'

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CASHIN' OUT
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UFC superstar Jorge Masvidal is calling 2020 "The Year of the Lottery" -- telling TMZ Sports he's actively trying to line up fights with Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.

"2019 was cool," Masvidal says ... "But, if you like violence, 2020 will be a very powerful year. We’ve got a lot of options. I've got a lot of lottery tickets in my hand."

Masvidal -- who demolished Darren Till, Ben Askren and Nate Diaz in 2019 -- says his goal is to fight Conor in April or May ... and then take a boxing match with Floyd in November.

As we previously reported, Mayweather has a handshake deal with UFC president Dana White to box an MMA fighter in 2020 and we're told he's eyeing fighters with top stand-up striking talent.

Masvidal obviously has those skills and firmly believes he's the frontrunner for that fight.

"I can box my ass off," Masvidal says ... "Not saying I’m a better boxer than Mayweather, but man, I’m gonna be in there with bad intentions trying to hurt him."

The last UFC fighter to take on Floyd was Conor McGregor who famously gassed around the 8th round with the ref ultimately stopping the fight in Round 10.

"I'm a well-conditioned athlete that’s not gonna fade," Masvidal says ... "I'm not gonna fade in the 8th or 9th round. I’m gonna be there for the whole night."

Jorge -- who's calling the big Tito Ortiz vs. Alberto El Patron fight for Combate Americas on Saturday -- also had a message for Floyd ...

"If you’re looking for a fight, I’m right here. If you’re looking for an easy paycheck, go back to Japan and beat up those little guys."

Masvidal says he understands why Floyd would be interested in someone like Khabib Nurmagomedov ... it's easy money for Floyd ... but if he REALLY wants a challenge, he'll sign the contract with Jorge.

The video is great ... Jorge knows Floyd is obviously much more experienced than him in the boxing ring, but he truly believes he can get the best of Mayweather and spells out his case on camera.

Think about it ... if Jorge's plans come to fruition, he can make LIFE-CHANGING money in 2020.

The Conor fight alone is big money ... and a Floyd fight could earn him more around $100 MIL.

Here's hoping Jorge gets his wish ...

Evander Holyfield's Son Manny Pacquiao's My Favorite Fighter ... Not My Dad!!!

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MANNY'S THE MAN!!!
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22-year-old boxer Evan Holyfield's favorite fighter is NOT his legendary father, Evander Holyfield ... it's Filipino star Manny Pacquiao.

Yes ... NOT his dad a.k.a. George Foreman/Mike Tyson (twice) slayin' Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield.

TMZ Sports talked to the younger Holyfield -- who's dominated his first 2 professional fights -- and asked, who's your favorite boxer?

"Manny Pacquiao. I love Manny Pacquiao. Besides my dad, of course. I'm gonna take some stuff from him, but Manny Pacquiao. I watch that man before I go to sleep, I watch that man when I wake up, when I get bored."

"Manny Pacquiao's my guy. I watched all his movies. I stole so much stuff from Manny Pacquiao, it's ridiculous."

Suffice it to say, Evan likes Manny ... and is super pumped about the prospect of having some face time with his hero in the future.

"I haven't had a chance to meet Manny yet, but I'm sure if I was ever to meet Manny, I don't know what I would do."

"I don't fan out when it comes to celebrities because my dads had me around a lot of them, but someone like him, ain't no telling what would happen."

KNOCKOUT PUNCH
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