It is said that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. However at the Old Dog Boxing Club in Flemington, owner Bill Ruscher knows better.
Recently I had the opportunity to watch Teófimo López train at Old Dog Boxing Club, with Ruscher describing to me the ins and outs of the rigorous López workout, as the boxer was trained by his father, Teófimo López Sr.
López won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight title last December 2019, with a second-round technical knockout of Richard Commey. As an amateur, he represented Honduras at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Standing next to Ruscher, I got an excellent lesson in why López is going to be the only one standing at the conclusion of his fight against Vasyl Lomachenko on October 17 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Lomachenko and López will meet in a unification bout where the winner will take home the IBF, WBA, WBO, and The Ring lightweight champion belts.
"Teófimo has been calling him out [Lomachenko] for a couple of years now. Teófimo and his dad, he's ready to fight him, he has to fight him," shared Ruscher. "If Teófimo wins, he'll walk away with five belts. Lopez is a phenom. This makes for an unbelievable fight."
The Lomachenko - López fight will be on ESPN for free this Saturday from Las Vegas. Due to COVID19, the fight will be in a 'bubble', and there will no audience present. The fight was supposed to be last March but was postponed due to the virus.
Ruscher established Old Dog Boxing Club in 2014 and offers Olympic-style boxing instruction and training to members of every age interested in the sweet science. "Whether you are new to the sport of boxing, you are just looking for an old-school boxing gym where you can get or stay fit, or your goal is to box competitively, Old Dog Boxing Club has what you need," shared Ruscher via his website. "Coaches certified by USA Boxing, the governing body of amateur boxing, are on hand at all times to guide the workout."
López is managed by David McWater of Split-T Management, who resides in Lambertville. Split-T currently manages the careers of about 70 fighters, including some of the world’s most exciting, like Lopez, Charles Conwell, and Antonio Vargas. According to Ruscher, McWater had López train at Old Dog Boxing for his December fight against Commey. "Since he [Lopez] won, David [McWater] decided to have him train here again for the Lomachenko fight, where he could be seen every day."
Two of López' signature moves: Punches that erupt with incredible sound and power. And an exciting back flip, which he did for us after the workout.
The fight info for Saturday, October 17th: Las Vegas, Nevada -- Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teófimo López Jr., 12 rounds, for Lomachenko's WBO and WBA lightweight titles and Lopez's IBF lightweight title -- Watch on ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET