When Teofimo Lopez came back in November, he was the dominant lightweight and one of the best boxers in the world after a nasty win over Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Nine months later, Lopez entered the ring with instability swirling around him. After the horrific defeat to George Kambosos Jr in that match, how will the 25-year-old react? Is he still one of the best boxers in the world after his first professional loss? Perhaps most importantly, is he ready for the best of the new weight class in the junior weight class?
On his £140 debut, Lopez scored won TKO in the seventh round against Pedro Campa on Saturday in Las Vegas but gave some answers about his willingness to challenge for a world title in that weight class.
Really, it will always be difficult to get a real answer considering Campa’s level. The Mexican cruiser, fighting outside his homeland for the first time, was of course chosen for that reason. Top Rank, Lopez’s promoter, wants a confidence-building win for Lopez after a tumultuous year.
But if Lopez (17-2, 12 KOs) was looking to make some noise, whether it was through a highlight-reel KO or a quick Campa kill, he didn’t. there. And really, it’s hard to envision Top Rated throwing Lopez in with an elite fighter on his next outing, scheduled for December 10 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Lopez, 25, has called in boxers at the highest level such as Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis and Jose Zepeda, but they are not expected to be available in December. Unified champion Taylor is likely to meet Jack. Catterall in a rematch on November 26, while Prograis and Zepeda are lining up to play against each other for the vacant WBC title this fall.
Arnold Barboza Jr., who came out on Saturday, is ESPN’s 7th junior weight class and will provide a genuine kneeling test for Lopez in December. Jose Pedraza, too, has to beat Richard first. Commey on August 27 (ESPN).
If Lopez can return to spectacular form against a boxer at that level, he will prove he is ready for the best at 140 pounds, a weight class suddenly brimming with talent.
Besides the aforementioned, there’s former champion Jose Ramirez, who skipped a title showdown with Zepeda due to his October wedding, and Subriel Matias, the Puerto Rican number one boxer who could be soon. title picture.
For now, Lopez has won with relative ease. His comeback doesn’t have to be completed overnight, and Top Rank is one of the most patient in the sport when it comes to reclamation projects.
He captures Campa at will and is never in real danger. The real test will arise in his December, before “The Takeback” reaches its final chapter with its title filmed in 2023.