18 C
London
Friday, October 7, 2022

Teofimo Lopez Jr. still has big plans in next chapter of career

- Advertisement -

Teofimo Lopez Jr. is an unfortunate example of how a boxer can plunge from high to low in an instant.

In October 2020, the Brooklyn fighter stunned the world by outpointing pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko to become the undisputed 135-pound champion and take his place among the best in the business. He seemed to be destined for greatness.

Then, in his first defense last November, he ended up on the wrong end of an upset when heavy underdog George Kambosos Jr. defeated him by a split decision in New York to take his titles and obliterate his momentum.

Lopez was left to start anew, beginning with a fight against nondescript opponent Pedro Campa (34-1-1, 23 KOs) at his new weight of 140 on Saturday in Las Vegas (ESPN).

“I’m thankful to be back August 13,” Lopez told BoxingScene.com. “I’ve been looking forward to this since my last fight. I’ve had a lot of complications, but we’re looking towards the future and are on to bigger and better things.

“I’m here to take over the 140-pound division just like I did at 135. Like always, I’m going to bring excitement to the sport of boxing.”

Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) seemed to be a can’t-miss star after the Lomachenko victory, a talented, hard-punching young fighter with a fiery temperament. Fans loved what they saw.

Then came the Kambosos fight.

Things weren’t good for Lopez beforehand, he made clear afterward. He said he had trouble making 135, which is why he moved up to 140. And we learned afterward that he fought with air in his chest cavity, which could’ve caused a tragedy.

Also, the fight was postponed multiple times, which made training complicated for both fighters.

Thus, Lopez didn’t appear to be the fighter who took down Lomachenko. Kambosos put him down in the first round and he could never make up for lost ground, although he did make it close. The official scores were 115-111, 115-112 and 114-113.

Afterward, he said he thought he did enough to win but those who watched the fight knew better.

And Lopez, 25, appears to have accepted the setback. His focus now is be the dominated fighter many fans expected him to become after his break-through victory over Lomachenko. All fighters lose, right?

“I am calling this fight the ‘Take Back’ because I am coming to regain what I’ve lost,” he said. “One defeat does not define a fighter, and it won’t define me.”

“My best years are in front of me,” he went on. “Pedro Campa is the start of a new chapter in my career. I will be a two-weight world champion very soon. Every contender and champion at junior welterweight better watch out because I am coming to clean out the division.”

That sounds like the old Lopez. We’ll see whether he can fight like he did when he was at his best.

Source

Latest news
Related news