Unbeaten junior welterweight puncher Adam Azim has tabbed WBO world champion Teofimo Lopez as the man to beat at 140-pounds.

Earlier this month, the 21-year-old Azim made a statement by stopping Franck Petitjean to capture the EBU title in only his tenth fight.

Azim would like to get himself in position for a world title fight by the end of 2024.

"I want it [a title shot] by this time next year, I have to become world champion," Azim told Metro.co.uk. 

On December 9, a key fight will take place at the weight - when Devin Haney makes his 140 debut against WBC world champion Regis Prograis.

Azim believes Haney is more than capable of outboxing Prograis.

However, he views Lopez as the kingpin of the weight class. Earlier this year, Lopez dominated Josh Taylor to capture the WBO title.

"Devin is now in this division and he has a very tough fight against Prograis but I don’t see why he can’t beat him because I think Haney is too fast and too sharp," Azim said.

"He could go onto replicate what he did at lightweight but I think Teofimo beats him. I think he is the man to beat in this weight. Teo has had his problems outside of the ring but he is a great fighter and I can’t see Haney beating him if they do get it on. Teo needs to get those fights in, he has to defend the title."

As far as the domestic scene goes, Azim anticipates an eventual fight with fellow unbeaten Dalton Smith.

"I don’t think we even had an offer,’ Azim said of the Smith fight. ‘I think they wanted a way to put a bit of pressure on. But the time will eventually be right for that fight. There is no rush, but the way we are both going at the moment, I think we can both get world titles and we can make it a huge fight.

"But I’m also looking at other things. I would say Keyshawn is just as much a rival I am looking at right now, maybe more with that US factor. It has a bit more glamour. Fighting in the US is the dream ticket for any fighter. Once you’ve got the name out there, people start calling you out. Keyshawn has started that; he wants a piece of that. It is a big thing."