Bob Arum has no plans on offering Teofimo Lopez another fight at 135 pounds given the potentially catastrophic health issues that could arise.
The president of Top Rank Inc. revealed in an interview Tuesday that Lopez is still recuperating from the fallout of his upset loss to George Kambosos on Nov. 27 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Lopez, an asthmatic, was found to have air in his chest and heart areas after losing his lightweight belts to Kambosos in what could have been a potentially fatal situation for the boxer, according to a report by ESPN. Lopez’s symptoms worsened once he began rehydrating after the weigh-in.
"Again, it’s something that fighters have to avoid. He didn’t go about getting down the way he should have. He got dehydrated. He had problems with his lungs and his esophagus. He almost died. I told him, 'make sure you’re OK,'" Arum told IFL TV. "I’ll meet with him and his father and no more 135 pounds, and fight at 140.”
In light of what happened to Lopez, Arum says the industry-wide custom of drastic weight cuts in order to gain a physical advantage over one’s opponent is misguided. Lopez has been vocal about how difficult it has been for him to make the 135-pound limit, even before his title-unifying win over Vasyl Lomachenko in 2020. Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) did not enlist his usual nutritionists going into the Kambosos fight.
“He has to [move up in weight],” Arum said of his client. “The one thing I hate about the sport of boxing is making weight artificially because they think it gives them an advantage, and it probably does, fighting at a division they really shouldn’t be at. They should be at a higher division, but everybody gets themselves down to fight in the lower divisions because they then have a size advantage over their opponent.”
Top Rank has numerous high-quality fighters in the 140-pound division for Lopez to face, including unified titleholder Josh Taylor and contenders Jose Ramirez, Jose Zepeda, and Jose Pedraza.