It’s been a tumultuous couple years for Teofimo Lopez.
He was built well, if in truncated fashion, with chances to develop a following based on both talent and personality. He blitzed a respected veteran in Richard Commey. He upset Vasyl Lomachenko to unify lightweight titles and lay claim to the lineal crown.
Lopez punched a golden ticket.
It’s hard not to think he proceeded to set it ablaze.
A disastrous attempt to move to Triller and pay-per-view cost him a year of activity, followed by a loss to George Kambosos and then another lengthy layoff. Lopez is still only 25 with time on his side to correct the course and he began that process on Saturday night.
It wasn’t a perfect performance against a game Pedro Campa but it closed in brutal fashion and began the business of the rest of his career. Lopez showed off a lot of what makes him one of boxing’s most intriguing young talents. His speed, power, and some in-ring extracurriculars entertained the fans and left Campa inert after Lopez stepped on the gas in rounds six and seven.
The five rounds before that showed off some good and bad to his game. Lopez was head hunting for long tracks and was hittable for the much slower Campa. Maybe that’s a reflection of a lack of respect for what Campa was landing but given how few fights Lopez has as a pro it could also be a sign of a need to develop more consistent defense.
We’ll have a better idea of where he stands at Jr. welterweight when the opposition picks back up.
Futures: For Lopez, that could mean any number of opponents available under the Top Rank umbrella. Former titlist Jose Ramirez and rising contender Arnold Barboza are both potential opponents. Lopez named Regis Prograis in what would be a really interesting fight between explosive, athletic battlers. He also called for Jr. welterweight king Josh Taylor Oscar De La Hoya was in the house teasing discussions of a fight with Ryan Garcia but Lopez seems less interested in that fight and the idea that it’s pay-per-view ready seems a stretch.
Lopez says he’ll be back in December. The safe bet is probably Barboza but that’s a step up from Campa with an eye on a bigger 2023.
Tyson Fury announced his retirement was over, then announced he was retiring again immediately afterwards. Some people really need a lot of attention…Xander Zayas looks good for just being 19, but he also still looks 19 and has room to grow. When his body matures a bit more, he’s going to be something…Olympians Troy Isley and Duke Ragan are coming along nicely. Neither is where teammate Keyshawn Davis is but they don’t have to be. They’re making their progressions.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org