Teofimo Lopez expects to have plenty of profitable options after he beats Vasiliy Lomachenko on Saturday night.
The IBF lightweight champion considers the winner of the Jose Ramirez-Josh Taylor bout as one of the most attractive alternatives on that list. Lopez is confident he could continue making the lightweight limit of 135 pounds for the right fight, but he is intrigued by the possibility of becoming boxing’s undisputed lightweight champion and moving up to face the sport’s undisputed junior welterweight champ.
“Let’s just make it happen, me and Jose Ramirez, after this, you know,” Lopez said during a virtual press conference recently. “Put both of them [in there]. I’ll have Josh Taylor in the morning and then I’ll have Jose Ramirez at night.”
Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs), the WBC/WBO 140-pound champion, and Taylor (17-0, 13 KOs), the IBF/WBA champ, are expected to fight for full supremacy in their division sometime early in 2021. Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) will square off for Lomachenko’s WBA, WBO and WBC franchise championships, and Lopez’s IBF belt in a main event ESPN will air from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas (10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT).
“I look forward to what the future holds, the near future and everything,” Lopez said. “And, you know, one fight at a time. That’s how I look at everything. You know, we’ll see what happens come October 17th. I’m very confident in myself. You know, and the thing is, yeah, any of those fights [are] a great potential big fight. I don’t think no fight would be bigger than this one come October 17th, [between] myself and Lomachenko at the moment.
“Yes, you have Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez coming [in] 2021, sometime that year. It’s just a lot of great fights right around here, in the 135 division and in the 140 division, that I could pick off of. So, you know, I have a bright future ahead of me and I look forward to facing these guys, you know, just to show that I am king.”
Promoter Bob Arum seconded the 23-year-old Lopez’s optimism regarding his options if he upsets Lomachenko, who is consistently listed as a 4-1 favorite over him.
“Teofimo will have to decide whether he wants to stay at 135 or go up to 140,” Arum said. “He’s quite right, that [at] 140, the big fight that we’re scheduling will be Josh Taylor against Jose Ramirez. I know Teofimo would love to fight the winner. Also, at 135, there’s some interesting fighters out there. There’s Ryan Garcia, who fights under the Golden Boy banner. There’s Devin Haney, who’s with DAZN [and is promoted by Matchroom Boxing], but would probably be available. And there are a lot of other guys.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.