Teofimo Lopez’s time near the top of the pugilistic mountain proved to be transient. Although a win over Vasiliy Lomachenko vaulted him onto the world stage, George Kambosos Jr. ultimately knocked him off his high horse.
A rebirth of sorts was needed for the loquacious former champion, one that he sought at 140 pounds. Thus far, back-to-back victories have convinced Lopez that he belongs with the rest of the division’s elite. However, while he remains dangerously confident, the 25-year-old was given a perplexing puzzle in his last outing against Sandor Martin.
On December 10th, at the Hulu Theater in New York’s Madison Square Garden, Martin unexpectedly dropped Lopez in the second round. In addition to having his chin checked, Martin enjoyed huge spurts of success by boxing on the back foot.
Lopez though, continued to press the issue, leading to a somewhat controversial split decision victory. Lopez Sr., his bombastic father and trainer, up until recently, had yet to review the actual tape from his son’s performance. Having done so recently, Lopez Sr. concludes that the former champion had put on one helluva show.
“I saw the fight because I hadn’t seen the fight so I went back and I seen the fight with Sandor Martin,” said Lopez to BoxingScene.com. “He looked good, he looked sharp, he didn’t get tired.”
Lopez Sr.’s glowing reviews haven't exactly been shared by the rest of the boxing public. In the eyes of many, the former unified champ was relatively lucky to escape with the win. The consistent chastisement that Lopez is now enduring, is flummoxing to Lopez Sr. Just one year prior, Martin reeled in the biggest win of his career against Mikey Garcia, effectively ushering him into retirement. Although Lopez Sr. is well aware that expectations are extremely high for his well known son, he urges the public to temper down their conjecture.
“I don’t understand something, my son just beat the guy who retired Mikey Garcia. And, everybody is like yo ‘Teo didn’t look good or Teo was supposed to knock this dude out.’ You can’t knock out a dude that doesn’t go to the fight trying to fight. There wasn’t no opportunity there for us to drop this dude.”