Reigning WBO titleholder Teofimo Lopez is preparing to defend his title against Steve Claggett on June 29 at the James L. Knight Center in Miami.

“This is going to be a tough fight,” said Lopez (20-1, 13 KOs). “A lot of people look at Claggett’s record and think I’m going to fight a nobody, but he hasn’t lost in three years. He has fought former champions. He always comes to fight and throws a lot of punches. I need to be in great condition to battle a fighter like him. I can’t overlook him, get overconfident, and play around with him. I know this fight will be great for all my people in Miami.”

Canada’s Claggett (38-7-2, 26 KOs), from Alberta, Calgary, most recently retired Marcos Gonzalez Barraza in two rounds in January, pushing his current winning streak to nine fights.

“Unlike these other supposed champs at 140, Steve Claggett is the only fighter who raised his hand and stepped up to challenge me,” Lopez said. “No other fighters were interested in getting in the ring with me. These other fighters want me to help them make a name for themselves. Although people don’t know much about him, Claggett is very tough and always comes to fight. I want to face fighters like that. I don’t want to face fighters who talk a lot and are just trying to become famous, like my last opponent. I hit him in the second round, and then he ran the rest of the fight. That’s not good for boxing.”

Lopez was subjected to plenty of negative media after his dull 12-round win over Jamaine Ortiz in February, when he was unable to drag a fight out of his old amateur rival.

“I want to face the top dog in any division I campaign in. Despite the doubters, I have overcome similar skepticism in the past, like before my fights against Josh Taylor and Vasiliy Lomachenko,” Lopez said. “Throughout my career, I have always sought to compete against the very best. I am always willing to challenge myself. After this fight, if I can get the other junior welterweight champs to get in the ring with me, my primary goal will be to test and push my limits. I want the triple crown.”

In the co-main event, former Cuban world champion Robeisy Ramirez (13-2, 8 KOs) will face off against Mexico’s Brandon Leon Benitez (21-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight bout. 

The televised opener features middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh (10-1, 5 KOs) seeking redemption in a rematch against Sona Akale (9-1, 4 KOs) over six rounds.

The fights, including Lopez-Claggett, Ramirez-Benitez and Ali Walsh-Akale II, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Sky Sports will air the event in the U.K. and Ireland.