Teofimo Lopez Jr. is set to begin his journey in the 140-pound division.

BoxingScene.com has learned that the former lineal and unified lightweight titlist is slated to return to the ring August 13, most likely in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. An opponent was not yet finalized, per multiple sources, though a breaking news report from ESPN.com boxing insider Mike Coppinger suggested that Mexico’s Pedro Campa is the frontrunner and has agreed to the fight, which will begin Lopez's campaign as a junior welterweight.

Representatives from Top Rank did not respond to an inquiry from BoxingScene.com seeking confirmation, as most are in Australia (14 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard time) for this weekend’s undisputed lightweight champion. George Kambosos Jr. (20-0, 10KOs)—who dethroned Lopez last November—defends his lineal/WBA/IBF/WBO titles versus unbeaten WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney (27-0, 15KOs) in an undisputed championship airing live on ESPN (Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET) from Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

On the other side of the world, Lopez prepares for his first fight of 2022, coming at a new weight.

The 24-year-old from Brooklyn—who represented Honduras in the 2016 Rio Olympics—has not fought since his split decision loss to Kambosos last November 27 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City. Lopez suffered his first career knockdown in the opening round, rallying back to drop Kambosos in round ten but unable to fully close the gap on two of the three judges’ scorecards.

The loss ended Lopez’s 23-month reign of at least one title, including 13-month stay as the lineal and unified titlist after outpointing Vasiliy Lomachenko in October 2020. The career-best win was also good enough to earn 2020 Fighter of the Year honors. His first order of business was honoring an IBF mandatory title defense versus Kambosos, with the fight going to a purse bid hearing which was won by Triller Fight Club last February.

A comedy of errors saw the bout postponed on numerous occasions—including Lopez testing positive for Covid-19 in canceling a scheduled June 19 show in Miami, Florida—and at least two threatened lawsuits before Triller was declared in default of the purse bid terms last October. Matchroom Boxing picked up the rights as the next highest bidder, relocating the fight to Hulu Theater and with the event streamed on DAZN.

Lopez declared before the fight his intentions to return home to ESPN, where he normally fights under career-long promoter Top Rank. However, the decision to proceed with this fight was contingent on his being medically cleared. Lopez spent most of 2022 recovering from separate surgeries to his left elbow and right hand, while also working out personal issues well beyond the ring.

Previous rumors of first fight at junior welterweight suggested a possible showdown with unbeaten contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (26-0, 10KOs), who waited out for the fight to materialize before eventually moving on with his career. The 30-year-old from Los Angeles was since confirmed to next face Puerto Rico’s Danielito Zorrilla (16-0, 12KOs) on a July 15 ESPN show from Temecula, California.

Assuming the opponent sticks for August 13, it will mark a massive leap in competition for Campa (33-1-1, 22KOs) The 30-year-old from Hermosillo, Mexico is unbeaten in his last seven starts since suffering his lone career defeat in 2017. The fight—should it work out—will mark the second stateside appearance for Campa, who scored a ten-round decision over Aaron Herrera on a December 2015 show in Glendale, California which was co-promoted by Top Rank.

Campa emerged as the frontrunner for the opponent in Adrien Broner’s comeback fight last February 20 in Uncasville, Connecticut. The fight went to Jovanie Santiago, whom Broner outpointed over twelve rounds. Campa instead fought that month in his Hermosillo hometown, where he returned for his most recent bout last August.

Lopez will fight for just the third time in as many years. The rate of inactivity comes in stark contrast to his 2018 Prospect of the Year campaign when he fought four times, as he did in a 2019 run that ended with his knocking out Richard Commey in the second round to win the IBF lightweight title in December 2019.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox