No matter how long the sport is placed on hold, Teofimo Lopez insists there is at least one fight that will keep him at lightweight.
Given his frame and young age, there is concern that the recently crowned lightweight champion will outgrow the division in the near future. Such suspicions are heightened as the entire sport remains on standby in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Every springtime event has been postponed or cancelled outright, while Lopez’ multi-belt unification clash with Vasiliy Lomachenko-originally targeted to take place May 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York City—was never formally announced. That said, it still very much remains his first order of business—and perhaps last as a lightweight.
“Absolutely, it’s tough but that’s what we’re trying to do—make that fight (with Lomachenko) and then move up to 140,” Lopez (15-0, 12KOs) told Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher during a video interview conducted from the confines of the respective homes. “Right after the Loma fight, we’ll move up to 140.
“My last fight with Richard Commey, I made weight easy but that was with nine hard weeks of camp. If we can do something like that, you never know—I might be able to stay a little longer.”
The clash with Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10KOs) was all but solidified the moment Lopez stretched out Commey inside of two rounds last December. It still very much remains the plan, no matter how long it takes to get to that point.
The question afterward, is whether or not he can be enticed to stick around. The short-term goal is to conquer Lomachenko, which is the quickest path to lightweight supremacy. After that, the intention is to go from multi-belt lightweight king to multi-divisional ruler.
“The max I would go is anywhere from 154-160,” Lopez claims. “I love to eat. My family they call me “Gordo.” You wouldn’t believe it (by appearance), but my father was big.
“I’m not the tallest, but I can manage it.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox