For the right fight, Teofimo Lopez could be convinced to stick around for a bit longer in the bustling 135-pound division.
The strapping 23-year-old lightweight titleholder has mentioned repeatedly that his final fight at 135 will be his projected (partial) unification bout against Vasiliy Lomachenko – who owns two lightweight belt titles – mainly because his body is outgrowing the division. Lopez won his lightweight belt by knocking out Richard Commey in the second round at Madison Square Garden in New York City last December.
But when asked in a recent interview if there’s a chance of staying put at 135 after that, especially if another compelling fight against another top lightweight materialized, Lopez responded unequivocally in the affirmative.
“Absolutely,” Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) said on Boxing with Chris Mannix. “With the Richard Commey fight I made weight so very, very easy. I didn’t expect it to be easy so I know I can make 135 again, very smooth. And absolutely, (I would fight at 135) again.”
Lopez gave credit to his nutritionists, Michelle Melaniphy Ingels and Paulina Indara of Perfecting Athletes, for enabling him to stay trim. Lopez started working with the company after he had difficulty making weight ahead of his fight against Edis Tatli in April 2019. The service is also used by titleholders Terence Crawford, Jamel Herring, and Shakur Stevenson.
“I have Perfecting Athletes here, they’re great women,” Lopez said. “They definitely know how to nutrition your body and make sure you have all the nutrients that you need for your brain and for your body, so that’s something that I love about them.”
It’s no surprise that Lopez, who says he currently weighs around the “high 140s” at the moment, would have no qualms about hanging around at lightweight. Some of the most compelling young talents in the sport fight in the junior lightweight and lightweight divisions, including Stevenson (14-0, 8 KOs), Ryan Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs), Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) and Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22 KOs).
“The list goes on and on,” said Lopez, who added that his promoter prefers his fight with Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) to take place on October 3 in Las Vegas. “These guys all have some type of attribute that makes the fans wanna see them more. I’m very happy to be in that era now and Teofimo is definitely the one that’s going to take over. How we’re going to start it is just with this guy right here, Oct. 3, Teofimo versus ‘The Diva.’
The Diva? Apparently that’s Lopez’s new moniker for his adversary.
“I can’t wait (for the fight),” Lopez said. “I just got to make sure that the ‘Little Diva’ isn’t hiding out in Egis’ (Lomachenko’s manager) guest house during this quarantine ‘cause he’s out there right now. People think he’s in the Ukraine, he’s not. He’s in L.A. He’s back.”