Teofimo Lopez will defend his WBO super-lightweight against Steve Claggett of Canada at James L. Knight Center in Miami on June 29.

After recording a disappointing victory over Jamaine Ortiz in February, in his first fight since Devin Haney’s defeat in April by Ryan Garcia he can enhance his reputation as the world’s leading fighter at 140lbs.

“I have always wanted to fight in South Florida, where I grew up and developed as a fighter,” the 26-year-old Lopez said. “I never thought it would happen, but now, on June 29, I get the opportunity to do so not just as a world champion but as the lineal world champion of my division. 

“This has been one of my goals since turning pro, and I’m motivated to showcase my talent there in front of my Honduran fans and the entire Latino community. This is like a Rocky Balboa story for Steve Claggett. I’m very much looking forward to what kind of style I’m going to see. There were no other fighters who were interested in fighting me, and I felt like he would give not just me, but the fans as well, a great fight to watch.”

Claggett, 34, has typically lost when he has stepped up in class, such as against Chris van Heerden in 2016, but he was won his past nine fights, and he said: “I have worked my entire life for this opportunity, and I intend to make the most of it. I am more motivated than ever before, and I’m ready to give it everything I’ve got.”

The talented Cuban Robeisy Ramirez returns for the first time since his defeat in December by Rafael Espinoza when he lost his WBO featherweight title in what represented one of the fights of 2023. He fights Espinoza’s fellow Mexico Brandon Leon Benitez on the undercard. Nico Ali Walsh also features on the undercard, in a middleweight fight with Sona Akale, who in August 2023 inflicted his first defeat as a professional, via majority decision. 

“While the result [in December] was unexpected, I will begin my quest to recapture my world title and return to the top, where I know I belong,” Ramirez said. “It’s Cuba versus Mexico again, and I’m excited to have the loyal support of the Cuban community of Miami."

“Teofimo Lopez is among the most electrifying fighters in the sport, and I know he’s motivated to put on a show against a very tough challenger in Steve Claggett,” said Bob Arum of Top Rank, the organisation promoting the June 29 bill. 

“Robeisy Ramirez wants to become a two-time world champion, and the road back starts in his adopted hometown. Nico Ali Walsh has been asking for the Akale rematch from the moment the judges’ decision came back after their first fight, and he now has a chance for revenge.”