Arnold Barboza Jr. Has Unresolved Issues with Teofimo Lopez
In his latest win, this past January 6, junior welterweight Arnold Barboza Jr. (29-0, 11 KO’s) collected the scalp of Xolisani Ndongeni by way of eighth round stoppage. Clearly, Barboza Jr. was not content to merely celebrate. Instead he opted to mingle among the crowd, where he ran into bitter boxing rival and WBO 140-pound champion Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez (19-1, 13 KO’s).
While the scene did not get physical, the extreme tension between the two was tangible. For his part, the #1 (WBO), #5 (WBC) and #13 (IBF) ranked fighter remains miffed about money and a career-advancing venture that he feels Lopez sabotaged. In a recent Q&A with Fight Hub TV, Barboza Jr. aired his feelings out.
“The main thing that did it for me was when Teo fake retired, and I was the mandatory for Jose Ramirez and we were going into purse bid. Then we had already got in contact with Haney’s people and we were going to do the fight with Haney.”
“And then literally, with like a minute left before the deadline, he says, ‘oh, I am not going to retire.’ And he kind of messed up my money and my opportunity, too. And now that he’s back out the blue, he blew everything up and just because he want to play a fucking game!”
ON TO THE NEXT ONE!
It’s easy to see why Barboza Jr. would harbor a grudge toward The Takeover, given his perspective of the things. The two have been potential opponents for quite some time, anyway. So, this dynamic alone would breed a healthy measure of animosity. Yet busting up a big time fight and payday is a whole other matter entirely.
Unfortunately for Barboza Jr. however, he still will not be getting his hands on Lopez any time soon. This is due to The Takeover being scheduled to face Jamaine Ortiz on February 8. In the meantime, the native Californian will have to find his next opposition elsewhere. One potential foe that makes sense from a competitive and ranking standpoint is Richardson Hitchins (17-0, 7 KO’s).
Ranked #2 (WBC), #3 (WBO) and #3 (IBF), Hitchins is also without a dance partner, yet is a very skilled and respected fighter in the industry. A win over him would definitely serve as a feather in Barboza’s cap, as well as advance him further in the rankings. Yet, putting speculation to the side, we will just have to see what Arnold Barboza and his team can come up with.