Bob Arum looking to give Teofimo Lopez a strong step-up in competition next
Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum has big plans for his electric young star Teofimo Lopez. Lopez had the boxing world buzzing with a crushing knockout of veteran Diego Magdaleno on the under-card of the Sergey Kovalev vs Eleider Alvarez II.
This followed a brutal one-punch knockout of veteran Mason Menard in what was a 2018 knockout of the year candidate.
These performances have Arum thinking its time to start looking at paths to a world title! When speaking with industry sources he mentioned Jose Pedraza and Luke Campbell as targeted opponents for the rest of 2019.
Pedraza is a two weight champion coming off a decision loss to pund-for-pound stalwart Vasily Lomachenko in a unification bout. As a result, he lost the WBO lightweight title.
Campbell is a 2008 Olympic gold medalist coming off a unanimous decision win over Yvan Mendy in September. The win avenged the first loss of his career. The 31 year old’s spirited performance impressed boxing pundits who believe he’s able to compete with the divisions elite.
Arum mentioned he doesn’t believe current WBC champion Mikey Garcia will return to lightweight following the Errol Spence Jr bout in March. With the title vacated and with Campbell being the WBC’s #1 ranked challenger, it’s easy to understand why he would be targeted as an opponent for the #11 ranked Lopez.
The Road to Vasiliy Lomachenko
The hall of fame promoter also pointed out that these potential fights and the capturing of the WBC title would be pit stops on the way to an ultimate PPV unification fight with stablemate Vasily Lomachenko.
The Pedraza camp has recently been in the news stating they don’t see the upside in a bout with the undefeated rising contender. However with both of them under the Top Rank banner, it’s not an impossible fight to make. It’s not inconceivable to think Pedraza could be offered above market value money for a fight Lopez.
Top Rank recently offered in house contender Christopher Diaz more money to step in with super prospect Shakur Stevenson than what he was scheduled to make in a bout with former champion Jessie Magdaleno. It’s prize fighting and money talks.
As for right now, we know the youngster from Brooklyn is fighting on the Terrence Crawford vs Amir Khan under-card April 20. Pedraza isn’t a likely candidate for that date as he anticipates a May return. However, Campbell is a stablemate of headliner Amir Khan and there may be enough time to make that fight happen.
Regardless, look for a big 2019 from the former Olympian, and stay tuned to 3kingsboxing as we bring you the news as soon as his next opponent is announced.
By: Tanner Gill