Teofimo Lopez Hoping for Three Fights in 2023!
If left to him, former unified lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (17-1, 13 KO’s) wants a very busy 2023. This should come as no grand surprise. Over the past three years, he has only staged one match each calendar year. In his opinion, this is far too infrequently; although, Lopez is trying to squeeze in a second fight this year with Jose Pedraza.
For his sole prizefight in 2020, Take Over picked up his career-best win over three division champion Vasyl Lomachenko. Regrettably no doubt, Lopez, 25, suffered his first professional defeat at the hands of George Kambosos in the very next and only fight of 2021. Following that set back, Lopez would depart the division and set up shop at super lightweight. Once there, in his only fight of 2022, Take Over matched wits and toppled Pedro Campa. And as he explained to Fight Hype, this is not a trend that he wants to continue
“Now that we are fighting twice just this year alone, obviously we are starting to get that momentum, we’re starting to build that. [And now . . . the whole goal is to fight three times next year.”
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT!
When it comes to Lopez, one thing that he has never lacked was outward confidence and the belief that he could beat anyone. Maintaining this train of thought, he clearly still believes that the sky’s the limit at super lightweight.
“What I would like to say to a lot of people, I can go anywhere I like. I don’t need to go specifically to the WBC, with all due respect to Mauricio Sulaiman and to the WBC sanctioning, with all my respect. Then why do we have three or four other sanctioning [bodies] there? For a reason. So we are able to navigate it and figure out.”
WHO YOU GOING TO FIGHT?!
Ranked #1 (WBO), #4 (WBC), #6 (IBF) and #7 (WBA), Take Over does have a number of potential options on his table. To begin, he could take his WBO standing and try to force a fight with WBO 140-pound champion Josh Taylor. There is a clear history and bad blood that would make for some fun prefight jaw-jacking and later a testy bout in the ring.
Depending on how it all plays out, Lopez may have his eye on the winner of Regis Prograis versus Jose Zepeda. With his name value and #4 (WBC) ranking, considering he will be fighting for the vacant WBC strap, this is a viable possibility. There is also #4 (WBO), #8 (WBC) and #12 (IBF) ranked Arnold Barboza Jr. Barboza was at one point being eyed as Lopez’s first fight in the new division but was obviously passed over for the Campa.
It should be noted that Barboza was in the audience of the Campa dustup in an effort to continue his chase for a duel with Lopez. Unfortunately though, to date, Take Over has been overtly against facing Barboza maintaining that it’s a fight not on his level. So, for now, we’ll have to wait and see what opportunity materializes for Lopez in 2023.
By: Bakari Simpson