Lopez: “I’m Not Trying To Help Barboza When Its A Waste Of My Time!”

Is Teofimo Lopez Running from Arnold Barboza Jr?

Teofimo Lopez cheapens the case of a fight with Arnold Barboza Jr.
Teofimo Lopez Jr (L, Steve Marcus/Getty Images), Arnold Barboza Jr. (Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Teofimo Lopez Has No Taste for a Bout with Arnold Barboza Jr

On December 10, one-time unified lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (17-1, 13 KO’s) will stage his second bout at super lightweight. For that competition, he will square-off with Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KO’s), who is ranked #10 (WBO and WBC). It will also be the second time that Lopez has glaringly sidestepped a potential duel with Arnold Barboza Jr (27-0, 10 KO’s).

Well back in January, Barboza, 30, was a wonderful opponent that was both, available and very willing to fight. Instead however, Take Over opted to face the much less known, lower ranked Pedro Campa in Campa’s US debut. Predictably, Lopez, 25, who is ranked #1 (WBO), #3 (WBC), #7 (WBA) and #9 (IBF), stopped him in the seventh round. In attendance for that match was Arnold Barboza, ranked #4 (WBO), #8 (WBC) and #12 (IBF), who once again doubled-down on his desire to face Lopez.

Yet, here we are again watching Take Over’s preference to face an older, four-times defeated fighter who is coming off a draw and loss. He’s selected this option over the younger, undefeated opponent who is ranked higher than Pedraza. The situation is frustrating for Barboza for obvious reasons, but his rationale is just as vexing as his actions, for the fans.


In a recent interview with Fight Hype, Take Over gave his muddled logic on the situation.

“It was either Pedraza or Barboza, and I am not trying to help Barboza when it’s a waste of my time. So I want to take the guy who was a two-time former world champion rather than someone who is trying to become one.”

This comment is disjointed and rather confusing. To begin, Lopez seems to be casting dispersion on Barboza for not having a belt, but he himself is trying to become a champion! This is due to suffering an upset loss to George Kambosos, then passing up the chance for a rematch. So, it’s not like he gave the belt up – he was violently dethroned! Therefore, it’s rather puzzling to hear him make the comment in condescending fashion.

Also, again, Barboza is ranked higher than Pedraza. Said to say, one way that Take Over would be “helping” Barboza is if he loses to him. So perhaps this was just a Freudian slip of the tongue and he thinks he will lose to him. Alternatively, Lopez doesn’t see a point in providing Barboza a world championship level opponent and payday. Who knows? In either case, this is a rather disheartening situation. Provided that he does get past Pedraza, it will be very telling to see who Teofimo Lopez attempts to battle next. Yet, first things being first: let’s see who prevails on December 10.

By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari S.3019 Articles
Bakari is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com. Visit cheetahhead.com to view more of his literary work.