Teofimo Lopez Plots his Takeover at Junior Welterweight
Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) is just days away from his December 10 battle with Sandor Martin (40-2, 13 KOs) in a WBC junior welterweight eliminator. For Lopez, his ultimate goal is to become a two-division world champ and conquer the 140-pound division.
Lopez understands that it will not happen immediately. The 25-year-old broke down what he must do to rule the roost at junior welterweight during an appearance on The Last Stand podcast.
“I think the moment I get that first belt, that’s it. Once I get that first belt, we are able to unify and keep going and just keep collecting from there. Maybe not 2023, it could be 2024, the beginning of 2024, because it takes a while.”
“Next year, we’re looking at trying to fight three times. Somewhere in March/April, then at the end of the summer, and back again on Heisman night . . . Those are the plans. However, none of these are going to happen unless we go and do what we gotta do on December 10.”
A former unified champion at 135, Lopez shockingly lost those belts to George Kambosos Jr in November 2021. After deciding to move up in weight, Lopez made his junior welterweight debut with a seventh-round stoppage win over Pedro Campos.
With ex-unified champion Josh Taylor vacating three of the four world titles and expected to go up to 147 sometime next year, junior welterweight is in a transitional period. In breaking down the division, Lopez feels that no one beats him.
“I’m too fast for these guys, way too fast. They’re too forward. They’re so easy to figure out. I just can’t wait to display that when we get these fights going.
I am that guy. I am the best, forget the rest. Fuck all these guys at 140 because they ain’t got shit on Teofimo, they don’t.”
THE UNPREDICTABILITY FACTOR
The proof is in the pudding. Lopez is a skilled boxer with speed, good defense, and plenty of power in both hands. He brings an arsenal to the ring that’s hard to combat.
But, in his loss to Kambosos, he was underwhelming. While true that Lopez came into that fight with illness and not 100 percent, he also made the mistake of headhunting. Kambosos put him down in round one and went on to outbox and out-hustle his adversary. Many pundits felt that Lopez had an inflated ego, which aided his defeat.
Lopez has the talent to beat anyone at 140. The question is whether he can put it all together consistently. Can his mental maturity match his physical ability? As he said, he must handle business on December 10. Boxing fans are watching to see if The Takeover has what it takes to conquer the division.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.