Teofimo Lopez admits he’s a fighter desperate to make up for lost time.
In October 2020, Lopez caused a seismic shock when he dethroned Vasiliy Lomachenko to become the world’s premier lightweight. 13 months on, the Brooklyn fighter is yet to fight.
This Saturday, live on DAZN, Lopez will take to the ring over a year’s frustration as he faces his IBF mandatory challenger, George Kambosos Jr. The oft postponed battle has been one of 2021’s most frustrating sagas due to background politics and Lopez suffering from COVID, but the charming 24-year-old can is finally ready to push on and capitalise on his Lomachenko success.
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“I didn’t want to beat the best fighter in the world and just sit on that,” said Lopez when speaking to DAZN. “My belts are catching dust over here. I’m looking forward to fighting three times next year. Now, I just want to get this [Kambosos fight] over with and put on a show for DAZN and Matchroom.”
Demonstrating huge optimism ahead of his second world title defence, Lopez is already looking forward to securing dates with some of boxing’s biggest names in 2022. After already eliminating one of the sport’s grandest fighters in the masterful Ukranian, Lopez is ready to switch his sights to more threats if he gets past Kambosos.
Surrounded by elite names in the talent laden 135lbs division, Lopez doesn’t have to look far to find a suitable dance partner for a marquee fight. Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, and Devin Haney are all within the lightweight vicinity but it’s the division ruler at super-lightweight that is tempting Lopez most.
“Definitely Josh Taylor,” replied Lopez when asked who his ideal opponent for next year would be. “I’ve been telling people that for some time. We can definitely make that fight happen in the U.K. There’s also Gervonta Davis, that could be a great fight at 140lbs. People are also talking about Devin Haney so we can what happens there.”