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Darren Barker admits he's excited over a potential Teofimo Lopez vs. Ryan Garcia clash

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TeofimoLopez_Nov2021 Melina Pizano/Matchroom

Nine months on from his loss to George Kambosos Jr, Teofimo Lopez returns to the ring, this time making his super lightweight debut against the experienced Pedro Campa.

First of all, it’s great to see Lopez back. He is one of the biggest names out there right now, and despite being beaten by Kambosos last year, it cannot be forgotten that he beat Vasiliy Lomachenko and found himself in the mix for the number one pound-for-pound fighter spot. 

The fight with Kambosos last year was a war and while Lopez found himself on the wrong end of a split decision, don’t expect the American star to change when it comes to his energetic and loud demeanour during fight week. 

He will be more focused on the Campa fight for sure, but he will be full of confidence like he was during his win over Lomachenko. This shows just how mentally tough Lopez can be by putting himself under this sort of immense pressure. 

If anything, the loss to Kambosos will make him more hungry and will fuel his fire to make a huge statement to the boxing world.

As previously mentioned, this will be Lopez’s first fight at super lightweight and with all the advancements in sport science and nutrition, he may not be the biggest fighter in the division, he will certainly be stronger and therefore very dangerous. 

Lopez will also have speed on his side which is where a fighter will generate power, therefore if he is feeling stronger while carrying a few extra pounds, Lopez will be able to punch harder compared to previous fights. 

Campa could prove to be a solid test for the former world champion. He is currently 36-1-1 and is someone who will be looking to set a high work rate and target the body, but it’s likely to be a tough night for the Mexican veteran come Saturday night. 

Lopez will be looking to get some rounds under his belt and then potentially look for a stoppage around the midway point. The former undisputed world lightweight champion will be looking to shake off some ring rust and I would like to see a bit of everything from Lopez with little fuss. However, if he sees the opportunity to get Campa out of there early on, don’t be surprised if Lopez grabs it with both hands. 

But what’s next for Teofimo Lopez if he is successful in his super lightweight debut against Pedro Campa?

The world title picture at 140lbs is a fractured one. Josh Taylor has been forced to vacate his WBC and WBA belts in order to secure a rematch with Jack Catterall, and while there are already fights taking place for these vacant titles, I’d expect Lopez to be challenging sooner rather than later, bar any slip ups against Campa. 

Another fight involving Lopez which would get boxing fans including myself excited would be a clash with Ryan Garcia. It has the potential to capture the imagination of the American sports fan, two fighters who are intelligent, extremely quick and possess huge power, but Lopez must first be successful on Saturday night in order to return to the big stage once more and secure fights with the sport’s biggest names. 

 

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