Teofimo Lopez weighed in at a very drained-looking 135 pounds on Friday for his title defense of his IBF, WBA, WBC Franchise, and WBO lightweight titles against a motivated upset-minded George Kambosos Jr. this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) looked a lot better in coming in at 134.4 lbs and appeared to be not far from his fighting weight for Saturday.
This will probably be the last time Teofimo will be defending his lightweight titles because he announced on Thursday that he’s vacating his belts and moving up to 140.
During the staredown, Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) appeared ill-looking and lifeless, lacking the energy that we usually see from him. In contrast, Kambosos looked powerful, nervous, and ready to fight.
One could tell that Teofimo went through pure hell, making the 135-lb weight limit for this go-around, which isn’t surprising because he hasn’t fought since October 17th, 2020.
With Teofimo’s COVID-19 illness and the fight being moved several times, it’s delayed the clash.
It’ll be interesting to see if Teofimo is back to full strength by Saturday night after he rehydrates tonight. He’s already admitted that he has an injury that he’ll be fighting with, and we don’t know what that’s about.
Other weights on the card:
Teofimo Lopez 135 vs. George Kambosos Jr 134.4
Azinga Fuzile 129.6 vs. Kenichi Ogawa 129.4
Raymond Ford 126 vs. Felix Caraballo 125.4
Zhilei Zhang 274 vs. Craig Lewis 273.2
Ramla Ali 122.2 vs. Isela Vera 121
Christina Cruz 111.6 vs. Maryguenn Vellinga 110.8
Anthony Herrera 118 vs. Jonathan Tejeda 115.4
“This is going to be an interesting fight. If this fight goes past five, six rounds, it’s going to be really interesting, and it’s going to be very, very dangerous for Kambosos early in this fight,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social on the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight.
“It’s not unusual for a fighter to have a little bit of tape on them when they have an injury,” said Hearn about Teofimo. “To be honest, I don’t know of many fighters that don’t have an injury or niggle during camp.
“He’s [Teofimo] been training for ten months, but I’ve seen him on the pads, and I’ve seen him sparring, and he’s firing on all cylinders. Again, another thing Kambosos is looking at.
“The fact that you have it openly strapped, it’s generally a sign that it’s not a major problem. You don’t want to give anything away, and maybe he [Teofimo] could care less that he gives something away.
“Again, if you’re Kambosos, the shoulder, there’s a niggle. So a little more positivity.
“I don’t think Teofimo will look bad in the fight because he’s very explosive, very dangerous, and he wants to look good,” said Hearn. “He recognizes the value in looking good, and looking good will increase his value in his next fight.
“We already have a handshake that Haney and Lopez both winning their fights now is the fight that we’ll make next. I don’t think Teofimo will go back on his word, but I do think he’ll look to go up in weight because I think he may struggle to make 135.
“There’s obviously the Josh Taylor fight there as well [for Teofimo]. I don’t think that fight will interest Josh Taylor that much from a legacy point of view.
“He’s [Taylor] kind of giving Teofimo the chance to become undisputed at 140 after he went through such an arduous problem to get it, and now he’s giving this other guy [Teo] one shot to get it.
“So, I think in Josh Taylor’s head, he’s thinking, ‘I don’t want to give him a shot. I’d rather fight Crawford or someone else. Josh has to maximize his moment as the undisputed champion and make his money and be in those legacy fights, so well see,” said Hearn.
It sounds like Hearn doesn’t want Teofimo to face Josh Taylor next, and who can blame him? Hearn wants Teofimo to fight his guy, Devin Haney, next, but it’s unclear whether that match-up will happen.
Teofimo has already said that he will vacate his lightweight titles and move up to 140 after this fight.