Bernard Hopkins says nobody beats Teofimo Lopez right now at 135, and he believes he’s going to keep winning for a long, long time.
Indeed, Hopkins believes he’ll be an older man by the time the undisputed lightweight champion Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) suffers his first defeat.
Like many people, Bernard was shocked at how easily the Top Rank promoted Teofimo, 23, defeated WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO lightweight champion Vasily Lomachenko in their fight last October.
Teofimo outboxed Lomachenko first the first seven rounds to build up an insurmountable lead, and he then coasted the rest of the way to win a wide 12 round unanimous decision.
No one had ever dominated the former three-division world champion Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) before.
Although Lomachenko revealed shortly after the fight that he’d fought with a shoulder injury, it’s not believed that the outcome would have been different if he were healthy.
Teofimo will be a problem
“He surprised me. I was a big Lomachenko fan,” said Bernard Hopkins to Little Giant Boxing, talking about Teofimo’s win over Vasily Lomachenko. “The way he did it, he’s a problem for a long time for anyone in that weight division .
“Him,” Bernard said when asked, ‘what’s his hardest fight?’ Hopkins then nodded his head when asked if Teofimo can only beat him.
“They’re going to have to create somebody, and I don’t know if he’s going to be there that long,” Hopkins continued with his praise of Lopez. “Yeah,” said Hopkins when asked if Teofimo is ‘that good.’
What could spoil things for Teofimo is the plans that he has in moving up to the 140-lb weight class in late 2021.
If he moves up without fighting Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, he won’t be able to take advantage of the success from his win over Lomachenko.
Teofimo’s promoter Bob Arum wants him to challenge the winner of the light welterweight clash between IBF/WBA champ Josh Taylor and WBC/WBO champion Jose Ramirez.
Lopez will get some attention by fighting and beating the Taylor vs. Ramirez winner, but it won’t be the same as it would be if he stayed at 135 long enough to take on Haney, Ryan Garcia, and Tank.
If Teofimo leaves the lightweight division without facing the top guys or giving Lomachenko a rematch, that would be a massive disappointment.
Hopkins: Teofimo beat the mess out of Lomachenko
“Put it this way; I might be in my wheelchair by the time he gets beat,” said Hopkins about Teofimo. “Tell him I said it. I’m dead serious. He beat the mess out of [Lomachenko], and it’s the way he did it.
“I’ll be old and gray more by the time someone puts a touch on him,” Bernard said about the 23-year-old Teofimo.
“He has to go down overnight for some other issue. But right now, if it’s strictly based on boxing and based on his ability and where he’s at, come on, man.
“Continue to be you, and always strive to outdo your last performance,” said Hopkins in giving a personal message to Teofimo.
“That’ll keep you stimulated to do the best every time you step in that ring, and not look at what you did yesterday only as a boost which you got to do today and in the future.
“The fire should never stop burning until you stop fighting,” said Hopkins in his message to Teofimo.
Tank Davis would be a problem for Lopez, as well as a healthy Lomachenko. If Ryan Garcia catches Teofimo with his left hook, he’s capable of knocking him out. Could Teofimo avoid that punch from Ryan for 12 rounds without getting hit? I have my doubts.
It wasn’t a bad beating that Lomachenko took against Teofimo, but he took some punishment. As the older, much smaller, and weaker guy, Lomachenko was forced to absorb punishment.
Lomachenko made it competitive late in the contest, and he gave Teofimo a run for his money. A rematch would be nice so that Teofimo could show the win over the injured Lomachenko wasn’t a fluke thing.