Former undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez will be moving up to 140 to take a tune-up next February before challenging undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor in the spring, according to his dad Teofimo Sr.
Unfortunately, Teofimo (16-1, 12 KOs) is moving up to 140 under a black cloud, following his 12 round split decision defeat at the hands of George Kambosos Jr. (20-0, 10 KOs) last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Teofimo, 24, looked like the shell of the fighter that had beaten Vasily Lomachenko in his previous fight in October 2020.
Did COVID wear Teofimo out?
It’s possible the 13 months of downtime in addition to a bad case of COVID 19 took the best part of Teofimo, leaving the depleted-looking imposter that was outworked, outboxed, and surprisingly out-punched by the lighter-hitting Australian Kambosos.
Like Alexander Povetkin, Artur Beterbiev, and Tyson Fury, Teofimo looked nothing like the fighter he’d been before coming down with COVID, and we can only hope that he’ll be able to regain the form that he had before coming down with this dreaded illness.
“We’re going to go up to 140lbs, get a fight in February, and then fight Josh Taylor. This doesn’t change anything,” said Teofimo Sr. to Secondsout.
“Everybody knows he won that fight. Everybody was upset; they booed the decision in MSG. It’s a bulls— loss, and I had it 10 to two, nine to three,” said Teofimo Sr.
It’s a good idea for Teofimo to take a couple of tune-ups if he wants to increase his chances of beating Josh Taylor. The way that Teofimo looked against Kambosos, he should think about waiting until 2023 before challenging for a world title at 140.
Teofimo is not ready for Josh Taylor
Even if that means missing out on the chance of fighting Taylor before he moves up to 147, so be it. Teofimo needs time to adapt to fighting in a new weight class, and he must improve his stamina and punch output because both of them are too poor for him to beat a talent like Taylor right now.
Had that been Josh Taylor inside the ring with Teofimo last Saturday, he wouldn’t have seen the final bell. In this writer’s view, Taylor is a far better fighter than Teofimo and Kambosos, and he would have made easy work of both guys if it had been him in there with either guy.
“We’re going to keep doing big fights, selling out arenas like we did tonight,” Teofimo Sr. continued.
“I don’t blame my son for nothing. We’ve been at this weight for eight years at 135, and it’s time to move up.”