Teofimo Lopez Faces Heavy Criticism for Steve Claggett Matchup on June 29th

By Tim Compton - 03/29/2024 - Comments

Teofimo Lopez (20-1, 13 KOs) has a fight in the works against journeyman Steve Claggett of Canada for June 29th in Miami, Florida.

ESPN reports that the Teofimo-Claggett fight is being finalized now for June 29th. Teofimo’s choice of Claggett gives the struggling WBO light welterweight champion a chance to look good in front of fans and bolster his confidence. At this point of his career, Teofimo really needs that.

Teofimo reportedly turned down a fight against the dangerous, highly talented Raymond Muratalla, who Top Rank is very high on and views as a future star.

Instead of taking the fight with Muratalla, Teofimo, 26, picked the #13 WBO-ranked Claggett (38-7-2, 26 KOs) as his next challenger for June 29th on ESPN. Rejecting the Muratalla fight was a predictable move by Teofimo because of the way he’s fighting now, and he’d have lost to him.

Choosing Claggett gives Teofimo a sure-thing win, one that he can look good in, and use the victory to keep casuals interested in watching him perform on ESPN. It’s one way for Teofimo to stay on top.

Teofimo is believed to be mentally shaken from his close call questionable win in his last fight in February against Jamaine Ortiz in Las Vegas.

Jamaine made a monkey out of Teofimo, outboxing and schooling him from A to B, making Teo look worse than George Kambosos Jr. and Sandor Martin. Interestingly, the judges gave Teofimo, the A-side fighter, the win despite his appearing to lose 8-2 to Jamaine.

Teofimo’s choice of Claggett reveals that he realizes Jamaine soundly beat him, so he’s choosing to pick from the bottom of the WBO’s rankings for the safest opponent to make sure he keeps the money rolling in as the WBO 140-lb champion.

After Teofimo’s controversial wins over Jamaine Ortiz, Sandor Martin, and Vasily Lomachenko, it’s fair to say that he’s a paper champion in the same class as his former best friend, Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero.

The 34-year-old Claggett is a simple brawler from Canada who has been in the pro ranks for 16 years. He has largely fought against bottom-tier opposition and come up short seven times. Two of Claggett’s notable losses were against Chris Van Heerden and Yves Ulysse Jr.