Teofimo Lopez wants to look impressive on Heisman night this Saturday night against Spaniard Sandor Martin on December 3rd at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Lopez-Martin event will be streamed live on ESPN+ at 9:00 p.m. ET.
The former unified lightweight champion Teofimo (17-1, 13 KOs) will need to be at the top of his game against Sandor Martin (40-2, 13 KOs) because this guy sent Mike Garcia into retirement.
Martin is every bit as good as George Kambosos Jr, if not better, and we saw what he did to Teofimo last year, making him look silly.
Teofimo didn’t look good in his debut at 140 against Pedro Campa last August, showing no improvement over his fight with Kambosos. The only difference is Campa was pulled from the second-tier opposition and not quite good enough to pull off the upset against Teofimo as Kambosos had.
Top Rank has got to be worried about what they’re seeing from Teofimo in his last two fights because he’s clearly not the fighter that some had thought he was when he pulled off an upset of Vasyl Lomachenko and beat the likes of Richard Commey and Masayoshi Nakatani.
Will Sandor Martin defeat Teofimo?
“We just had our first face-off with Sandor Martin. No, this is the guy that we wanted in the first place, and I’m glad this happened, and it turned around,” said Teofimo Lopez to Fighthype when asked if he’s disappointed that he’s not fighting Jose Pedraza instead of Sandor Martin.
If Martin beats Teofimo, I don’t know that you can call it an upset because Teo has been exposed already as a fighter whose success at 135 was based on his size rather than his talent.
Teofimo was arguably a weight bully when he fought in the lightweight division because he’s essentially a welterweight in size. That gave him a massive advantage against his smaller foes.
When the strain of draining down to 135 finally got to Teofimo, we saw the results with him losing to a mediocre fighter in Kambosos.
“It’s all about looking impressive,” said Teofimo when asked if he’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t get the knockout against Martin. “The knockout, if it comes, it comes.
“My whole objective is to look great. I worked my butt all this camp. I work hard every time I’m getting ready for a fight. I’m just looking to put on a show for everybody on Heisman night. It is my night.
“We wish nothing but health to Jose Pedraza. He was dealing with non-COVID symptoms, and he had to pull out for his own reasons. We’re excited that we have Sandor Martin.
“You guys have got to understand that this isn’t a three-week notice for this guy. He’s been in the gym, and if you don’t believe me ask Bruce Trampler, ask Brad Goodman or ask my manager David McWhorter.
“Actually, I thought Pedraza was going to give me a more difficult run for my money than anything. We don’t overlook these guys, Sandor Martin. Obviously, he defeated one of the best Mexican fighters of this era, Mikey Garcia, a four-division world champion.
“It’s a great match-up. This is going to show everyone where I’m at in the 140-lb division. Pedraza is like a sniper, like his name. What he does is he alternates. He switches from southpaw to orthodox.
“So what happens with a lot o fighters? They end up having issues, ‘where is this guy going?’ He can go off his back foot and throw a punch. You’ve always got to be aware of that person because fighters like that, who know how to switch, like Crawford or anyone like that of that sort.
“I do it too, but I do it from time to time, still working on those things that I like to improve. I think those styles, those styles alone, can bring a lot of problems to a fighter,” said Teofimo.