The lightweight division is currently the hottest, most talent-rich weight class in the sport. There are some sensational fighters plying their trade at 135 pounds and what’s more, there are some awesome match-ups to be made – match-ups we all want to see made. And another good thing about the current lightweight division is the fact that almost all of the major players are young fighters, either in their prime or close to it.
But who are the five best 135 pounders operating today? Asking an active lightweight is perhaps not the best way to get an unbiased answer, but Teofimo Lopez, who calls himself the undisputed lightweight king (Devin Haney, who holds the WBC belt, has something to say about that), has listed his Top-5.
Speaking with ESPNRingside, Lopez listed his Top-5 as follows:
1: Teofimo Lopez
2: Vasiliy Lomachenko
3: Ryan Garcia
4: Devin Haney
5: Gervonta Davis
An interesting list, yet at the same time, one that is sure to anger “Tank” Davis fans and supporters. Lopez says he places Davis so low because of the fact that “Tank” has thus far fought only once at 135. As for the rest of his Top-5, Lopez was bound to put himself at the top of the pile. Lomachenko at #2 might surprise some, seeing as Lopez has never had anything good to say about the man he defeated to take the titles he now holds. But can any other 135 pounder do what Lopez did and beat Loma?
The fight that might have the best chance of taking place this year is one between Lopez and Haney (although Lopez may well take his IBF mandatory next, and fight George Kambosos). Lopez was asked how a fight between he and Haney, who he has often referred to as an “e-mail champion,” would go:
“It would start off as a technical fight but in the mid rounds I’d put him on his ass,” Lopez said. “Devin’s the type of person for me that I want to knock out and there’s bad intentions. There’s been too much talk and when you talk too much about me I put you on my hit list for real. But I think it’d be a real good intriguing fight, an interesting fight for everybody to watch, we’re two young, hungry fighters and it’ll be a great fight for everybody to watch.”
There are a number of fascinating match-ups that can be made between these five excellent fighters. Let’s hope we get to see at least a couple of them this year.