Teofimo Lopez is giving up on the idea of giving Vasily Lomachenko, and he says he’ll be moving up to 140 to challenge Josh Taylor for his four belts in November if possible.
First, Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) has a fight on October 4th against George Kambosos Jr. (19-0, 10 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Teofimo believed he’ll knockout Kambosos in the first round, and that’ll make it easy for him to return to the ring a month later to take on Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) in November or whoever Top Rank can get for him.
Teofimo, 24, feels it’s important to get a second fight this year because he only fought once in 2020. If he had another year in which he only fights once, that would hurt his popularity and prevent him from staying sharp.
Also, Teofimo can’t maximize his money-making potential if he’s only fighting once a year.
As for Lomachenko, it’s got to be disappointing that he won’t be getting an opportunity to avenge his loss to Teofimo from 2020.
But if Lomachenko wants to fight Teofimo badly enough, he can follow him up to 140 and try and set up a match up there.
Teofimo ready to move to 140
“Talk to them. They don’t want to fight me,” said Teofimo to ESPN when asked if he wants to fight Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, and Gervonta Davis.
“We offered so many chances for these guys, and they’ve always backed down. When the going gets tough, they back off.
“I did everything at 135 and become undisputed. Now it’s about going to 140 and become undisputed at 140,” said Teofimo.
It’s a shame that Teofimo is moving up to 140 without fighting Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, and Devin Haney, but he’s outgrown the division. Teofimo walks around in the mid-150s, and he’s solid at that weight.
For Teofimo to fight at 135, he has to trim off muscle weight, which is never a good thing. As big as Teofimo is right now, he really should be campaigning at 147, but 140 is okay as long as there are a couple of name fighters for Teofimo to fight.
Besides Josh Taylor, the light welterweight division has these fighters for Teofimo to fight:
- Regis Prograis
- Jose Ramirez
- Shakhram Giyasov
- Viktor Postol
- Subriel Matias
- Jeremiah Ponce
- Jose Zepeda
“Devin Haney, if he wants me, he can come see me, but he set up another fight for November when I was going to fight in November,” said Teofimo.
Teofimo wants to fight in November
“I’m planning on coming back home on ESPN on my platform in coming back to my family in November.
“I’m trying to get two in,” said Teofimo about wanting to fight twice in 2021. “That’s why I’m staying in the gym to stay in shape.
“That’s why these guys set up the tone because they already know what I’m about to do, and they find a way to get away from it,” said Teofimo.
It must make George Kambosos Jr. a little upset listening to Teofimo talk about wanting to fight in November. He’s basically overlooking Kamosos Jr. entirely by talking about wanting to return to the ring a month later.
The only way Teofimo can get back in the ring in November is if he makes short work of Kambosos Jr, which is entirely possible. But with Kambosos Jr. never having been beaten before, it’s hard to know for sure if he can take the power of Teofimo.
We know that Kambosos Jr. has been pretty well sheltered during his career in Australia, and the only two decent fighters on his resume are Mickey Bey and Lee Selby, and those guys were as old as the hills when Kambosos Jr. beat them.
Teo aiming for Josh Taylor
“Hey, it ain’t me. You don’t have to hate me. You don’t got to love me, but you’ve got to respect me,” said Teofimo about the lightweights likely to be angry that he’s moving up to 140.
“Look, we know you got Kambosos around the corner, and we don’t want to get ahead of that,” said Andre Ward to Teofimo.
“If you handle your business like you just said you would. You said, ‘First round knockout.’
“So I guess you’re not expecting to be in there too long. If you do that, you’ve got a big dog at 140, Josh Taylor.
“Talk to me about how bad you want that fight. It’s realistic. You’re in the same stable. Talk to me about Josh Taylor in unifying at 140 lbs,” said Ward.
If Teofimo will be taking on Josh Taylor in his first fight in the 140-lb division, that’s a big risk for him. We don’t know how Teo will before against a top-flight fighter like Taylor.
We know that Teofimo was struggling in his last fight against Lomachenko in October 2020. Taylor is younger, stronger, and bigger than Lomachenko. So if Teofimo thought he had problems fighting Lomachenko, he’s going to be struggling like mad against Taylor.
“Josh Taylor, kudos to him. He’s undisputed at 140,” said Teofimo. “You got to give respect where respect is at.
“He went out there, and he fought Jose Ramirez, who was a tough fighter. A tough Mexican fighter that always comes forward, and he’s got the credentials for it. It’s just that.
“I’m always going to respect everybody at what they do, but when the going gets tough.
“When you come in front of me. It’s all business. I’m here to get mine always and set the tone for the new generation and let the kids see.
‘Look at Teofimo, look where he’s at right now.’ It’s just because. You’ve got to know yourself.
“Yes,” Teofimo said when asked if he wants to fight in November AFTER fighting Kambosos on October 4th. “It’ll take Josh Taylor. Give him back to back at 140. We can line them all up,” said Teofimo.
It remains to be seen if Teofimo will be able to pull off his big move to 140 without getting beaten. If Teofimo loses or looks bad against Taylor, he might need to consider moving back down to lightweight.