Teofimo Lopez returns to the ring on Saturday night, when he will face Pedro Campa in his move up to 140 pounds. Lopez, who shocked Vasiliy Lomachenko to take the world lightweight titles and was then himself upset by George Kambosos Jr in his maiden defence, says he will be a “better, more explosive fighter” up five pounds in weight.
Lopez, who says he had been fighting at 135, “since I was a teenager,” is excited to be looking for fresh challenges at 140. We can, Lopez says, get ready for a “Takeover 2.0.” Lopez, 16-1(12) has not boxed since last November when he lost a close decision to Kambosos Jr, and now the 25 year old from Brooklyn is both excited and anxious to get back to winning ways.
Campa of Mexico is a good comeback foe for Lopez. Tough and durable, Campa, 34-1-1(23) is also not too dangerous in that he has not mixed in anything like the class of Lopez, and Campa is pretty hittable. Saturday’s fight is one Lopez should win and win quite easily, let’s not kid ourselves. But at the same time, with Lopez both going up to a new weight class and having been largely inactive – just one fight since October of 2020 – it wouldn’t have been smart for Teo to get right back in there with an elite operator.
Lopez, a good addition to big fights, should win and win well on Saturday, and we fans hope this will be the case. The loss to Kambosos aside, Lopez did look like a genuine superstar of the future. If Lopez is faster, stronger, and more explosive as a 140 pounder, it will mean we can look ahead to some potentially great match-ups at light-welter. Imagine Lopez in there with these guys: Josh Taylor (if Taylor sticks around at 140), the winner of the upcoming Regis Prograis-Jose Zepeda fight, Jose Ramirez. Each of these possible match-ups would certainly prove attractive to the fans. But first things first, and Lopez has to get that comeback win out of the way. We have seen over the years, a number of “sure thing” stars of the future who, upon losing for the first time, were never the same again.
Let’s hope this will not prove to be the case with Lopez.