You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

What's next for Teofimo Lopez Jr.? Bob Arum lays out options

Boxing Junkie logo Boxing Junkie 10/20/2020 Boxing Junkie Staff
Lopez (right) is known for the power in his right hand. © File photo Lopez (right) is known for the power in his right hand.

Will Teofimo Lopez Jr. stay at 135? Is a rematch with Vasiliy Lomachenko a possibility? Or will the new undisputed lightweight champion move up in weight in search of new challenges.

Lopez’s promoter, Bob Arum, laid out some possibilities for the new star in an interview with ESPN.

Lopez seemed to dismiss the possible of a rematch after his unanimous-decision victory over Lomachenko on Saturday but Arum wouldn’t reject the notion. A key question would be, when?

“If you do a rematch, you want to do it after this COVID is over, where people are vaccinated so we could monetize things and we have a gate and everything,” Arum said.

Perhaps a more realistic possibility is that he’ll leave the 135-pound division and move up to 140. Lopez said he can still make 135 but his father-trainer and Arum say he struggles to do so.

The obvious target at 140 is the winner of the pending title-unification bout between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez next year. As undisputed lightweight champion, Lopez probably would be given a direct route to title fight at junior welterweight.

The problem would be timing.

“If he goes to 140, he has a problem because obviously he wants to fight for a title and that’s taken up for the first half of next year,” said Arum, referring to Taylor vs. Ramirez. “And then the winner of that fight has an obligation to fight [WBO mandatory challenger Jack] Catterall.

“So you’re looking for, at best, the end of next year for him to fight for a 140-pound title.”

If he stays at 135, of course, he has options.

George Kambosos and Lee Selby will fight on Oct. 31 to become mandatory challenger for one of Lopez’s four titles. Then there are the big names at lightweight, including Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia if they win upcoming fights.

Lopez has expressed an interest in fighting Haney. And a Lopez-Garcia would be received warmly by fans.

“Those would be attractive fights,” Arum said. “They have other promoters, Haney and Garcia, but I’m sure that they would be appropriate challengers for Teofimo. But again, I haven’t discussed it with him.”

Arum also discussed Lomachenko’s future with ESPN. He believes it makes sense for “Hi-Tech” to move back down to 130 pounds, where fighters like Miguel Berchelt, Jamel Herring and Shakur Stevenson reside.

“It seems to be that the 135-pound guys are too big for him,” Arum said.

MORE:

Teofimo Lopez Jr. vs. Ryan Garcia? Oscar De La Hoya loves the idea

Judge apparently on phone during fight to appear before BBBofC

George Kambosos Jr., Lee Selby fighting for shot at Teofimo Lopez

Fight Week: Estrada, R. Gonzalez, Martinez on display in Mexico

Video: Ak, Barak: The return of Demetrius Andrade

AdChoices
AdChoices

MORE FROM BOXING JUNKIE

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon