By Jack Tiernan: Teofimo Lopez can ill afford to lose tonight’s fight against Pedro Campa on ESPN in Las Vegas. Former unified lightweight champion Teofimo (16-1, 12 KOs) was filled with excuses after losing his last fight in an upset against George Kambosos Jr.
In response, Top Rank has scaled back the opposition for the 25-year-old Teofimo, matching him against a gimme tonight in 31-year-old Campa (34-1-1, 23 KOs).
This is the type of opponent that Teofimo should beat even if he’s wracked with injuries and/or ill. Whether Teofimo’s injuries were legit for the Kambosos fight is unknown.
It will be a mistake for Teofimo to immediately start with the injury excuses if he loses to Campa tonight because the fans won’t believe him.
Teofimo must look good in winning against Campa because his promoters at Top Rank would like to match him against these fighters:
- Jose Zepeda
- Josh Taylor
- Regis Prograis
- Jose Ramirez
- Arnold Barboza
“With Teo and his father, they have a swagger and have gone out there in a wonderful way and have sold themselves,” said Top Rank president Todd Duboef to Fighthype.
Everyone is clamoring to see the return of Teofimo Lopez, and we will see how strong he is after the layoff tomorrow evening against Pedro Campa at the beautiful Resorts Las Vegas. So many great opportunities for Teofimo at 140 pounds.
— Bob Arum (@BobArum) August 13, 2022
“Truthfully, he’s an explosive fighter with great power and fast twitch. Every time he opened up his mouth, he delivered. A lot of us were shocked at what happened in the Kambosos fight.
“It was riddled with Covid postponements, and he said he had an injury. The question is, what is it? This is the test. What do we got? What side of this are we on?
“We know he has a lot of ability, but let’s see what happens. I think there’s an epidemic in today’s scoring system where people always blame the judges if they don’t agree with what happened.
“I think there are a basket of guys [at 140]. You have Jose Ramirez, Josh Taylor, Jose Zepeda, Catterall, Arnold Barboza, and Devin Haney. He says he wants to go back.
“What if Teo says, ‘I want to go back to 135 and fight Loma again?’ There’s so much to do. So for me to put a crystal ball out there with the kind of quality fights that are available and make a projection about what’s going to happen.
“I think you let it organically play,” said Duboef.