Was it the Takeover, the Takeback, or the Resurrection? Truthfully, I misplaced monitor with all of the branding makes an attempt made for Teofimo Lopez’s comeback.
For me, Saturday’s bout in Las Vegas towards Mexican Pedro Campa was extra just like the Layover for a returning Lopez, a cease between locations the place the one intrigue got here in how lengthy that layover can be.
High Rank is the very best at secure matchmaking that seems harmful and their alternative of Campa as Teo’s comeback opponent was very good. The native of Hermosillo, Sonora was powerful, sport, and flung his fists like he COULD do some actual harm. However, actually, he by no means had an opportunity. He was simply too slow-footed, too slow-fisted, and too all-around pedestrian for a fighter in Lopez who’s particular in a number of methods.
From the very first alternate of the battle, it was clear that Lopez can be too quick and too multi-dimensional. By the fourth spherical, Campas’ slim likelihood of touchdown one thing large and script-flipping had dissipated totally. By the sixth spherical, the bout was extra goal observe than prizefight. And, within the seventh, Lopez dropped a battered and busted-up Campas, resulting in a stoppage by referee Tony Weeks.
So, the query AFTER the battle is now the identical BEFORE the battle (as a result of we actually didn’t be taught something on Saturday, apart from that Lopez has not fully fallen aside underneath the load of his personal promise)– what subsequent for Teofimo Lopez?
The 25-year-old has insisted that 140 is his new residence and that each one comers and challengers might want to meet him there. And that would be the case, till he outgrows 140 in a pair years.
Junior welterweight, proper now, shouldn’t be precisely brimming with elite-level expertise and even high-end, multi-dimensional, long-term world stage gamers. Josh Taylor is “elite,” however he’s shedding belts just like the house shuttle dropping rocket boosters again all the way down to Earth upon launch and could also be formally a welterweight in a matter of months. Regis Prograis may be very a lot a high-end expertise. Jose Ramirez, Jack Catterall, Jose Zepeda, Arnold Barboza, and Subriel Matias would all make for compelling clashes. Gary Antuanne Russell may be an actual problem underneath the appropriate situations.
There are different worthwhile challenges as effectively. However the actually big-ticket foes are nonetheless at 135 (or simply newly arrived FROM 135)– Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Devin Haney, and a presumably revenge-minded Vasiliy Lomachenko. And it’ll simply be a matter of time for all the above, with the probably exception of Lomachenko, to be firmly inside the 140 lb. restrict.
In all probability a variety of ready round, combating guys ALMOST definitely worth the time, however not the massive names. His Lomachenko battle noticed stars aligning on the proper time and the chance nearly actually fall into his lap. The closest to that taking place for him is a Taylor title bout– if High Rank, which promotes each Taylor and Lopez, will get every thing put collectively good and really, in a short time. Every thing else “large” for Teofimo would require a trudge by means of the netherworld of cross-promotional, cross-network, cross-platform negotiations (apart from the now-High Rank co-promoted Haney, who shall be onerous to wrangle away from doing his personal factor towards plenty of somebody elses).
Within the meantime, although, whereas enterprise is working itself out, Lopez IS again and he appeared fairly good, albeit towards somebody chosen to make him look fairly good. And, though his post-fight celebrations gave off an nearly determined “take a look at me being BACK and completely mentally wholesome, by no means broken” vibe, it’s true that even a Teofimo Lopez working at 75%, and wading in delusion is healthier than nearly anybody else in his weight vary.
That’s been clearly evident for awhile, particularly in his lone defeat final November to George Kambosos the place he dropped a nip-and-tuck break up resolution to the Australian whereas coping with distraction, delay, and a COVID-related, breath-crippling situation that medical doctors say might’ve, actually, killed him in the course of the battle.
This complete package deal makes Lopez one compelling fucker and somebody value looking ahead to any variety of causes. Though Saturday’s stomping of Pedro Campa was little greater than a layover to future locations, it’s nonetheless good to have him again within the airport.
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