LAS VEGAS — Teofimo Lopez is a young man of 25 who has spent most of his boxing career an expression of joy. He became a star not only for his boxing skills and punching power, but also for his stellar personality and love for what he does.
The situation changed dramatically in November. He struggled to reach the 135-pound lightweight limit in a bout with George Kambosos, Jr. He suffered a laceration to his esophagus. Previous A fight—doctors later told him they could have killed him. And he went out and was dropped early, dropping his decision and undisputed title to the Australians.
He separated from his wife, suffered countless personal problems, and abandoned the department that made him a star.
“I was 135 for about nine years and was killing my body,” he said Saturday.
He had the weight of all these issues and more in what he called a “take back” against Pedro Campa at the Resorts World Event Center on Saturday.
And while they were bugging him early, it was old Lopez who was there by the end of the night.Having fun, smiling, firing big punches, and winning in a dramatic way. At 2:14 on Saturday 7, referee Tony Weeks jumped in and stopped Campa as Lopez was delivering a hard shot to Campa’s head.
He did a backflip and was seen with a million dollar smile. But he later admitted it wasn’t all peaches and cream: he’s now a father, and his son, Teofimo Lopez V, had his thoughts when he clambered between the ropes. was the most important of
“I’m not going to lie. I had a lot on my mind,” Lopez said. “It weighed heavily on my heart that I almost died in the last game. It was the only thing that weighed heavily on my mind, but I had to figure it out.
Lopez started slowly and patiently. But Campa wasn’t very good with the speed on his hands and feet, so Lopez wasn’t able to persevere in pursuit. He was hitting more than optimally if faced with one of his top dogs in 140 like Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor and Ryan Garcia, but he was boxing and moving. I was.
But he continued to put coins in the bank on Saturday, tearing Campa apart with a quick, sharp right hand and the occasional jab. He didn’t go to the body much, but that was enough for Kampa.
His father/trainer Teofimo Lopez Jr. was delighted.
“[Campa] I came here to win,” he said. “I don’t want to take anything away from him. He’s a tough guy. He’s really tough. He put on a show. was showing.”
Lopez began mashing Campa’s face in the sixth round, and quick, hard shots began to take their toll.
Lopez deserves credit for staying within himself and working methodically to get Kampa out. He hit him with his right hand, followed by his left hook that dropped him a minute or so into the seventh. If he’s proven anything, Kampa has shown his toughness by getting back up and fighting.
But Lopez was one of the best finishers in the sport, all over Campa, lunging along the ropes to finish.
The key, he said, is to keep your cool and accept small victories throughout the fight.
“I need to take my time [because] Little by little, those punches add up,” Lopez said. “Ultimately, it will hurt them. [You need to] Trust God, trust the process. ”
Most of the top fighters are busy, but Lopez has plenty of great potential fights at the super-lightweight division. rematch.
Regis Prograis will face Jose Zepeda for the WBC belt. Ryan Garcia is in talks to fight Garbonta Davis, who holds the lightweight belt.
Lopez wants Taylor because he held all the belts before Taylor voluntarily gave up the WBA and WBC trifle, but he’s not a picky eater.
“I’ll take them all and take their dreams away,” Lopez said. “I’m here to see their nightmares.”
His last outing was a nightmare. And while what he went through will likely stay with him forever in some form, he did a good job of pushing through it and getting over it on Saturday.
A man known as “The Takeover” seems ready to take over again.