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Teofimo Lopez’s next fight likely George Kambosos Jr in April or May

Teofimo Lopez

By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez plans on trying to hold onto his four lightweight titles a little while longer, making a mandatory defense against his IBF challenger George Kambosos in April or May in New York. U.S fans will likely tune this mismatch out, but Kambosos’ fans will love it.

ESPN that Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) wants to take the fight the unbeaten Australian Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KOs), and then take his final match at 135 against WBC champion Devin Haney.

Following that contest, Teofimo will move up to 140 to take on the winner of the May 8th light welterweight undisputed championship between Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez.

If Teofimo’s promoters at Top Rank are unsuccessful at negotiating a fight with Kambosos’ management, the fight will go to an IBF purse bid. From there, it’ll be up to Teofimo and Top Rank to decide whether they’re happy with the results of the purse bid.

If not, they’ll move on and likely give up the IBF belt, which they should be doing now.

Teofimo Lopez

The speech that Teofimo made on Tuesday about how the top fighters in the sport should be looking to set up more 50-50 fights. Well, Teofimo’s fight with the badly flawed Kambosos Jr isn’t a 50-50 fight.

“The only thing that is holding it up is my mandatory. I’m a true champion. I’m not letting go of any of my belts,” said Teofimo to ESPN on why he chose to fight Kambosos rather than one of the Four Kings.

“It’s not because it’s who I want but because it’s my mandatory. A lot of people say I’m ducking a lot of people, but I’m not. I got to go through the process — that’s just part of the game,” said Haney.

The real question is, why not go right to the match with Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) rather than take a fight that U.S boxing fans have zero interest in seeing between Teofimo and Kambosos Jr. What difference does one fight make?

I could understand Teofimo choosing to satisfy his IBF mandatory if his opponent were Ryan Garcia, Vasily Lomachenko, or Jorge Linares. But it looks pathetic that Teofimo is choosing to waste a fight at 135 to defend against Kambosos rather than one of the good lightweights.

Other than the money that Teofimo would be getting, there’s no reason. He would do better to go after Haney, Ryan Garcia, Vasily Lomachenko, or Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.

If Teofimo is vacating all of his lightweight titles after he faces Haney, he might as well give up the IBF title now and go straight to that fight right away.

Top Rank is still negotiating with Kambosos to try and make the fight happen. The match made sense initially when Teofimo and his dad Teofimo Sr talked about doing it in Australia in front of a crowd of 65,000.

Teofimo Lopez

There would have been a lot of money to be made from a big crowd. But now that the plans have changed, there’s no upside in Teofimo facing Kambosos Jr in the U.S.

Teofimo might as well scrap the whole idea and take on Devin Haney or Ryan Garcia next and save himself the aggravation.

Teofimo continues to justify taking the Kambosos fight

“I have to pay my respect to that guy,” said Teofimo about Kambososo.  “I’ll deal with that process first, negotiate, see what happens, and if they agree with all the terms, that will have to be the guy.

“If things go south, Devin Haney is the next guy, and hopefully, we can make that fight happen without him trying to overprice himself.”

Teofimo isn’t a big star yet, so it’s disturbing to hear him constantly talking about his opponents potentially overpricing themselves. If Teofimo is going to play the A-side game each time he fights, he could wind up having an empty career.

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