Bob Arum envisions Teofimo Lopez facing Jose Pedraza next at 140
By Dan Ambrose: Bob Arum says that when Teofimo Lopez returns to the ring at 140, he wants to match him against Jose ‘Sniper’ Pedraza next. Teofimo (16-1, 12 KOs) will be campaigning at light welterweight from now on as long he’s cleared medically by the Cleveland Clinic, according to Arum.
The former undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo, 24, suffered injuries to his lungs and esophagus while preparing for his last fight against George Kambosos Jr. on November 27th.
Teofimo ended up losing the fight to Kambosos by a 12 round split, and some believe his injuries were the cause for his defeat.
Arum says Pedraza (29-3, 14 KOs) is facing former WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez next, and regardless of the outcome, he wants to schedule ‘Sniper’ against Teofimo
It’s risky letting Teofimo fight a talented fighter like the former two-division world champion Pedraza in his first fight at 140, as this guy has arguably more ability than what Teo dealt with against Kambosos.
If Teofimo lacks the stamina to fight hard without gassing out at 140, Pedraza will wear him down and beat him in the same way that Kambosos did. Pedraza would beat Kambosos. He’s a better fighter than the Australian, and he would expose him as being a basic pull-back guy.
“Teofimo is recovering from a lung condition brought on by losing weight, and he wants to go to 140,” said Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV. “Jose Pedraza, who was next to me, is fighting [Jose] Ramirez, and win or lose, he could be a great opponent for Teofimo,” said Arum.
In theory, Teofimo should beat Pedraza, but this writer has serious doubts about whether he can. If Teofimo is unable to beat Pedraza, Arum will need to think about dumping him overboard and cutting him loose from his Top Rank stable.
The only other option for Teofimo would be for him to move up to 147 and hope that he has more energy than at 135 and 140 because he can’t be losing fights left and right due to him being weighed drained.
It would be wiser for Arum to take it easy for Teofimo for his first two or three fights at 140 because he needs to get acclimated to the division. Also, Teofimo’s confidence needs to be boosted.
These are good options for Teofimo’s next fights:
- Ohara Davies
- Sandor Martin
- Tyrone McKenna
- Robert Easter Jr
- Fabian Maidana
- Cletus Seldin
- Rances Barthelemy
- Lewis Ritson
If Teofimo can’t beat these fringe fighters, Arum needs to panic because this suggests that he will not amount to anything at 140 and probably 147.
Teofimo losing to fringe contenders will cement the belief that the only reason he found success at 135 is that he was a weight bully.
For boxing fans that don’t remember, Adrien Broner enjoyed huge success when he was fighting in the lower weights at super featherweight and lightweight when he had a size advantage over his opposition.
But when Broner moved up to 140 and 147 and began fighting guys the same size as him, he began losing, and his career was never the same.
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