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Teofimo Lopez recovering from hand surgery, targeting June or July for next fight

Image: Teofimo Lopez recovering from hand surgery, targeting June or July for next fight

By Jim Calfa: Teofimo Lopez had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right hand on Thursday in Los Angeles to repair a problem that had been lingering since his training camp for his last fight.

If everything goes well for Teofimo, his manager David McWaters believes he can battle for a world title at 140 before the end of the year.

Undisputed light-welterweight champion Josh Taylor will be vacating his four titles soon to go up to 147, and that’ll put Teofimo in a great spot to fight for one of the belts. It’s believed that he’ll compete for the WBO 140-lb strap.

Teofimo has been walking wounded lately with one injury after another. Once Teofimo’s hand heals in six weeks, he’ll be able to begin training in May or a possible fight against light-welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. in June or July at 140.

If Josh Taylor vacates his WBO title by the time Teofimo faces Barboza, they can square off for that strap.

That’s a formidable opponent for Teofimo to fight in his first fight in the light-welterweight division. Still, he should have more than enough talent to beat Barboza Jr, assuming he doesn’t come into the contest with another injury.

This will be Teofimo’s first fight in a new weight class, as he’s decided to move up in weight after spending the first five years of his career in the 135-lb division.

According to ESPN, Teofimo (16-1, 12 KOs) already had surgery on his left elbow last February.  That was one of three physical problems that had been giving him issues.

Image: Teofimo Lopez recovering from hand surgery, targeting June or July for next fight

The most serious of Teofimo’s health issues was a tear in the esophagus that he dealt with for his last fight in November against George Kambosos Jr.

“This has been a problem for a long time, and because that [Kambosos] fight got postponed so many times, in reality, we had the time to fix it, but we never knew we had the time, so it’s been going on forever,” Teofimo’s manager David McWater said to ESPN.

“He’s a tough guy; these guys fight with injuries people can’t even dream of. That hand hurt him all the time, and the elbow thing hurt him with his hooks. He’s upbeat; he’s ready to fight.

It must have been pure hell for Teofimo to fight Kambosos with all those different injuries last November. On top of that, the strain of Teofimo needing to make weight also made things tough for him against the Australian.

All those things came together on one night to handicap Teofimo just enough for Kambosos to win.

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