Andre Ward on Teofimo Lopez: “Did he address those demons” from
By Dan Ambrose: Andre Ward questions whether former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez has “addressed those demons” from his loss to George Kambosos Jr. last November as he heads into his comeback fight against Pedro Campa on August 13th.
Teofimo’s loss took a lot of out him, as he’s looked like a broken man since the defeat. The swagger that Teofimo once had when he was bragging about himself 24/7 is gone, and he now looks like a fighter who has lost his mojo.
Ward says Teofimo (16-1, 12 KOs) took a lot of punishment against Kambosos, and he doesn’t care what excuses Teo had about taking the fight while injured. He still lost the fight, and it could affect him.
Teofimo came into the fight with Kambosos as if he could walk on water after his upset victory over an injured, one-armed Vasyl Lomachenko.
Teo’s decision to take it to a purse bid and fight on pay-per-view to maximize the money he could get for the low-level fight against Kambosos turned around and bit him on the backside, as the long delay that it took before he eventually got in the ring with the Australian hurt him.
If Teofimo had listened to his promoter Bob Arum and taken the fight with Kambosos on regular ESPN rather than taking it to a purse bid, he probably could have slipped in two contests during the 13 months he was out of the ring waiting to get this fight out of the way.
Next month, Teofimo will fight second-tier fighter Pedro Campa (34-1-1, 23 KOs) in a 10-round fight on ESPN on August 13th at the Resorts World Las Vegas, Las Vegas. Campa is arguably as good as Kambosos, maybe a little better, so there’s a real chance that Teofimo will lose again if he mentally crumbles like last time.
Teofimo needs to fight smart and not try to steamroll this guy because his stamina, chin, and confidence aren’t good enough to destroy this fighter without potentially losing again.
“We’re a month away from the return of Teofimo Lopez, who also is now competing at 140,” said Max Kellerman to ESPN. “We haven’t seen him since he lost his lightweight championship of the world to George Kambosos last November. What do you expect of Pedro Campa on August 13th?”
“Well, I think Teo is going to look like he normally does. He’s going to come in with his swag and his confidence,” said Andre Ward.
“You’re going to see the speed & the power. I’m curious to see how he looks at the heavier weight class, but I’m a mental guy that is always looking at fighters between the ears. How did that loss affect you?” Ward said about Teofimo’s loss to unheralded Kambosos.
“I know he had some physical issues that he can fall back on and say, ‘I was never right. I shouldn’t have never took that fight.’ He didn’t know the extent of those issues going into the [Kambosos fight.
“So, when you get hit the way that he did and get beat up in some respects the way that he did in certain spots in that fight, that plays on you.
“I don’t care what medical diagnosis you’ve got because you’re a competitor; you’re a fighter. He’s a very prideful fighter, and he and his father have been that way since day one.
“You can’t just erase what happened to him against Kambsos. Did he address those demons in training camp, and will it translate into the fight?” said Ward about Teofimo.
“I hope so because boxing is a much more interesting place with Teofimo Lopez in it,” said Kellerman. “He is a spectacular fighter and a big personality and an easy kid to root for if you take the time to get to know him or read up on him and watch him talk; he’s an easy person to root for,” said Kellerman.
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