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Teofimo Lopez targeting Prograis, Taylor & Puello in journey to undisputed II at 140

Image: Teofimo Lopez targeting Prograis, Taylor & Puello in journey to undisputed II at 140

By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez is on the “road to undisputed II” following his controversial 10 round split decision win over Sandor Martin last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

(Photo credit: Sumio Yamada)

#1 WBO Teofimo is targeting the following champions at light welterweight to become undisputed:

  • Josh Taylor – WBO
  • Regis Prograis – WBC
  • Alberto Puello – WBA

With the way, the 25-year-old Teofimo underperformed against replacement opponent Martin (40-3, 13 KOs), it would be a good idea for him to take on WBA 140-lb champion Puello (21-0, 10 KOs) next rather than biting off more than he can chew against WBO champion Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) or WBC champ Regis Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs).

The former unified lightweight champion Teofimo (18-1, 13 KOs), who has a habit of referring to himself as a former undisputed 135-lb champion, says he’s on the path to repeating that accomplishment by winning all four titles at 140.

In Teofimo’s last three fights since his best career win over Vasyl Lomachenko, he hasn’t looked like the same guy.

Some would argue that with all the shots that Lomachenko landed in the second half of that fight, it may have done something to Teofimo, resulting in him looking like a shell of his former self in his subsequent fights against George Kambosos Jr, Pedro Campa, and Sandor Martin.

If Teofimo can’t regain the form that he had in his fights before his match against Lomachenko, his chances of ever winning another world title are slim.

There aren’t any weak champions for Teofimo to beat at 140 to become a belt holder again, and he sounds deluded when he speaks of his pipe dream of becoming undisputed.

Bellew believes Teofimo deserved victory

“Teofimo won it by a split decision. I thought Teofimo did win it,” said Ade Oladipo on DAZN Boxing about Teofimo Lopez’s ten round split decision win over Sandor Martin last Saturday night on ESPN+ at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“The cameras picked him up when he was asking a member of his team if he still has it. He [Teofimo] said, ‘Do I still got it?'”

“He’s just a fighter talking out loud,” said Tony Bellew about Teofimo asking his team if he still has it. “Every fighter has those same emotions. Every fighter has those same feelings. It’s just they’re not as honest as he is.

“It was refreshing to see, to be honest. He’s a world class fighter, and he just hasn’t performed at the levels that he expected of himself. That’s all it is. He hasn’t performed at the levels he expected he expected.

“Sandor Martin, the thing with him is he had that massive upset victory over Mikey Garcia. That puts him in a place where he was kind of an unknown before the Mikey Garcia fight, and Mikey Garcia should never been up at that weight [140 lbs], by the way. I’ll just say it the way I see it.

“When Sandor Martin defeated Mikey Garcia, he’s then on the level where people know who he is, what he’s all about. Sandor Martin ain’t shocking no one again because everyone knows who Sandor Martin is. Everyone knows his style.

Teofimo went into that fight knowing who Sandor Martin is and studied his style. It’s just a bad clash of styles for him. That style doesn’t suit his and he ain’t gelled.

“He’s probably disappointed in the fact that he went into that fight thinking, ‘I’m going to get you out of here and absolutely obliterate you.’ When that hasn’t gone to plan, he’s massively disappointed in himself.

“Just because a fighter does better than everyone expects doesn’t mean he’s won,” said Bellew in driving the point that he believes Sandor deserved his defeat against Teofimo.

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“Just let that sink in for everything that is listening and watching. Just because Sandor Martin did better than we expected does not mean he beat Teofimo Lopez.

“I’ve seen this with fighters over the years in numerous fights. When a fighter gets in and he’s an overwhelming underdog, just because he’s stayed in over 12 rounds and gave an okay performance doesn’t mean he won. Stop it.

“I know people say that Carlos Baldomir beat Floyd Mayweather. I remember people saying Jose Luis Castillo beat Floyd Mayweather.

“No, he didn’t. I’m sorry; he just didn’t beat him. He got outboxed. You have to accept that sometimes that he didn’t. Just because he did better doesn’t mean he won.

“I get what Teofimo Lopez is saying. He’s disappointed in himself, and he’s disappointed in his performance. Believe you me, son; you’re a world class fighter. You neat one of the best fighters I’ve ever seen in my life in Vasyl Lomachenko,” said Bellew.

“Did that win come too soon?” said Oladipo about Teofimo’s win over Lomachenko in 2020.  “Every time I look at Teo, I almost feel that win came too soon, and he couldn’t handle it, or he hasn’t been able to handle the loss against [George] Kambosos because there’s clearly something that’s not right.”

“It’s a bit of both,” said Bellew about Teofimo’s win over Lomachenko having come too soon in his career and his subsequent loss to Kambosos having mentally affected him, derailing his career.

“When you defeat the odds as he did against Vasyl Lomachenko, I’ll say once again, that’s another fight. If Vasyl Lomachenko didn’t start so slow, he wins that fight, but he doesn’t.

“The expectation level for Teofimo Lopez after that fight is astronomical. No matter what he done after that Vasyl Lomachenko win, he could not have pleased anyone. No matter what he done, you can’t win.

“Then to have the loss to Kambosos is devastating. So he’s felt the highest of highs, and he’s felt the lowest of lows. He doesn’t have any balance at the minute. There’s no middle ground for him to sustain that, and that’s the problem with fighters these days.

“You always need to stay in the middle ground. You’re never as great as you think when you’re right up there winning and you’re never as poor as you think when you’re down there losing. So try to maintain that middle ground,”  said Bellew.

“Yeah, that was the final eliminator for the WBC title that Regis Prograis has right now,” said Oladipo about Teofimo’s win over Sandor. “I wonder if they’re going to try and do one more before Teofimo takes on Regis Prograis?”

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