Teofimo Lopez Makes Bold Claims, Chooses Soft Touch for Next Fight, Argues with Barboza

By Dan Ambrose - 01/07/2024 - Comments

WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez, declaring himself as #1 at 140 and Devin Haney #2, talked to the media last Saturday night about his upcoming fight against recently beaten #11 WBO Jamaine Ortiz on February 8th and his reasons for not wanting to face his #1 WBO challenger Arnold Barboza Jr.

Teofimo (19-1, 13 KOs) claimed that Jamaine (17-1-1, 8 KOs) is “the best”, despite his recent loss to Vasily Lomachenko and his draw with Joseph Adorno. Teofimo says he fought Ortiz before in the golden gloves in 2015.

The Chosen One?

It’s unclear if he specifically asked for Jamaine as his opponent. If so, it would make sense why this fight is happening because he hasn’t earned a title shot, given that his record is 1-1 in his last two fights, and he’s low ranked.

Fans view this as another cherry-pick for Teofimo, who hasn’t faced a credible opponent since his narrow win over the injured Lomachenko in 2020. Since that win, Teofimo has fought just four times against these fighters:

– Josh Taylor: Faded older fighter
– Sandor Martin: *Controversial win
– Pedro Campa: Morale-booster
– George Kambosos Jr: Loss

Teofimo hasn’t been fighting very often since his win over Lomachenko, and apart from his victory over the washed-up Josh Taylor, he’s looked poor in his other three fights.

Calling himself the “King” of the light welterweight division, Teofimo used his win over Taylor as the reason for why he views himself as #1.

He talks of being the lineal champion at 140 due to this victory over Taylor, who was coming off a controversial win over Jack Catterall a year earlier in a fight that many fans view as a robbery.

King of the Hill?

“For me, February 8th, Super Bowl weekend on Thursday vs. Jermaine Ortiz,” said Teofimo Lopez to the media last Saturday night when asked who he plans on fighting next.

“A familiar foe that I fought in 2015 in the national golden gloves. He was the finalist, so I’m fighting the best of the best right now,” said Teofimo, failing to mention that Jamaine Ortiz is ranked #11 WBO at 140 and was recently beaten by Vasily Lomachenko.

“Whatever the case may be. Those guys have a route [Devin Haney]. Ryan Garcia has a route. Romero, Tank, and now I’m just coming back to figure out my own route because I’m not going to get these guys. I’m not going to go and look for them.

“I won, and I beat the guy [Josh Taylor] of the division, so I am King. I am King. So, whoever wants to step, come. Devin Haney is #2 [at 140], and Teofimo is #1 because I have the lineal [title].

“One thing me and my father know is that stuff eats them every night. Everybody knows you want to be #1. You don’t want to be #2. What Floyd Mayweather said to Pacquiao [ many years ago] is that it’s okay to be #2 behind me. I’ll show you the way.

“There’s no fight per se,” said Teofimo when asked if there’s a fight that he wants. “We tried to make the fight with [IBF light welterweight champion] Subriel Matias, and he pulled out. He said something about his hand injury.

“I fight with a hand injury and I still go out and get the win, and right now, it’s all about clout because we are back on top. I worked very hard for this position,” said Teofimo.

The Barboza altercation

“Well, don’t touch my father, that’s all I ask,” said Teofimo when asked if he’s tired of his #1 WBO contender Arnold Barboza Jr. trying to get a fight against him. “Don’t try to. If you want to promote a fight, that’s one thing, but if you touch my father, I’m going to lay my hand on you, and it’s the whole team that’s going to do it.

“There’s certain ways these guys got to know to get the fights. Physical is not going to be the one. I love everybody, but I’m worse than Mike Tyson if you really want to touch that.

“You know what Barboza needs to focus on? He needs to focus on getting better because he looked terrible tonight,” said Teofimo about Barboza Jr. (29-0, 11 KOs), who knocked out Xolisani Ndongeni in the eighth round after coming off an 11-month layoff in the first fight of his new contract with Golden Boy Promotions.

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