Teofimo Lopez vs. Steven Claggett: Being Finalized for June 29th in Miami

By Dan Ambrose - 03/29/2024 - Comments

WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez and #13 fringe contender Steve Claggett are finishing negotiations for a fight on June 29th in Miami.

Mike Coppinger reports that Teofimo (20-1, 13 KOs) and the 34-year-old Canadian Claggett (38-7-2, 26 KOs) are finalizing.

Teo Being Laughed At 

Fans on social media are laughing at Teofimo today, reacting to the news of him fighting Claggett, viewing it as an admission that Teo can’t cut it against world-class opposition after his recent performance last February.

Claggett is a face-forward, easy-to-hit pressure fighter who has operated off the radar against mostly lesser opposition throughout his 16-year professional career.

It’s pretty obvious why Top Rank is selecting Claggett as Teofimo’s next opponent, considering how Teo performed in his last fight.

The eight-year professional Teofimo is like a sinking ship, and his promoters are trying to keep him above the waterline for as long as possible before he takes that final plunge.

Teofimo hasn’t looked the same since his war with Vasily Lomachenko in 2020, and it appears that fight may have taken too much out of him, leaving the scattered version of Teo that we’ve seen since.

Confidence Booster for Teofimo

It’s possible that the 16-year veteran Claggett, with seven career losses, is being brought in to boost Teofimo’s shattered confidence. Teofimo has arguably lost three out of his last five fights since 2021 and looks mentally shot.

Teofimo was given controversial wins over Jamaine and Sandor Martin, which has saved his career from being reduced to the dump pile. The judges can’t keep bailing Teofimo out, but that’s where Claggett comes in.

By Top Rank matching him against no-hopers like Claggett, Teofimo’s chances of staying on top are high, but in a superficial, fake manner.

Claggett’s past losses:

Mathieu Germain
Yves Ulysse Jr
Danny O’Connor
Chris Van Heerden
Konstantin Ponomarev
Alexandre Lepelley
Romeo Jakosalem

Teofimo, 26, will be taking a big step down in competition after his controversial 12-round decision against Jamaine Ortiz last February in a fight that many boxing fans had Teo losing by a wide margin.

With how poor the Top Rank-promoted Teofimo looked against Ortiz, it’s not a shock that he’s being stepped backward in competition.

Artificially Keeping Teofimo on Top

Top Rank has got to know that Teofimo needs to be protected because his time as a champion will be up if they put him back in with any of the sharks in the 140-lb division.

The New Yorker’s fight against Jamaine Ortiz showed that he lacks the skills and talent to hang with top talent. Hence, Top Rank has dug up Claggett from the bottom of the World Boxing Organization’s rankings at the #13 spot to feed Teofimo to keep his career alive for a little longer artificially.