By: Sean Crose
Teofimo Lopez did not have a great night for himself on Saturday. Fighting in front of a hometown Madison Square Garden crowd, the former lightweight king faced the underrated Sandor Martin, who didn’t make things easy for him. Lopez earned a split decision win from the judges, but there are those who felt he should have lost the fight – and they seem to be quite a few in number. The truth is, I felt Lopez won, but wouldn’t have been shocked or upset had Martin scored another shocking upset (this is the guy who defeated Mikey Garcia, after all).
This, simply put, was a question of preferences. If you liked aggressiveness, Teo was your man. If you liked patient, defensive minded precision, Martin was your man. As a rule, I generally go for the more precise puncher, but in the case of Saturday night, I felt Martin ended up being too patient for his own good. Regardless, the Spaniard proved to be a challenge for Lopez, who showed clear signs of frustration. A comment caught on camera after the fight, where Teo wondered aloud if he still had the goods, quickly made the rounds on boxing media.
And so now there are some who are questioning whether or not the fighter known as “The Takeover” is finished. There are also those who, in the rich tradition of boxing fans, appear more than happy to now write the guy off. This is ridiculous. Lopez had a bad night on Saturday, but not a terrible night. Duran had a terrible night when he quit against Leonard. Tyson had a terrible night when he was knocked out by Douglas. Pacquiao had a terrible night when he was laid flat by Marquez. Lopez having a tough go against the underrated skills of Sandor most distinctly does NOT qualify as a terrible night.
The point here is the fight world should wait and see what happens with Lopez. Remember, he was a lightweight terror who went on to best none other than Vasyl Lomachenko before losing to George Kambosos. Lets also remember that Lopez entered the ring to face Kambosos with a horrible game plan. The man has won two in a row since – this last time against an opponent whose skills people simply refuse to recognize (When are we going to stop seeing Martin’s strong performances as flukes?). So maybe it’s a little premature to write Lopez off so quickly. Provided he’s in an emotional rut, Tyson Fury, Lopez’ Top Rank stablemate, has proven that can be dealt with – at least at times. In the meantime, let’s wait to see what comes next before we write off “The Takeover” so quickly.
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