By: Hans Themistode
When Teofimo Lopez defied the odds by defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko in October of 2020, not only did he drape his shoulders with lightweight gold but he also believes he earned his stripes.
Most observers believed the former two-time Olympic Gold medalist would be too much for the Brooklyn, New York native. Those thoughts, of course, proved to be erroneous as Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) built an early lead in their contest before ultimately holding on for the win.
Following his victory, it didn’t take long before WBC titlist Devin Haney began urging Lopez to take him on. Although he’s interested in making the fight happen, Lopez believes Haney must pick up a notable win first.
With Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) now scheduled to take on former multiple division champion Jorge Linares in May, Lopez believes that with a win over him, Haney will have earned the right to fight him next.
“I’m looking forward to Devin Haney winning,” said Lopez during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “That’s who I want to win so that we can make the matchup happen.”
While Lopez believes that a win for Haney will push him towards the front of the line in terms of a title shot, he isn’t fully convinced that a victory for his rival is a forgone conclusion.
“No,” said Lopez when asked if he would be surprised if Linares won. “It’s boxing man anything can happen. I think it’s a step up for Devin even though Jorge Linares is a little more outdated. However, it’s a step up. We’ll see what Devin Haney brings to the table.”
Regardless of what Haney does against Linares, Lopez knows good and well that he has his own business to take care of as well.
The unified lightweight titlist is scheduled to take on mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr. in either late May or early June. The Sydney Australia native earned his shot at Lopez after compiling an undefeated record through 19 fights. Most recently, the 27-year-old defeated Lee Selby to solidify his position.
In terms of where their contest will take, Miami Florida has emerged as the most likely destination.