By: Hans Themistode
There’s little to no doubt that the lightweight division is jam-packed with several notable names. Particularly amongst the younger group. But as Teofimo Lopez Sr. takes a peek at the resumes of names such as Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, and Ryan Garcia – he’s noticing a consistent pattern.
“My son is the only one in the lightweight division stepping up to the toughest competition,” said Lopez Sr. to a group of reporters. “We’re the only one from the younger crowd that has the lineal belt. On ESPN, he’s pound for pound number five so we’re doing great things. These guys are just fighting guys to play it safe.”
While his son, Teofimo Lopez, could opt to follow a similar path, Lopez Sr. won’t allow it. In just his 15th pro fight, Lopez took on former IBF lightweight titlist Richard Commey on December 14th, 2019. After a bit of a sluggish start, Lopez violently ended the night of Commey in the second round.
With the win, Lopez not only draped his first world title across his shoulders, but he also lined up a date with former unified champion Vasyl Lomachenko. Despite Lopez being pegged as the significant underdog, he registered the colossal upset.
In the case of Haney, Davis, and Garcia, however, they have yet to face someone who holds the same credentials as Lomachenko. At the moment, Lopez has continued his bid to face the best either in or around or his weight class. Next up for the 24-year-old New York, native is an unspecified date against mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr.
Should Lopez successfully defend his lightweight titles, Lopez Sr. revealed that the plan would be to have his son make the trek five-pounds north to challenge undisputed 140-pound champion, Josh Taylor.
As for those who continue to place Lopez’s name next to his young contemporaries, Lopez Sr. shakes his head in disbelief. While he believes the likes of Garcia, Haney, and Davis are extremely talented – Lopez Sr. is of the mindset that his son is simply head and shoulders above them all.
“We’re chasing Josh Taylor, that’s the guy that we want. They don’t understand the game, you fight the best to become the best. My son is way ahead of them.”
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