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WBO Champ No More?Teofimo Lopez Has “Relinquished His Jr Welterweight Title.”

By: Sean Crose

“Thank you everyone for making the greatest moments in my career a GREAT ONE!” Teofimo Lopez stated on social media on Thursday. “Thank you @trboxing and @espn for creating ‘THE TAKEOVER’ into a real thing! I am forever grateful for all of the sanctioning bodies in Boxing for showing me I can and am more than Boxing! What a career.”

Image: WBO

This message appeared over a retweet of WBO president Paco Valcarcel, who stated: “Just now @TeofimoLopez is texting me that he relinquished his Jr welterweight title. We should respect his decision…If he come(s) back, wbo doors will be always open for him..”

And so Lopez appears to be sticking to his word that he is now retired from the sport of boxing after winning the WBO – and lineal – junior welterweight titles courtesy of a masterclass performance against defending titlist Josh Taylor last weekend in Manhattan.

“What a relief!” Lopez posted on social media earlier this week. “Retired at the Top. Thank you Boxing for the amazing life you’ve provided for myself and my entire loved ones.”  Whether the 25 year old Brooklynite will remain retired remains to be seen. For the moment, however, the 20-1 Lopez looks to be handing off his 140 pound crown.

After besting pound for pound great Vasyl Lomachenko in 2020 Lopez, whose gone by the name “The Takeover,” lost the numerous lightweight titles he won from Lomachenko his very next fight, an upset defeat to Australia’s George Kambosos.

Rather than try to win back his belts, Lopez moved up in weight to junior welterweight where he appeared less than impressive in two wins. Indeed, many expected the colorful Lopez to lose last Saturday night when he battled Taylor at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater. Yet Lopez proved the naysayers wrong in definitive fashion.

Aside from the first several rounds, Lopez dominated the entire fight against the previously undefeated Scotsman, Taylor. Defeating Taylor proved to be a high achievement, but there are those who believe the fighter will eventually aspire to find new mountains to climb. He’s still a young man, after all.

Plus, there’s plenty of competition out there, at least for the time being. There’s the exceedingly talented WBC junior welterweight titlist Regis Prograis, as well as the wildly popular Ryan Garcia. Should he push for such fights, Lopez could potentially earn a considerable amount of money and attention. This is a dangerous sport, however, and Lopez’ decision has to be respected, whether he decides to remain retired or not.

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