Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum has all but announced the return of Teofimo Lopez, who claimed the WBO Super-Lightweight world title in June but has yet to return to the ring since.
Lopez outpointed long-reigning champion and poster boy of the 140lbs division, Josh Taylor, to score a unanimous-decision win and become a two-division titlist. Since then, ‘The Takeover’ has stayed stagnant despite links to fights against Ryan Garcia and a possible unification bout with Subriel Matias.
However, recent reports have suggested that Lopez will fight former Vasily Lomachenko sparring partner and opponent Jamaine Ortiz, on the week of the Super Bowl in Las Vegas and, in an interview with Fight Hub, Arum confirmed those rumours and revealed that the deal is almost complete.
“That is correct, that is what we are working on and I think that we are practically finalized with that. Keyshawn Davis, who is an up-and-coming younger star, is in a really tough step-up fight with Jose Pedraza and I really think that our matchmakers will use February 8th as a platform to launch so many of our talented kids, who will be on that card. The Vargas kid, Emiliano Vargas, is on that card and I think that he is a terrific prospect, and Abdullah Mason, a lot of good, young kids who will be breakout stars in 2024.”
“The week leading up to the Super Bowl is a massive week because everybody is in the place where the Super Bowl is taking place, and we have a great platform for Teofimo on the week of the Super Bowl. Everybody and every big sports person will be in town, and he’ll be defending his title on that date. That will be a way to really advance Teofimo into big, massive fights during the rest of 2024.”
With an announcement expected soon, it looks like Lopez’ first defence of his WBO Super-Lightweight belt will take place on Thursday February 8 with further undercard details expected to be announced imminently.