Paulie Malignaggi is well respected as a pundit for voicing his opinions unfiltered, and he’s done just that with a current world champion.
The lightweight and super-lightweight divisions are stacked with talent and have produced some of the best match-ups in recent memory.
A big player in that has been one Teofimo Lopez, who was unified champion at 135 after a stunning upset victory over future Hall of Famer, Vasily Lomachenko.
Lopez’ run was short-lived. An almost ill-fated bout with George Kambosos Jr saw him on the wrong end of a shock result. The Aussie fighter travelled to New York to win a split decision in a spirited performance against a laboured Lopez.
Speaking on ProBox TV, Malignaggi said Lopez could never be forgiven for the performance.
“Lopez will probably never be forgiven for the Kambosos loss.
If Lopez didn’t have that loss – which is utterly ridiculous, every time I see Kambosos fight I still can’t understand how Lopez got beat by that guy – but if you take it away, which you never will so he’ll never be forgiven, that guy’s on the pound-for-pound list maybe top three or four.”
Kambosos went on to lose the belts to Devin Haney.
After almost a year out the ring, ‘The Takeover’ moved up to 140lbs. He logged two average performances before challenging formerly undisputed champion, Josh Taylor.
The Scot was the man to beat in the division, and Lopez did just that in spectacular fashion. It was a career-best performance to revitalise his campaign.
Malignaggi believes it makes him the top dog at the weight class.
Lopez has done some insane things, man, including coming back and beating Josh Taylor. He was dynamite at 135 pounds and he’s shown at 140 when he’s on point he’s dynamite there as well. For me, he is the guy to beat at 140.”
Despite a quick retirement announcement post-fight, Lopez has confirmed he will fight on and has recently been promoted to Super Champion by the WBO, giving him certain privileges and allowances as to who he fights.