Now that Ryan Garcia has confirmed his move up to super-lightweight, many feel a meeting with current WBO World Champion, Teofimo Lopez, is inevitable.
Lopez won undisputed at 135 by upsetting Ukrainian great, Vasily Lomachenko, back in 2020. He would lose those four belts to George Kambosos Jr one year on and promptly move to 140.
After two wins, the Brooklyn native went in against formerly undisputed and undefeated Josh Taylor in New York. It was a career-best performance from Lopez, who, at 26-years-old, became a two-weight world champion.
Garcia hung around lightweight a little longer, his last outing being a stoppage loss at the hands of Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis. He confirmed that catchweight bout to be his last close to the 135 weight limit, and will now return to the more comfortable super-lightweight ranks at the end of this year.
Shakur Stevenson – himself one fight away from winning the WBC lightweight world title – believes Lopez would stop Garcia should they meet soon.
He told FightHype.com that the current champion was just too good.
“Teo by knockout. Teo is too good for Ryan. Ryan is an okay fighter, but he needs to get himself together. Once he get himself together he may be a little better, but right now Teo stopping him. I think these people look for saviours, and they gotta look inside the mirror.”
Lopez is yet to announced his next move, but an elevation to ‘super champion’ sees him with a little more time to do so.
As for Garcia, his promoter Oscar De La Hoya has organised a December return before targetting a ‘huge fight’ for Super Bowl weekend in February 2024. Whether or not that’s Lopez remains to be seen.