Teofimo Lopez was touted as the next big thing when he upset the odds against Vasily Lomachenko. Now, just three fights later, the young man from Brooklyn is in need of a confidence booster.
Lopez fought the tricky, fast-moving Sandor Martin. The pair went the twelve round distance, with ‘The Takeover’ winning via split decision after being knocked down by Martin in the second round.
Aside from the controversy surrounding a potential further knockdown on Lopez later in the fight – as well as one very wide scorecard – fans online noticed something off about the usually cocksure fighter from Brooklyn.
Following his victory, he was seen on the broadcast to be seeking some validation from his team. He asked ‘Do I still got it? Do I still have it?’ to those surrounding him, which includes his father as head trainer.
Yoooo!!!!!! Teo asks if he still has it!!!! OMG 🔊🔊
🎥credit espn pic.twitter.com/tmPqTIz8Ao
— BOXING n BBQ (@BOXINGnBBQ) December 11, 2022
Many fans will believe that Lopez is being too hard on himself here. There’s no doubt that Martin made it a tough night’s work – and perhaps didn’t get that credit on the scorecards – but Lopez is in the midst of getting to grips with a new weight class.
He ended his first fight at 140 in a seventh round knockout, and will now look towards a big 2023. Despite a perfect record at super lightweight, it may be a defeat in his previous division that’s knocked his confidence.
George Kambosos Jr upset the odds by edging out Lopez on the cards in their lightweight unified title fight – the belts ‘Teo’ had won previously by toppling pound-for-pound superstar, Lomachenko.
Rather than seek a rematch, Lopez moved straight up in weight – citing chest issues and claiming dodgy officiating were at the source of his sole defeat.
There’s no doubt that when he’s on his game, the 25-year-old is an electrifying talent – and one with the potential for a bright future in the sport.
At this stage, it seems that the obstacles ahead may be more mental than physical for 2020’s fighter of the year.