Plans for Teofimo Lopez are beginning to take shape following an arguably career-best performance against Josh Taylor in June of this year.
The former unified lightweight champion suffered a shock defeat to George Kambosos Jr and subsequently moved up in weight, defeating both Pedro Campa and Sandor Martin but not setting the division alight with those performances.
That all changed when he stepped in with formerly undisputed champion Josh Taylor. The then undefeated Scot was outclassed by an in-form Lopez, who silenced any doubters with concerns of his mental preparation.
The Brooklyn native entered a short-lived retirement immediately after winning the WBO title from Taylor, but later confirmed to the sanctioning body that he intended to stick around.
Speaking to Fight Hub TV, his current promoter, Bob Arum, said that the plan was to get Lopez out this year and then next in a bigger contest.
“We want to bring Teofimo back this year and then make him a real big fight next year. He proved in the Josh Taylor fight that he still has it and that he’s a top, top fighter. The public wants to see him again.”
Asked if Ryan Garcia was a potential opponent, Arum said yes – although the making of that fight depends on the currently fractious relationship he has with his own promoter, Oscar De La Hoya.
“I’ve talked to Oscar [De La Hoya], I’ve talked to Eric [Gomez.] We’re good friends. They would like to make that fight. It depends on their relationship with Ryan, and I don’t wanna get into it because I don’t know enough about it.
But if they can truly produce Ryan, that would be a huge fight for both guys, and I would certainly be interested in it. A co-promotion with Golden Boy is something we’ve done very often.”
Garcia has made it known that he’ll be fighting at 140lbs exclusively now following a catchweight loss to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.
The veteran promoter backed his man to win, of course, but was honest in the risks of the fight.
“I think if Teo is right, nobody beats him at 140. I really believe that. If Teo is distracted with personal problems, then Garcia – who really punches hard – can win by knockout. Again, when you’re dealing with fighters, you don’t know what you’re gonna get.”
Both men are expected to make announcements soon as to their plans, with a potential fight in 2024 certainly one fans would welcome.