Many in the sport were sceptical when Teofimo Lopez announced his retirement at age 25 and shortly after arguably a career-best win – however he’s taken steps to prove he is serious by vacating his WBO super lightweight title.
Lopez became a two-weight world champion with a comprehensive and often punch-perfect victory over previously undefeated and undisputed champ, Josh Taylor.
The win brought the Brooklyn native back to his best, which was previously on show with a victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko at lightweight in 2020 to become unified world champion.
Shortly after the Taylor fight, Lopez said he had retired because he wanted to focus on other things outside of the ring, as well as saying he had been underpaid.
Whilst many thought it was a decision in the heat of the moment, Lopez has now vacated the belt he won less than a week ago. Paco Valcárcel, President of the WBO, announced the news via Twitter.
“Just now Teofimo Lopez is texting me that he relinquished his Jr welterweight title. We should respect his decision. If he comes back, WBO doors will be always open for him.”
Lopez responded to the statement, once again confirming that his career inside the ropes was over with.
“Thank you everyone for making the greatest moments in my career a GREAT ONE! Thank you Top Rank and ESPN for creating “THE TAKEOVER” into a real thing! I am forever grateful for all of the sanctioning bodies in boxing for showing me I can and am more than boxing! What a career.”
If it is indeed all said and done for Lopez, he retires with a record of 19-1 with 13 KOs.
It’s unclear as to who will be ordered to fight for the vacant title. The sanctioning body’s latest rankings show Arnold Barboza, Jr and Jose Ramirez as the likely contenders, although lightweight champion, Devin Haney, moving up may see him involved.