Teofimo Lopez stated a week ago that he has unretired. Now Lopez's promoter, Bob Arum, of Top Rank Inc., is letting the world know that when he returns it will be in a big fight. As we have heard the following statement that he might end up fighting on the Super Bowl weekend, or later this year.
Arum when speaking to boxing reporter Steve Kim stated the following.
“We're looking to make [Lopez] a really big fight,” Arum told Steve Kim. “Either later this year, or maybe in conjunction with the Super Bowl, next year.”
Lopez the former lightweight undisputed champion and current WBO junior welterweight champion, making him a two-division lineal champion, retired after beating the former undisputed junior welterweight champion, Josh Taylor.
Yet last week, Lopez informed the WBO that he would keep his title. The next question became what is next as Lopez is one of the young stars of the sport of boxing. Lopez has taken to a December date that Top Rank has traditionally done over the past few years that is follows the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Right now, Jose Ramirez is a rumored opponent. ProBox TV News has reached out to Jose Ramirez's manager, Rick Mirigian, who told ProBox TV News, the following.
Ramirez is a former unified junior welterweight champion, who held the WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles prior to his loss to Josh Taylor for the undisputed world title. Arnold Barboza Jr. and Jose Ramirez were set to face each other for the vacant WBO junior welterweight title, but with Lopez returning that fight is off the table. Days later, Barboza Jr., was reported to have left Top Rank Inc., making it seem a tad bit unlikely that he would land a big fight with Teofimo Lopez, who is promoted by Top Rank.
When looking at the landscape of world champions in the current division. It appears, at least according to the ESPN telecast this week, that Devin Haney will be moving up in weight and challenging Regis Prograis for his WBC junior welterweight title, thus vacating the belts in the lightweight division. That would also mean, that Haney and Prograis are more than likely out of the running to be Lopez's 'big fight'. Rolando Romero holds the WBA junior welterweight but is being mandated to fight Ohara Davies next which means that is an obligation that has to be sorted, especially since Davies is unwilling to step aside, and the IBF junior welterweight world champion, Subriel Matias, currently doesn't have an opponent, but is one of the most avoided fighters in the division - is rarely brought up.
It appears that the Ramirez team is ready and willing now it is just up to the powers that be to determine if that fulfills the criteria of a 'big fight.'
When speaking to ProBox TV News earlier this year, Ramirez said the following about facing the winner of Josh Taylor versus Teofimo Lopez, which was inevitably Teofimo Lopez.
“Honestly for me, I want the winner of Lopez-Taylor and then straight in with a unification match with Regis Prograis,” Ramirez told ProBox TV News. “That is the one and two [fights I want].”