Teofimo Lopez Is Boxing’s Answer To Jekyll And Hyde

Teofimo Lopez will face Steve Claggett on Saturday (June 29)at the James L. Knight Center in Miami Beach, Florida. The bout marks Lopez’s return to the ring after a lackluster performance in February during Super Bowl week. 

Now 20-1 (13 KOs), the 26-year-old Lopez encounters a man nine years his senior who is on a nine-fight win streak but he’s still regarded as some way below the WBO junior welterweight champion’s level. It’s all a far cry from Terence Crwaford, whom Lopez has frequently called out.

Analysts Chris Algieri, Timothy Bradley, and Paulie Malignaggi weighed in on the upcoming bout as part of ProBox TV's Big Fight Breakdown.

“He sought after the big fights, he also fights a lot of these tough guys that guys don’t want to fight,” said Algieri of Lopez. “The Sandor Martins of the world, the Jamaine Ortiz’s of the world, those are tough outs, and you don’t get a lot for beating them.”

“First off, I don’t like the fact that he focuses on how young he is,” continued Algieri. “You got a lot more to do. You are early in your career and you say you love the sport too much to leave. Well, stop patting yourself on the back and keep working, you got a lot more to do.”

“When you start chasing dragons and gorillas like I always say, it turns the fans off. ” said Algieri about Lopez calling out Crawford. “You have a ton of tigers that you can actually fight all around you, and you are chasing guys that don’t even mention your name in interviews.”

Bradley disagrees, believing a fight between Lopez and Crawford could happen in the future, despite Crawford fighting Israil Madrimov for the WBA junior middleweight title on August 3.

“He wants to face Crawford, I don’t see anything wrong with it,” said Bradley. “Now I don’t think he beats Crawford, however I like the kid’s personality. I like that he wants to challenge the best guys out there. He likes challenges, he is the type of fighter who fights to his level of competition. If he fights a guy like Crawford, he is going to show up and show out.”

Malignaggi pointed to a string of lackluster Lopez performances dating back to Masayoshi Nakatani, Sandor Martin, and Jamaine Ortiz, in which Lopez didn’t look like the same superstar fighter he did when he beat former titleholders such as Vasiliy Lomachenko or Josh Taylor.

“I can see Teofimo sometimes feels like I have accomplished these things these younger guys are still trying to accomplish so I want legacy fights, I want dream fights,” said Malignaggi. “Sometimes Teofimo pulls himself back, unwittingly, because he will have a sub-par performance.”

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