Teofimo Lopez's top five career highlights

Teofimo Lopez returns on Thursday, February 8, against Jamaine Ortiz at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, as he puts his WBO junior-welterweight title on the line.

Lopez, 26-years-old, will once again be the centerpiece of an ESPN telecast and the 27-year-old Ortiz battled his way to get to this point. 

Let's look at Teofimo Lopez's career to this point. 


Teofimo Lopez would tell anyone and everyone that the system was against him. Entering the pro ranks, Lopez had a feud with amateur rival and USA Boxing Olympian Karlos Balderas, the man who he felt took his spot in the Olympics representing the United States.

The moniker ‘Against All Odds’, was a saying that was used as a talking point as it was both father [and trainer Teofimo Sr.] and son taking on the world.

It wasn’t until Lopez stopped William Silva that people seemed to take notice, and then during the Vasiliy Lomachenko versus Jose Pedraza press conference, Lopez announced his new moniker, explaining, ‘He was there to take over.’ 

The unapologetic Lopez was so bold with his claim that Lomachenko, a fighter he had called out, hunched over and looked at Lopez.

This was followed by a first-round knockout of Mason Menard, who on paper was the toughest test of Lopez’s career. The performance saw Lopez elevated from an undercard attraction to a notable name featured higher on the bill as he knocked out Diego Magdaleno, after a lot of trash talk prior to the fight. 

Lopez then got Magdaleno's brother, Jessie, upset when they felt he was disrespectful after the knockout.

At the time, Lopez would get a knockout win and follow it up with a backflip. After stopping Magadaleno, Teofimo Lopez arrived. Lopez was a star.


The untold story is the chaos outside of the ring for Lopez. Lopez has been largely private about this, something that most should respect, but his fight with Masayoshi Nakatani was one of the worst of his career, and it occurred while Lopez was getting married.

In December 2019, Lopez faced Richard Commey, the IBF lightweight world champion. After winning the first round, the trademark power of Lopez saw Commey stopped in the second round. Lopez, who despite some of the biggest achievements for a fighter in recent memory, was constantly doubted, even heading into the fight, and because of that, victory solidified a lot of his prior achievements as he was now a world champion.

Afterwards, Lopez called out Lomachenko who held the other three world titles in the division. This was also muddied as Lomachenko held the WBC ‘franchise’ lightweight world title, and Devin Haney was elevated to the WBC lightweight world champion – meaning the division had two champions, causing a a dispute over who was the true world champion of the division.


The COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of dismay. Top Rank Inc. ran a series of shows in the Top Rank Bubble, none bigger than Vasiliy Lomachenko versus Teofimo Lopez - a megafight on ESPN in the fall of a year that essentially was a wash for everyone.

The fight was a battle of two spiritual opposites. Lomachenko, humble with a lot of amateur achievements, was looking for his professional career to mirror his amateur career, while Lopez was cocky, brash and outspoken. The two were the opposite of each other in every way.

Lopez shone in the behind-the-scenes video content, along with his unique training footage featuring his father throwing a football to him to work on timing and reflexes. During this time, Joey Gamache, a former fighter turned trainer, worked with Lopez.

Lopez won a close fight and became a star overnight. The story of the fight was simple; Lomachenko simply didn’t punch for the first half of the fight and tried to come on too late. Not unlike the flaw Lomachenko showed in the Haney fight, Loma lost the 12th and final round and it was a costly mistake.

Many were stunned at the outcome, but Lopez was now a huge name in the sport of boxing.


2021 was beyond weird for Lopez. At the highest point of his career, with his maximum earning potential ahead of him, Lopez and the No. 1 contender for his IBF lightweight title George Kambosos Jnr engaged in a purse bid that saw a relative unknown, Triller, outbid all the other promoters. Triller had promoted a Mike Tyson versus Roy Jones Jr. pay-per-view exhibition, but outside of that it was unknown in the industry. The winning bid was $6m.

Afterwards, Lopez expressed frustration with his promoter, Top Rank Inc., and promoted Triller often. Then the fight kept getting rescheduled. Originally set for June 2021, Lopez was unable to compete and the fight was pushed back. Inevitably, Triller defaulted on their ability to produce the fight and Matchroom Boxing took over and made the fight happen quickly, in the final months of 2021.

The result was jarring. Kambosos Jnr dropped Teofimo Lopez in the first round and pulled off an improbable upset. All of the momentum Lopez once had was gone. He no longer held all the chips at the lightweight division, and a little over one year to the date of his best memory in the sport, Lopez had his worst moment, looking ill-prepared physically and mentally.

Josh Taylor Win

Lopez entered a fight with the lineal champion at junior-welterweight Josh Taylor as the underdog following a shaky performance against Sandor Martin. 

Taylor had been the undisputed junior-welterweight champion, but inactivity saw him lose his belts. He put only one on the line against Lopez, the WBO title. Before the Lopez contest, Taylor won a hotly-debated split-decision victory over Jack Catterall that many felt should've gone the other way. 

Not unlike the night Lopez boxed so well against Lomachenko, Lopez pitched a near shut-out against Taylor, who looked void of answers. Once again, Lopez had done it and defied the odds. 

Lopez is starting to resemble a modern-day Roberto Duran. When he is on, he is on. When he is off, he is really off.