It’s been a spectacular fall from grace for 2020 WBN Fighter of the Year Teofimo Lopez, just nineteen months from his greatest night.
Defeating Vasyl Lomachenko elevated Lopez into the Pound for Pound reckoning and set him for mammoth paydays in the years to come.
However, his first fight was a mandatory challenge against George Kambosos Jr. That’s where the fairytale ended.
The IBF ordering Lopez to face the dangerous Australian began a chain reaction of events that have since left Lopez in limbo.
His career stalled, his mindset has faced questioning, and a future return to the ring will not be worth anywhere close to the money he’d like.
The spiral began with a bid by Triller to seal the purse bid for Lopez vs. Kambosos. Back in February 2021. Lopez became the six million dollar man when Triller went above and beyond their means to secure the fight.
Delay after delay as interest wained saw Triller pull out of the contract. The next bidders in line were Matchroom Boxing, and they took over to schedule the event for November 2021.
By then, Lopez looked deflated and beaten before the fight. Kambosos took full advantage to take his clutch of belts.
Still, even with the loss and the lack of a rematch clause, Lopez had the chance to secure massive fights.
TEOFIMO LOPEZ FUTURE
Speaking to World Boxing News last year, Lopez said he would renew his partnership with Bob Arum as long as he could solely deal with ESPN.
“That’s Top Rank talking,” Lopez told WBN. “I make my own rules here. Top Rank, we’re partners, but at the end of the day, I deal with people from ESPN now.”
Those fights are yet to materialize as Lopez took to social media on more than one occasion to face a backlash from fans.
Subsequent interviews, posts, and behavior led to fans questioning his mental state. This scenario was unheard of previously.
Lopez continues to tread water six months after his defeat to Kambosos. On May 25th, Lopez posted a video of himself back in the gym.
He’ll be lucky if he can squeeze in two fights, let alone three. And undoubtedly, Josh Taylor won’t be on the menu.
“The Takeover” is so far a figment of imagination for Teofimo Lopez. His prediction for 2022 has already gone out the window.
“I’m only going to get the one fight this year, and we’re looking forward to a better 2022. But I’m ready right now,” Lopez told World Boxing News.
“I’m walking around at 146. It’s not like I’m struggling here. I’m composed, taking care of my body, taking care of my mind.”
Linked to a battle with Pedro Campa, that’s a world away from a Kambosos, and Lomachenko returns or facing Taylor.
One of the stars of 2020 became the forgotten man by the end of 2021. 2022 hasn’t been any kinder to him as of yet.
Hopefully, the tide will turn for Lopez, and he can once again get his focus lasered onto a place at the top table of the sport.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.