Teofimo Lopez Made WBO ‘Super Champion’ At 140
By Dan Ambrose: Teofimo Lopez has been WBO ‘Super Champion’ at 140, meaning he can move up to become mandatory for the 147-lb belt held currently by undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
With things becoming too hot for Teofimo at light welterweight, with the division teaming with sharks, like WBO mandatory Arnold Barboza Jr., Gary Anuanne Russell, Richardson Hitchins, Jose Ramirez, and new addition, and Devin Haney, Teo has chosen to get out of dodge before getting chewed up by these killers.
The 26-year-old Teofimo Lopez isn’t moving to 147 to fight Crawford because he’s going up to 154. There’s no way that Teofimo would fight Crawford because it’s certain that he would lose.
Top Rank wouldn’t go for the idea of Teofimo, who is still marketable, fighting one of their former fighters who has moved on.
By moving up to 147, Teofimo can fight the winner of the October 21st fight between Alexis Rocha & Giovani Santillan for the vacant WBO 147-lb belt once it’s stripped from Crawford if he doesn’t do the right thing by vacating.
Teofimo has enough skills to beat the Rocha-Santillan winner and sit on that title for a long time due to how weak the 147-lb division is.
If Crawford did choose to return to 147 after his rematch with Errol Spence Jr. at 154 in December, he would be expected to fight his IBF mandatory Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.
Teofimo can swerve Barboza Jr. at 140
This is a move for Teofimo (19-1, 13 KOs) to swerve his dangerous WBO 140-lb mandatory Arnold Barboza Jr. to move up to 147, which is a weak division now that Terence Crawford & Errol Spence Jr. are moving up to 154.
Barboza is a fighter that Teofimo has never wanted to face, but now he has no choice, with him ranked as his #1 WBO contender at 140.
If Teofimo stays, he must fight Barboza Jr.. and potentially lose. But if Teo moves to 147, all he has to worry about is beating the Rocha vs. Santillon winner, and those guys are easy marks.
It’s an intelligent move by Teofimo because he’s too much of a basket case for him to last long as the WBO 140-lb champion before getting dethroned.
He already got beat by fringe contender George Kambosos Jr. at 135, and most would agree Teo deserved a loss last December against Sandor Martin when he was dropped twice by the Spaniard in New York.
The top fighters at 147:
Keith ThurmanRashidi EllisAlexis RochaGiovani SantillanJosh TaylorYordenis UgasShakhram GiyasovEimantas StanionisEgidijus KavaliauskasDavid AvanesyanMario BarriosRoiman Villa