Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) continued his streak of eye-catching knockouts this past Saturday night as he completely pummeled and ultimately stopped two-time title challenger Diego Magdaleno (31-3, 13 KOs).
Lopez may only have 12 fights in his pro career, but he feels like he is on the brink of a title shot. It’s not just that he’s winning these fights, but also how he’s winning them. Although everyone is impressed with him, some reservations are in order.
A title shot is in his future, but not his near future. Lopez has gradually stepped up his level of competition, but now it’s time to go to another level. Let’s take a look at who Lopez should be matched up with next.
Teofimo Lopez looks like a rising star. There have been boxers that have had the look of a future champion, only to fizzle out. Lopez seems to be legit, but a fight against Ricky Burns (43-7-1, 16 KOs) will allow us all to find out just how legit he truly is.
To this point Lopez has been matched up with fighters who have fallen short in their chase for a title. In Burns however, Lopez will be taking on a legit former world champion in three different weight divisions. Burns isn’t quite the fighter he once was, but he would represent the toughest challenge of Lopez’s young career by far.
Lopez has generated a lot of buzz for his spectacular knockouts and rightfully so. Burns has never been knocked out in his career and he has fought a ton of big punchers. A fight with Burns would be a massive step up for Lopez, but it will tell us just how good he really is.
Luke Campbell (19-2, 15 KOs) is sneaky good and a true title challenger in the Lightweight division. In his matchup against Jorge Linares in 2017 he lost a close split decision all while suffering an early knockdown in the bout.
Campbell is an excellent boxer and has more than respectable power. Outside of his professional accomplishments he is also a 2012 Olympic gold medalist as well.
Lopez would be at a height, reach and experience disadvantage against Campbell. If Lopez wants to continue to climb up the ranks then he will have to add a name the caliber of Campbell to his resume.
A fight against Jose Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) seems like it would be premature for a talented, but young fighter in Teofimo Lopez. However Lopez has said on many occasions that he wants a showdown with pound-for-pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko.
If that is the fight he truly wants then a matchup with Pedraza should be on tap for him.
Pedraza is coming off a tough fight against Lomachenko. One which resulted in his defeat, but not without giving a very good account of himself. Pedraza is no push over, he is a real fighter who has the capabilities of winning another world title.
Is a fight with Pedraza a bit premature in the career of Lopez? Yes. Be that as it may, Lopez wants to be fast tracked to stardom. A matchup with Pedraza is the right one to make.