Teofimo Lopez: Why American can prove himself at super-lightweight against Sandor Martin | Boxing News

Teofimo Lopez: Why American can prove himself at super-lightweight against Sandor Martin | Boxing News

Teofimo Lopez is an elite fighter. Formerly a unified champion at lightweight, he shocked modern great Vasiliy Lomachenko and ‘The Takeover’, as he’s known, looked to be in full effect.

But George Kambosos sprang a major upset when he beat him in 2021. Since then questions have hovered around Lopez. Was he really as good as he appeared to be? Was his stint at the very top of the sport to prove only a one-off?

Lopez has had to regroup. He moved up to super-lightweight this year and scored a stoppage win over Pedro Campa in August.

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Teofimo Lopez knocks down then stops Pedro Campa in the seventh round at Resorts World Events Center in Las Vegas

But we do not know yet how good he can be in his new division, a weight class that is home to excellent fighters like Josh Taylor, Jack Catterall, Regis Prograis and more.

He will answer those questions when he fights Sandor Martin, live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena at 2am on Sunday.

Martin was a solid if previously unspectacular European champion. But then in the other great upset of 2021 he stunned Mikey Garcia, an outstanding boxer who had won titles across multiple weight classes and been recognised in the past as one of the best, pound-for-pound, in the sport.

When Martin replaced Jose Pedraza as Lopez’s opponent for this fight, it presented the man from Brooklyn with an ideal test. It’s a chance for Lopez to start to show that he can be as good at super-lightweight as he was expected to be at 135lbs.

“It’s really about pushing things, making the fight happen, looking impressive against this guy,” Lopez told Sky Sports.

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Teofimo Lopez calls out Josh Taylor after his victory over Pedro Campa

“He’s a competitor. He boxes. He’s going to go out there wanting to prove another point and another reason why him beating Mikey Garcia was not just by luck – that he is the best.

“Sandor Martin, he’s the number one guy in Europe, he’s the best champion that they have in Spain. So it’s a great match up. And he beat a guy that a lot of people didn’t expect him to beat, Mikey Garcia, who was a four-time divisional champion. That’s huge.”

Lopez insists he will make his mark in this new weight class. “It’s a bad time for all these champions at 140lbs. It’s a bad time for all of them. I’m only getting better,” he said.

“This is my second fight of this year alone. I haven’t had that since 2019. We’re talking about three years really. So I’m really excited about this. I feel my momentum growing. I feel the consistency. I feel like the fact that I’m staying more active is helping me much more; physically, mentally and emotionally and I’m just so happy that we are able to have this fight.”

Teofimo Lopez lands a right to Pedro Campa
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Lopez has performed well so far at super-lightweight

With the fighters available at super-lightweight, it has the potential to be one of the most exciting divisions in the sport.

“The best fighters fighting the best – that’s the most important part of everything that’s going on right now. That’s my motivation. How do I push this sport?” Lopez said.

“Thanks to Lomachenko. Lomachenko’s always been a team player, he always felt he was the best so me and Lomachenko made that happen. I thought it was going to start then, it really hasn’t. So it’s all about pushing it in 140lbs.”

As for his targets, he said: “We have Regis Prograis in line, we have Jose Ramirez, we also have Josh Taylor in line, Catterall. There’s so many great champions. I truly believe that these guys are willing to fight with me. So that’s really what I’m looking forward to. It’s a stacked division, a lot of great champions. I’m just looking forward to taking over 140lbs.”

“I’m just here to show everyone else out there that no, I’m the greatest,” Lopez added.

“I’m the greatest now and I’m the greatest ever.”

The first step, towards proving himself all over again, starts tonight.

Watch Teofimo Lopez versus Sandor Martin, featuring Jared Anderson and Keyshawn Davis on the undercard, live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena at 2am on Sunday morning

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