By Chris Robinson
This past Saturday night, in front of a sold-out crowd of 3,553 at Resorts World Las Vegas, former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez made a successful junior welterweight debut.
Lopez (17-1, 13 KO’s) stopped Mexico’s Pedro Campa (34-2-1, 23 KO’s) in the seventh round, despite a bit of a slow start. Lopez was returning from his only setback as a professional, when he lost his lightweight titles to George Kambosos Jr. over 12 fast-paced rounds this past November.
Lopez was calm and patient against Campa, despite obviously showing some signs of ring rust. A left-right combination put Campa down in round seven, and Lopez pounced on him moments later with a series of unanswered punches that left the referee with no option but to stop the fight.
Afterwards, Lopez reflected on his victory.
“I just had to calm down and really pick my shots,” he stated. “It’s all about switching it up. It’s been a while, you know? I had to remind myself that I was going to be OK in there. My last fight, I almost died. You guys don’t know that feeling. I was just in the [dressing room] telling myself ‘It’s going to be OK’, and God is in my corner.”
Lopez was diagnosed to have fought Kambosos while suffering pneumomediastinum, with “extensive air in the retropharyngeal space”, as noted after the bout.
Now healthy and focused on a new weight class, Lopez hinted at a December return in New York, possibly against Taylor, who holds the IBF and WBO titles at 140 pounds. So too is there the possibility of facing the winner of the forthcoming Regis Prograis-Jose Zepeda matchup for the WBC title that Taylor vacated.
“I want to shoot for the titles,” Lopez stated. “I know I can do it in the next year. I had to get the ring rust out, but I’ll beat the shit out of all these boys!”
Check below for more from Teofimo Lopez following the Pedro Campa victory
Chris Robinson can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com