Teofimo Lopez might come across as incoherent and aloof at times but his overall boxing skills have him pegged as one of the best in the world. In just under a month, the 26-year-old will jump back into the ring to defend his WBO and Ring Magazine titles when he takes on Jamaine Ortiz.
Teddy Atlas has forgotten about more boxing than many of us will remember. Having trained and studied some of the best fighters in the history of the sport, Atlas can spot a great fighter from a mile away. Lopez, from what Atlas has seen, fits the mold.
“Teofimo has those IT factors,” Atlas told ProBox TV during a recent interview. “Those special qualities, those explosive skills, those neon talents. You either have them or you don’t have them.”
Lopez, in the eyes of many, has pound-for-pound level talent. From the beginning, the loquacious New Yorker was loud and brazen. Although he had just a handful of fights, he claimed that his skills were more than enough to take out Vasiliy Lomachenko, the consensus best fighter in the world just a few years ago.
After becoming an undisputed champion in the lightweight division, Lopez eventually moved on up to the super lightweight division. All he needed was two decent wins before facing Josh Taylor, a former undisputed champion and 140-pound kingpin.
Much like his showdown against Lomachenko, Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) was considered an underdog. However, that didn’t stop him from grabbing another unlikely victory.
The sport of boxing has its fair share of terrific fighters. With that said, Lopez is something else entirely. When things are clicking both offensively and defensively, and he’s in the right mental space, few are able to compete with the two-division champ.
“If he’s on, on that particular night, it puts him at a different level.”