Lopez: ‘We want Josh Taylor’

Teofimo Lopez made his debut at 14o pounds against Pedro Campa in front of a sellout crowd at Resorts World in Las Vegas Saturday night. Lopez’s debut was a success as he dominated and ultimately stopped Pedro Campa in the seventh round.

The former undisputed 135-pound champion was sharp in his first fight since losing to George Kambosos Jr. last November. Lopez fought with confidence, swagger, and had no issues landing against Campa(34-2-1, 23 KOs).

Early in the seventh round, Lopez(17-1, 13 KOs) dropped Campa with a right-left combination. Campa would get up, but Lopez connected on more than a half-dozen power shots and referee Tony Weeks stepped in to end the night.

Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

After the win, Lopez called out a few of the big guns at 140 pounds, including unified champion Josh Taylor.

“We want Josh Taylor,” he said. “We want these guys. We want {Regis} Prograis. We want {Jose} Zepeda. We want all the belts. We want to become two-time undisputed champion…

“If Josh Taylor is too busy with his wedding and there’s nobody else around because the WBA belt is taken and the WBC is going to be fought with Zepeda and Prograis, then so fuc*ng be it.” 

Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Ryan Garcia was ringside, and he has been saying that he would be interested in Garcia fighting Lopez, which could be next.

Lopez said he would return to the ring on December 10 at Madison Square Garden following the win. Some believe it will be against undefeated 140-pound contender Arnold Barboza Jr., who was also ringside and is promoted by Top Rank, like Lopez.

The 25-year-old Lopez has an abundance of talent, and if he’s right mentally, he can compete with anyone at 140 pounds. 

Now, you have to wonder what his power will continue to look like at 140. Campa was slow and easy to hit, but he ate many of Lopez’s punches and kept coming forward. The big names at 140 like Prograis, Taylor, Ramirez, and others won’t be as easy.

However, Lopez can worry about that later. For now, he can enjoy the win and continue to work to do big things at 140 pounds.

Zayas KOs Espadas in Co-Feature

(Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Puerto Rican sensation Xander Zayas (14-0, 9 KOs) picked up the NABO junior middleweight title with a fifth-round knockout over rugged veteran Elias Espadas (22-5, 15 KOs). Zayas knocked down Espadas with a left hook in the opening round and finished the fight in the fifth with a sweeping right hand.

Espadas, a 10-year pro, was stopped for the first time in his career.

Zayas said, “I feel amazing. I’m glad to be back with a strap around me, a regional title, something amazing. It’s special to me to bring my first belt to the island. It’s a step closer to my goal of becoming world champion.

“I promise it wasn’t intentional. I wasn’t trying to hit him low. I guess the punches were just landing there. Referee {Russell Mora}, I want to thank him. He gave me a chance. I just listened to the corner, and they told me, ‘Hey, forget about the body.’ Let’s get these head shots and then we’ll start working the body. And that’s what we did in round four on.”

Featherweight: Jose Enrique Vivas SD 8 Edy Valencia (19-8-6, 7 KOs), Scores: 77-75 Valencia, 77-75 Vivas, and 78-74 Vivas. Mexican got back on the winning track with razor-thin decision in a fight that was spent mostly in close quarters.

Junior Lightweight: Andres Cortes (18-0, 10 KOs) UD 8 Abraham Montoya (20-4-1, 14 KOs), Scores: 79-73 3x. Las Vegas native Cortes had a satisfying homecoming, outworking the Mexican veteran over eight rounds. Cortes landed 42 percent of his power shots and outlanded Montoya in all but one round. Montoya stunned Cortes against the ropes in the sixth round, but his success was fleeting, as Cortes buckled down in the seventh and eighth rounds to remain undefeated.

Middleweight: Troy Isley (7-0, 4 KOs) UD 6 Victor Toney (6-2-1, 5 KOs), Scores: 60-54 and 59-55 2x. U.S. Olympian Isley did not blow away Toney, but he got some hard-earned rounds en route to a convincing points verdict. He faced a little adversity in the fourth round courtesy of a pair of Toney right hands, securing his fourth win of 2022.

Featherweight: Duke Ragan (7-0, 1 KO) UD 6 D’Angelo Fuentes (7-1, 4 KOs). Scores: 59-55 2x and 58-56 2x. The U.S. Olympic silver medalist passed the stiffest test of his young career, using a stiff jab and lateral movement to prevail in the battle of unbeatens. Fuentes had a big moment in the second round, momentarily stunning Ragan with a left hook. The Cincinnati native shook off the blow and closed strong down the stretch.

Junior Welterweight: Omar Rosario (8-0, 2 KOs) UD 6 Esteban Munoz (6-2, 4 KOs), Scores: 58-56 3x. Puerto Rican star Rosario picked up his fourth straight decision with a tougher-than-expected battle against Munoz, who entered the fight riding a four-fight winning streak.

Lightweight: Charlie Sheehy (4-0, 3 KOs) UD 4 Juan Castaneda (2-1-2), Scores: 40-36 3x. Bay Area product Sheehy went the distance for the first time as a pro, batting away the constant pressure of Castaneda en route to the shutout decision.

Photos: Teofimo Lopez’s media workout

Former lightweight king Teofimo Lopez hopes to conquer a second weight class. That journey begins Saturday against Pedro Campa in the 10-round junior welterweight main event at the Resorts World Event Center at Resorts World Las Vegas.

In the eight-round co-feature, unbeaten Puerto Rican junior middleweight standout Xander Zayas takes on Elias Espadas. Lopez-Campa and Zayas-Espadas will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

The undercard — streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ — includes the return of Las Vegas-born junior lightweight contender Andres Cortes against the bruising Abraham Montoya.

Lopez kicked off fight week Wednesday with a media workout at the Top Rank Gym.

Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs), whose run up the lightweight ranks included a legacy-defining victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko, went through the paces for more than 30 minutes. He hit the mitts with his father/trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr., and even conducted an impromptu pushup session in the middle of the ring. Following last November’s split decision loss to George Kambosos Jr., he sets his sights on Campa (34-1-1, 23 KOs), an accomplished veteran who is 7-0-1 since the lone defeat on his ledger.

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Lopez: ‘I will be a two-weight world champion very soon’

 The Takeover 2.0 is 10 days away. Teofimo Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs), the former unified and lineal lightweight champion, will make his junior welterweight debut against Mexican veteran Pedro Campa (34-1-1, 23 KOs) on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Resorts World Event Center at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Lopez is back following last November’s split decision shocker to George Kambosos Jr., which knocked him from the top of the lightweight heap. The Brooklyn native is training in New Jersey for Campa, a 30-year-old puncher who is unbeaten in eight fights dating back to 2017.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)

Following a recent training session, this is what Lopez had to say about his ESPN-televised return.

“The Takeover is back! I took over the lightweight division, and I plan on doing the same at junior welterweight. Pedro Campa is a tough opponent with an aggressive Mexican style, and I can’t wait to put on a show for the fans.”

“Every person goes through challenges, but I’ve put the past behind me and am thrilled to be back fighting on ESPN and in Las Vegas. I am calling this fight the ‘Take Back’ because I am coming to regain what I’ve lost. One defeat does not define a fighter, and it won’t define me.”

“I had been fighting at lightweight since I was a teenager, and it was time to move up. I am going to be an even better, more explosive fighter. You will see that on August 13.”

“I am only 25 years old. My best years are in front of me. Pedro Campa is the start of a new chapter in my career. I will be a two-weight world champion very soon. Every contender and champion at junior welterweight better watch out because I am coming to clean out the division.”