Home Boxing News Teofimo Lopez follows through with retirement plans, but not everyone is convinced

Teofimo Lopez follows through with retirement plans, but not everyone is convinced

Teofimo Lopez. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Just days after winning the WBO and Ring Magazine junior welterweight titles from Josh Taylor 19-1 (13), Teofimo Lopez 19-1 (13) announced he was retiring from the sport at the age of just 25.

Many fans and pundits thought this was due to the impetuousness of youth and that the Brooklyn native would reconsider his decision, but it was announced today that he had officially relinquished his WBO belt.

WBO president Paco Valcárcel confirmed on Twitter that Lopez was no longer their champion.

“Just now @TeofimoLopez is texting me that he relinquished his jr welterweight title,” Paco Valcárcel posted. “We should respect his decision… If he come back, WBO doors will be always open for him.”

Lopez retweeted the post and added the comment: “Thank you everyone for making the greatest moments in my career a GREAT ONE! Thank you @trboxing and @espn for creating ‘THE TAKEOVER’ into a real thing! I am forever grateful for all of the sanctioning bodies in boxing for showing me I can and am more than boxing! What a career.”

But WBC junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis 28-1 (24), who will face Danielto Zorrilla 17-1 (13) at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday night, believes we will see Lopez back in the prize ring again.

“I wanted Josh [Taylor] to win so I could fight him again, but now, I just have got to fight Teofimo,” said Prograis. “I know he’s saying he’s retired but I hope he is not. I think that would be a huge fight and we must do it.

“There was a video in 2018 with me, Teo and his dad, and his dad was saying ‘you and my son are going to fight one day, and you are going to be rich’. So, he called it a long time ago and its still true right to this day, more than ever now.

“Teo fought on my undercard in New Orleans back in 2018, we just must get that fight. I am not taking my eyes of Zorrilla, but if I can get the win and hopefully Teo is not retired, we can get it on.

“I always thought that Teo is a great fighter. When he was at 135, I thought he was the best of the lot. He’s explosive, he’s got power, he can box. So, I would never look past a fighter of his calibre, but I still believe I whoop him.

“I think he’s frustrated. I don’t think he’s going to retire. If he fought me, he’d probably get ten times what he got for the Taylor fight. There are too many big fights out there for him.

“He’s going through some things, he can fight for sure, but there’s some things going on for him outside the ring. If he only made $1million to fight the former undisputed champion, it makes no sense, but he won’t walk away – he likes money, his Dad likes money, so that’s how he was feeling right away, you can’t walk away after the biggest fight of his life.

“It’s between Teo and Subriel Matias as to who would be the harder fight, it’s not Rolly Romero. I don’t know if Teo could stand up to what I give him, even though he did with Josh, I feel I’m a bigger and sharper puncher than Josh though.

“Matias is tough, but he’s been hurt before and by a lesser guy than me. So, I don’t know if he could stand up to me either, but hopefully I can get to fight at least one of them.

“I’ve always wanted to fight Jack Catterall. I want the Lopez fight more as he’s just beaten Josh and he has the belt. But I’ve always wanted to face Jack, so we’ll see what happens. I need to get past Zorrilla on Saturday and after that, I’ll talk to Eddie [Hearn] and we’ll see what is next.

“It was good for boxing, two fighters that needed that win, they were both coming off performances that meant they needed to win. I’m not going to lie, I doubted Teo, I thought he was going to lose, but Teo just went out and did his thing. I take my hat off to him and congratulate him on his win. I wouldn’t say Josh is washed up, I don’t know if he’s shot, he didn’t look good though and Teo had every answer for him.

“Josh just couldn’t hit him often with big shots and even when he did hit him with some left hands and uppercuts, it didn’t have any effect on Teo. Josh couldn’t touch Teo too much because he was being slick, and even when he did, nothing happened or worked for Josh. Around the fourth round I think I had it level, but after that Teo got into his groove and his rhythm and took over.

“I was surprised that Teo was able to rock Josh in the later rounds and honestly, he made Josh look ordinary, he really did. I don’t know if it was because of Teo or because of Josh, if he’s shot, I don’t know. He didn’t look like a former undisputed champion in there.”