Home Boxing News Bob Arum praises Teofimo Lopez for his maturity, says he could become...

Bob Arum praises Teofimo Lopez for his maturity, says he could become an all-time great

Teofimo Lopez and Jamaine Ortiz. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

The sky is the limit for Ring Magazine and WBO junior welterweight champion Teofimo ‘The Takeover’ Lopez 19-1 (13).

Promoter Bob Arum says the 26-year-old Bronx native could go down as one of the best to ever pull on the gloves if he remains focused on his career.

The Top Rank boss made the comments in the days ahead of Lopez’s title defence against Jamaine ‘The Technician’ Ortiz 17-1-1 (8) at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada tomorrow night.

“You’ve got to remember that all of these fighters, pretty much, are young guys,” Arum said to ProBox TV. “They start as kids in the business. A lot of them don’t have the maturity that you would want. To Teo’s credit, he has grown into maturity. Now he’s a mature person, he speaks sense by and large rather than speaking nonsense which was the case before.

“I have always thought that the future is great for Teofimo. He’s a great personality and a terrific fighter. I think Lopez has the ability to be an all-time great fighter and now that I think that he has developed a maturity to go with ability, I think he is on the way to being a great fighter.

“It always happens when you have a guy who is as loquacious as Teofimo. He soaks up the energy because of his personality you tend to forget the guy he is fighting.

“I don’t know if the fight is 50/50, but it is certainly a close competitive fight. No question about it. But again, that is the type of test Teofimo wanted.”

Arum isn’t the only one expecting a close contest. Former three-weight world champion Jorge Linares sees the bout as a pick ’em.

“I’m very good friends with Ortiz. I am out here with my fighter Yan Marcos for training camp,” Linares said to ProBox TV.

“I saw some of Jamaine’s training camp and he looked good. He looks super strong, he has had an amazing training camp. I saw the last sparring of him, he looked great. He is ready, so I think this fight is a super big fight for him, but also for Lopez. I know Lopez too and I think this is the best fighter at this weight.”

Linares added: “I don’t know who is going to win. I think it depends on Teofimo’s mentality… All the time! He always looks good, in great shape and stuff like that, but mentality is a very important thing. And you cannot always see that.

“I can see him now and I can see him at the weigh-in, but we never know how he is mentally for the fight. It will be interesting to see how he weighs in before the fight.

“I think it is an amazing fight, for me it is a 50/50. It’s a 50/50 for me because Ortiz is a young guy, a hungry guy who is being overlooked. Also for Teofimo, he has a lot of pressure on him to perform because he came out of retirement.”