Home Boxing News Teofimo Lopez returns to action in South Florida against Steve Claggett on...

Teofimo Lopez returns to action in South Florida against Steve Claggett on June 29

Teofimo Lopez. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Ring Magazine and WBO junior welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez 20-1 (13) will make the second defence of his titles when he takes on Canadian Steve Claggett 38-7-2 (26) at the James L Knight Center in Miami Beach, Florida on June 29.

The fight will be something of a homecoming for Brooklyn’s Lopez, 26.

“I have always wanted to fight in South Florida, where I grew up and developed as a fighter,” Lopez said.

“I never thought it would happen, but now, on June 29, I get the opportunity to do so not just as a world champion but as the lineal world champion of my division.

“This has been one of my goals since turning pro and I’m motivated to showcase my talent there in front of my Honduran fans and the entire Latino community.

“This is like a Rocky Balboa story for Steve Claggett. I’m very much looking forward to what kind of style I’m going to see. There were no other fighters who were interested in fighting me and I felt like he would give not just me, but the fans as well, a great fight to watch.”

Fringe contender Claggett, 34, is undefeated in his last nine fights dating back three years. Lopez promises to be the toughest test of the WBO number 10 contender’s 16-year pro career.

“I have worked my entire life for this opportunity and I intend to make the most of it. I am more motivated than ever before and I’m ready to give it everything I’ve got,” Claggett said.

Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said: “Teofimo Lopez is among the most electrifying fighters in the sport and I know he’s motivated to put on a show against a very tough challenger in Steve Claggett.”

Also on the card Cuban southpaw Robeisy Ramirez 13-2 (8) will be having his first fight back since losing his WBO featherweight title to Mexico’s Rafael Espinoza 24-0 (20) in December.

He will face another Mexican this time out in the form of Brandon Leon Benitez 21-2 (9) over 10 rounds.

“While the result [in December] was unexpected, I will begin my quest to recapture my world title and return to the top, where I know I belong,” Ramirez said. “It’s Cuba versus Mexico again and I’m excited to have the loyal support of the Cuban community of Miami.”

Middleweight Nico Ali Walsh 9-1 (5) will also feature on the undercard in a rematch against the only man to beat him to date, Sona Akale 9-1 (4), who won their first bout last August with a majority decision over six heats.

“Robeisy Ramirez wants to become a two-time world champion and the road back starts in his adopted hometown,” said Arum.

“Nico Ali Walsh has been asking for the Akale rematch from the moment the judges’ decision came back after their first fight and he now has a chance for revenge.”