Around two weeks back, Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler stated his desire to pit Teofimo Lopez against undefeated Arnold Barboza in the former’s super lightweight debut. Now, Lopez manager David McWater tells Dan Rafael that while “there have been no offers yet or a specific date,” they are “looking at” staging the fight in April or May.
It would be an admirably risky entry into the 140-pound ranks for Lopez (16-1, 12 KO), who’s still reeling from last November’s shock loss to George Kambosos Jr. “The Takeover” reportedly entered the bout with a tear in his esophagus that allowed a dangerous amount of air into his chest, and McWater claims he’s dealing with “wrist and elbow” issues as well.
That’s a lot of baggage to take into a fight with Barboza (26-0, 10 KO), who sits at #2 in the WBO’s rankings and #5 in the WBC’s. The 30-year-old lacks stopping power, but is a quality boxer with a proven ability to hold his own in a brawl. If Lopez’s own power doesn’t follow him up to 140, things could get hairy in a hurry.
Still, it’s the sort of adversity that he’ll have to overcome to re-establish himself as a pound-for-pound great, and all props to Lopez if he does jump into the deep end like this.