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Teofimo Lopez named “super champion” by WBO

Top Rank’s petition to make Teofimo Lopez a WBO “super champion” has succeeded.

Teofimo Lopez has been named “super champion” at 140 by the WBO
Teofimo Lopez has been named “super champion” at 140 by the WBO
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Teofimo Lopez has been named “super champion” at 140 lbs by the WBO, not long after Top Rank filed a request to have the sanctioning body recognize Lopez as such.

In basic terms, the move means that Lopez (19-1, 13 KO) will get extensions on when he absolutely has to do mandatory title defenses, plus the ability to be considered as an immediate mandatory challenger if a fighter moves up (or down!) in weight.

This means, in short, that Lopez probably isn’t going to field any potential mandatory order to face Arnold Barboza Jr — his No. 1-ranked contender, who left Top Rank in July — any time soon, and that if Teofimo wanted to go up to 147 or down to 135, he can get a WBO title shot immediately if he wants one.

The move could also mean that Barboza will not get a WBO eliminator with Jose Ramirez, who could simply be Top Rank’s preferred next opponent for Lopez, who has seemed truly dismissive of the idea of fighting Barboza.

The 26-year-old Lopez beat Josh Taylor for the WBO belt on June 10, then feigned a retirement until the WBO actually made him say he really was going to retire, which would have seen him giving up the belt.

He decided not to retire, which was a real shock to us all, and thus holds the title still.

It is boxing politics as usual, really. We all know and on some level just accept — with no other option, really — that “star” fighters generally get preferential treatment in this business-sport. This is just something that puts it in writing, and it’s not something you’ll really notice much as a fan unless you were fiending for Teofimo vs Barboza.

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