July 26, 2021

Teofimo Lopez: Haney Must Earn His Shot, Fight Opposition in Top Ten

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There is still plenty of confusion when it comes to the WBC world title in the lightweight division.

Teofimo Lopez, who holds the WBO, IBF, WBA titles, is the WBC’s franchise champion at 135-pounds. Devin Haney is the WBC’s “regular” champion at the weight, while Ryan Garcia hold the WBC’s interim-title.

Last year, Lopez shook up the entire lightweight landscape when he won a twelve round unanimous decision over Vasiliy Lomachenko to secure the unified lightweight crown.

Haney has been calling for a showdown with Lopez – to set the record straight as to which of them is the “real” WBC champion at 135.

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Lopez has mandatory obligation on the table, against undefeated Australian contender George Kambosos.

Both Kambosos, and the IBF, are pressing Lopez to meet his obligation. The contest is likely heading to a purse bid.

For his part, Haney has a mandatory obligation of his own – with hard puncher Javier Fortuna as the likely opponent on deck.

Lopez has no problem with facing Haney in the near future.

But, Lopez would like Haney to step up his level of competition by facing quality opponents who are highly ranked.

“Oh yeah, absolutely [I’d fight Haney]. As long as Haney keeps winning and actually fights opposition in the top ten, because he hasn’t yet fought anyone top ten in the lightweight division, along with Gervonta Davis as well,” Lopez told The Ak & Barak Show.

“The only person who has stepped up [against a top ten contender], who got dropped in the second round and got back up to win, was Ryan Garcia.

“These guys, they’ve gotta prove something. The same way I had to prove myself to be able to fight Lomachenko for all the belts. There ain’t no handouts. I’m not gonna give them things I had to work so hard for.”