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He was lucky he didn’t get killed: Bob Arum fears Teofimo Lopez’s boxing career might be over following life-threatening esophagus injury

The unified lightweight world championship, as well as suffering his first professional boxing career defeat may just be the least that Teofimo Lopez had lost on 27th November when he was up against George Kambosos Jr, as Top Rank CEO Bob Arum worries that not only Lopez might have lost his life inside the squared circle, but also that the world may not see him donning the gloves again.

You can’t risk your life just to make a payday and get a fight on: Bob Arum opens up on Teofimo Lopez’s injury

Days before the Kambosos fight, Teofimo Lopez had sustained a hazardous esophagus injury during a training session and it showed its impact during the weigh-in, as well as the actual fight. The former unified champion appeared very sick and drained on the weights and even inside the ring, he could only keep his breath for just the first and the tenth rounds.

For the rest of the fight, ‘The Takeover’ looked extremely fatigued and sluggish and as Bob Arum spoke during an interview with The MMA Hour, Lopez had to be hospitalized for some days when the doctors said the pugilist could have lost his life if his lungs had taken a hard impact during the bout.

“Well, he shouldn’t have been in the fight. He was lucky he didn’t get killed,” said Arum, “That’s no excuse, but they [Team Teofimo] didn’t take the weight off properly, and his esophagus blew up. “The doctors, he was in the hospital afterward for four or five days [following Teofimo’s loss to Kambosos on November 27th], and the doctor said that if he’d taken a really hard shot to the lungs, he would have died. So that, to me, is inexcusable.”

Despite Lopez’s unnatural appearance in the ring, there was no response from Matchroom MD Eddie Hearn and his team for pulling him out of the fight, as Arum says if his team was on the ringside they would have retired Lopez then and there.

“Eddie was putting the fight on; he was the promoter. He had no background with Teofimo,” the 90-year-old promoter went on, “we would have spotted it right away and pulled him out of the fight because you can’t risk your life just to make a payday and get a fight on.”

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Arum further stated that he stayed in touch with Lopez for the entire week, but fears that the 24-year-old’s boxing days may have come to an end, but he also hopes that Lopez makes a recovery and opts to fight in weight classes where making weights are less strenuous.

“I have no idea,” Arum said regarding Lopez’s future in boxing, “I talked to him every day this week, and he’s still not feeling well. I hope that he recovers and gets the proper preparation if he decides to fight again, and, of course, I would insist that he fight at a higher weight division because there’s no sense killing yourself making a weight that is going to really adversely affect you.” [H/T Boxing News 24]


  • Top Rank CEO Bob Arum fears Teofimo Lopez’s boxing career may be over and says he could have died in the fight against George Kambosos Jr last November
  • Lopez sustained a dangerous esophagus injury before the fight
  • Arum says if Lopez returns to boxing he should fight in a higher weight division
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