Unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is just one belt away from achieving undisputed status, and that can just happen sooner than everyone things, as Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has opened up one huge possibility for the same.
Coming off of a unanimous decision win over Lomachenko in October last year, the WBA (Super), WBO, and IBF titleholder Teofimo Lopez is set to defend his belts against undefeated Aussie contender George Kambosos Jr on 19th June at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida.
While Lopez is already WBC’s franchise champion, the green and gold belt at 135 is currently under the possession of Devin Haney, who will be defending his title against Jorge Linares, the veteran Venezuelan who is a former possessor of the WBC belt.
The fight between Haney and Linares is heading for the Michelob Ultra Arena in Paradise, Nevada on 29th June, and as Bob Arum suggests, the winner of the bout can very well be the next opponent for Lopez.
Lopez, however, has been sending some verbal heat against Josh Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs), the WBC, WBA (Super), WBO and IBF champion at 140 who recently defeated José Ramírez (26-1, 17 KOs) last Saturday at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Arum willing to allow Lopez vs Taylor, but after Lopez faces the winner of Haney vs Linares
After Taylor had expressed his desire to move up to 147 and face Terence “Bud” Crawford, Lopez called out the Scotsman, accusing him of avoiding a fight. On the same notion, Arum expressed that Lopez vs Taylor would be a mouth watering fight, but only after the WBO super lightweight mandatory challenger Jack Catterall fight is cleared.
“Teofimo is a terrific fighter and he’s had nothing but success. If he wins his fight with [George] Kambosos, and we get through the Catterall fight, it might be a really attractive fight for [Taylor] to fight Teofimo,” Arum said in an interview with Boxing Social.
“[Lopez] said he won’t have trouble making 135 for a couple of more fights, but he would like to go up to 140 and fight the winner of [Taylor and Catterall],” the 89-year-old promoter went on, “realistically, because of Catterall, we’ll give Teofimo another fight at 135, maybe against the Linares and Haney winner.”
Linares, 35, has been oozing confidence about his upcoming fight against Haney and the Venezuelan even feels he will teach some of his experience to the 22-year-old.
“Linares is an excellent fighter. Haney could very well be an excellent fighter, but he’s unproven, We’ll have to see. If Haney can handle Linares, that’ll be a big plus for him,” added Arum.