Light welterweight contender and former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez will now face a new boxer on his return to action on 10th December at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Lopez, who holds the WBC-NABF and WBO International light welterweight titles, was slated to take on José “Sniper” Pedraza, but after Pedraza contracted a non-COVID-related illness and pulled out of the fight, former European champion Sandor Martín will now be contesting Lopez for the WBO belt.
The Lopez-Martin clash, scheduled for 12 rounds, will be a final eliminator for the WBC world title.
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I will continue to silence the doubters: Teofimo Lopez
Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs), the former WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight champ, made his debut in 140 back in August with a seventh round knockout of Pedro Campa.
The Brooklyn native is currently aiming to become a two-division world champion by next year, but the WBO No. 1 junior welterweight contender must first take down the Spanish southpaw.
“We wish Jose Pedraza a speedy recovery, but we look forward to facing Sandor Martin. He was the opponent we originally wanted for Heisman Night at Madison Square Garden,” said Lopez following the announcement of his new challenger. “I will continue to silence the doubters as I take over the 140-pound division. I look forward to giving my hometown fans a special night of boxing.”
Martin (40-2, 13 KOs), a Barcelona native, marked the 2021 upset of the year when he stunned former four division champion Mikey Garcia via 10-round majority decision and sent Garcia into retirement.
Ranked in the top 15 by all four major sanctioning bodies, Martin followed Garcia’s win with a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Jose Felix in April.
“I’ve dreamed of fighting in a main event at Madison Square Garden,” Martin acknowledged. “This is my time. I’ve taken the risk, and I will take control against Teofimo Lopez on December 10th. I will give the fans what they want to see.”