After suffering a stunning defeat at the hands of George Kambosos, it is now time for Teofimo Lopez to do some soul-searching and with the 24-year-old no longer in possession of his title belts, there is one question that both boxing journalists and fans are asking.
A question that simply asks, what happens next and with Lopez no longer being able to call himself either the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight champion, the options he had just a few days ago are ones that have now diminished.
While the reason those options have diminished is due to the loss that was dealt to him at the Hulu Theater and with Lopez discussing big-money fights just hours before getting into the ring with Kambosos, it seems as if he overlooked his then upcoming opponent. Something that when it comes to the world of combat sport is the one thing you do not do and with ‘El Brooklyn’ already counting the money for future paydays, the ability to earn a fistful of dollars has now been lessened.
However, there is no doubt that the man with a now 16-1 fight record will still be in demand and although his bargaining power is not quite what it was, he will still carry enough appeal to secure another high-profile fight in 2022.
One option of course is a rematch against the man who recently felled him and with Kambosos upsetting the boxing odds by earning himself a 12th round split decision victory, there is certainly genuine grounds for a rematch. There also is an opportunity to face Devin Haney, who is set to face Joseph Diaz Jr. this Saturday, December 4th. Make sure to 2 for this fight which currently has Haney the favorite coming in at (-650).
Because when there is no outright victory by either KO or TKO, there is always an element of unfinished business and when you leave a decision to the three judges at ringside, they often watch a fight through a slightly different lens. This time, the lens had the Australian fighter coming out on top and with Kambosos now extending his own career record to 20-0, it will be interesting to see if he can be lured back in the ring for a rematch – especially as he not contractually obliged to do so.
This rematch would certainly pique the interest of the betting community and with the odds being upset in their first bout, it will be interesting to see how the fight would be priced on the moneyline second time around.
Because with the champion needing to be beaten to lose their belts – a draw would see the status quo remain, it would see the 28-year-old Kambosos as the favourite going into any potential rematch.
Then again, boxing has a habit of being caught up in politics and if Lopez vs Kambosos II is not scheduled for 2022, attention will then have to pivot back to the men who were in the former’s headlights just days ago.
With names such as Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, and Devin Haney being thrown about as Lopez’ next opponent, names that were being bandied around before events at the Hulu Theatre, 2022 could throw up a few permutations.
Of the trio that have been mentioned, they do at least possess a lightweight title of their own and therefore the three do each offer a shot of redemption to the man who recently lost four belts in the division.
The only slight issue is that two of the remaining title holders are holding either regular or interim versions of the lightweight belts that are available and it may mean that Lopez has to take a step back to then go forward.
Especially as a potential war to settle the lightweight score may have now passed us all by and with Devin Haney currently holding the WBC version of the belt, a pairing with the now former WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight champion seemed the logical step. That now looks much further away and although a fight between the WBC champion and the Brooklyn-born Lopez could still take place, it has certainly lost something from a marketability standpoint.
Which means Brooklyn’s finest may have to work his way back through the division first and in doing so mop up the smaller prizes that are on offer, prizes that are currently held by both Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia.
If the WBA (Regular) lightweight title is the belt that seems most appealing, then it will be Davis who holds the key to potential gold and if it is the WBC interim lightweight title that captures Lopez’ eye, then it is Garcia who will stand in his way.
Of course, the WBC route may well be blocked off due to Garcia’s current interim status and with him being considered the rightful challenger to full honours, he will likely be paired up against the WBC champion Haney in 2022.