Less than a week after a career rebirth win for the WBO junior welterweight championship Teofimo Lopez has decided to vacate the belt and continues to insist he is retired at just 25 years of age.
Lopez informed WBO president Paco Valcarcel that he is relinquishing the title he won last Saturday night by unanimous decision over Scotland’s Josh Taylor in the Top Rank Boxing / ESPN main event at the MSG Hulu theater.
Valcarcel made the announcement mid-day Thursday of Lopez’s surprising decision and the fighter then “quote tweeted” a response here.
Thank you everyone for making the greatest moments in my career a GREAT ONE!
Thank you @trboxing and @espn for creating “THE TAKEOVER” into a real thing! I am forever grateful for all of the sanctioning bodies in Boxing for showing me I can and am more than Boxing! What a career https://t.co/KYQJ5pWPdf
— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) June 15, 2023
That response continues with what the two division world champ said to the media after his win late Saturday, which was that he is retiring from the sport.
It’s no secret that Lopez has had personal problems, including going through a messy divorce currently and custody fight for his toddler son.
He also has a volatile relationship at times with his father, Teofimo Sr.
This included ESPN airing a segment of a sit-down interview they had done earlier in his camp for the Taylor bout, where Lopez’s father came into the interview and began to criticize Teofimo about what he was talking about. That’s when with the cameras rolling, Lopez began to become very irritated towards everyone, including telling his father to stop telling him what he could and couldn’t talk about.
Nonetheless, Lopez put together his best performance since his unified lightweight title win over Vasily Lomachenko in October of 2020 and is certainly back as one of the top 140 lb. fighters in the sport. And, that only makes many believe that his current circumstances are weighing on him and he has decided to not be obligated by the WBO potentially ordering him, whom to fight.
There was belief that new undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney may want to move up and fight Lopez for his title later this year.
Haney does not have a contract with Top Rank any longer and is now a promotional free agent. Further, Lopez was claiming leading up to the Taylor fight that this would be the final one for he with Top Rank. That remains to be seen whether they still have an option on more fights with him or not?
Another interesting hypothetical is: that Matchroom Boxing and promoter Eddie Hearn could get involved with Lopez and potentially, match him up, whether he’s the WBO Champion or not ,with WBC title holder Regis Prograis. Prograis is set to defend his championship Saturday night in a fight he’s heavily favored in New Orleans in the first of a three fight deal with Matchroom.
Lopez previously fought and lost to George Kambosos in November 2021 after Hearn and Matchroom won a purse bid for the unified title fight.
As for the WBO, Lopez had been their number one contender coming into June and their second and third contenders are unbeaten Arnold Barbosa and former unified champion Jose Ramirez. The WBO theoretically could move them up to one and two in a subsequent ranking and have them fight each other for the vacant belt. Both of those Fighters are under the Top Rank umbrella