Top Rank Confirms Teofimo Lopez New Opponent
Former unified lightweight champ Teofimo Lopez has a new opponent for his date at Madison Square Garden coming December 10th. This, as Top Rank Boxing confirmed Monday afternoon that Sandor Martin will battle Lopez in a non-title bout that will headline their show on ESPN,
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) November 21, 2022
From their release,
“Junior welterweight contender Teofimo Lopez will have a new “Heisman Night” foe. Jose “Sniper” Pedraza contracted a non-COVID-related illness, and Lopez will now face former European champion Sandor Martin on Saturday, Dec. 10, at Madison Square Garden.
Lopez-Martin, scheduled for 10 rounds, is a final eliminator for the WBC world title.
Brooklyn native Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs), the former lightweight king, made his junior welterweight debut in August with a seventh-round stoppage over Pedro Campa. He hopes to become a two-weight world champion in 2023, but the WBO No. 1 junior welterweight contender must first defeat the slippery Spanish southpaw. Martin (40-2, 13 KOs), who hails from Barcelona, authored the 2021 Upset of the Year when he stunned Mikey Garcia by majority decision and sent the four-weight world champion into retirement. Martin, ranked in the top 15 by all four major sanctioning organizations, followed up the Garcia triumph with a 10-round unanimous decision over Jose Felix in April.
“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,” Lopez said. “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 said, “I’ve dreamed of fighting in a main event at Madison Square Garden. 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.”
Lopez-Martin tops a televised quadruple-header airing immediately after the Heisman Trophy Ceremony at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. Heavyweight sensation Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson aims for his 13th straight knockout against the battle-tested Jerry “Slugger” Forrest, Puerto Rican junior middleweight star Xander Zayas steps up in class against 28-fight veteran Alexis Salazar, and 2020 Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis looks to jumpstart his world title ambitions in a lightweight duel versus Juan Carlos Burgos.”
Pedraza Became Ill
The veteran Pedraza reportedly contracted a non-Covid 19 illness in training a week ago that forced him off the Lopez bout. Lopez has fought in the headlining spot at either the Garden main arena or the adjacent Hulu Theater on the night of the Heisman Trophy presentation not far from their at Manhattan’s Downtown Athletic Club.