Teofimo Lopez says Vasyl Lomachenko win was only ’50 per cent’ of him as he eyes statement win over Pedro Campa

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Teofimo Lopez lowers his jaw and widens his eyes momentarily as he gestures the reaction he hopes to generate with a statement performance against Pedro Campa in Las Vegas this Saturday.

‘The Takeover’ is seeking to thrust his name among the world’s title-hunting super-lightweights in the wake of November’s setback defeat to George Kambosos Jr, which saw the Australian snatch the WBA (Super), IBF and WBO belts that he would later relinquish to Devin Haney in June.

Before then Lopez had asserted himself among the elite at 135 via an emphatic second-round stoppage of Richard Commey followed by a unanimous decision victory over Ukrainian superstar Vasyl Lomachenko.

His return to the ring beckons as something of a ‘remember me?’ expression of intent.

“It’s already happening and I haven’t even fought yet,” Lopez told Sky Sports. “That’s what The Takeover is all about.

“I think people are sensing my energy, they’re feeling the presence and come Saturday night we’re going to let it be known again against all odds that we’re here to stay forever, I’m not a one-hit wonder.

“At the end of it all I want to see everybody’s mouth like this *drops his jaw*, it’s just going to open because it’s going to be that entertaining, that exciting.

“You guys have yet to see the best version of Teofimo. If you guys thought Lomachenko was my best version, that was nothing, that was probably 50 per cent of what I’m capable of doing.”

Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) says he is expecting a ‘war’ against his Mexican opponent Campa, who enters the bout 34-1-1 (23 KOs) in his career.

“This is definitely a treat for everyone, you guys are going to see whether this will be the last of Teofimo Lopez or just the beginning,” he added. “I’m all about performing for everybody.”

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Lopez’s move up to 140lbs has coincided with that of Ryan Garcia, who recently called out undisputed lightweight champion Haney and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis to follow suit in order to meet in the ring.

Elsewhere Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall are seemingly on course for a rematch of their February clash that saw the former claim a controversial points decision.

Not only is Lopez open to facing the winner, but he has welcomed a fight night in the UK.

“Me and Jack Catterall had some back and forth talks, sadly that was somebody I definitely wanted to fight, I felt like we could have made the fight happen, however my matchmakers had some other options for me,” he said.

“This is all about getting this guy [Campa] out the way, I’m somebody that if I say something I’m definitely going to go out there and do it. It’s just about improving, seeing how these guys do.

“The 140 division is going to be one of the hottest divisions to come in the next few years. All these guys at 135 are going to come up because that’s where everything is at now.

“Wherever Teofimo goes everybody goes.”

For what it is worth, he notes he believes Catterall did enough to win the fight. As for a trip across the Atlantic…

“I need it! I want to be over there!” he added. “Even if I have to say ‘forget MSG and go to the UK’, let’s do it!

“I don’t care who it is. It could be Ryan Garcia, Taylor, Catterall, I don’t care, I want to be at the O2 Arena. I know I have so much love over there and I just need to be over there and embrace that environment and enjoy the energy because you guys are diehard boxing fans.”

Still just 25-years-old, Lopez insists he sees no reason why a fight cannot be made with Garcia some time down the line.

Garcia boasts an unbeaten record of 23-0 with 19 knockouts, having recorded a sixth-round knockout of Javier Fortuna in July to follow up April’s unanimous decision win over Emmanuel Tagoe, which had marked his first fight since January last year.

“I believe everything happens in divine time and with God’s timing we’ll definitely have those fights happen. I don’t see why not,” he said. “If the guy is calling me out then better be ready.

“You’re barking up the wrong tree right now. Don’t bark on this tree, I’m a giant. It’s all about making these fights happen for everyone out there.

“You guys won’t ever have me say no to a fight. I took less money to take Lomachenko because I believe in myself so much. I want to see a fighter do that.

“You’ve got to do your research everyone, these guys call everybody out but they overprice themselves because they think they’re Floyd Mayweather but they haven’t shown that yet. You have to be a champion first and then work your way up.

“Honestly I don’t want these guys to back out, if they want to fight me then let’s make it happen.”

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Jack Catterall says he is excited to be joining BOXXER for a vital stage of his career as he looks to become a world champion in the future

DuBoef: Lopez vs Taylor at 140?

Top Rank president Todd duBoef believes Saturday’s fight can be a path to ‘redemption’ for Lopez as he eyes a return to title talk.

“Teo’s got that same swagger and brashness that Tyson [Fury] has,” duBoef told Sky Sports. “I think with him, he’s got a lot of answers to come up with in this next fight against Campo. I think he has a really, really difficult psychological adjustment to make. He stubbed his toe, after he went out to the world and declared himself as The Guy [then lost].

“He’s got a lot of redemption to do here. He had some health issues which he suffered during the fight and prior to the fight, and the Covid and the delay. He’s got to knock that ring-rust off and he’s got to show everybody that this is the Teo that we saw two years ago when he upset Lomachenko and drilled Richard Commey in explosive fashion, that’s what people want to see.

“In this sport you’re as good as your last performance. He can erase the Kambosos loss very quickly with a couple of wins. Him at ’40 is dangerous. He’s a big kid for ’35. Him at ’40 is dangerous.

“There’s a lot of options [for Josh Taylor]. He talks about going to 147lbs. Teofimo’s going to ’40… What if he went right into a Teofimo fight. You have a lot of things to be played out.”

Watch Teofimo Lopez take on Pedro Campa in Las Vegas live on Sky Sports from 2am on Sunday morning.

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