Teofimo Lopez posts seventh-round TKO of Pedro Campa, rebounds from first pro defeat

Former champion Teofimo Lopez rebounded from his first pro loss with a seventh-round TKO of Mexican journeyman Pedro Campa in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Lopez took Campa down with an up-jab in round 7 before pinning his opponent to the ropes and unloading with a barrage of overhand rights that prompted referee Tony Weeks to call the fight off at 2:14 .

The Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Main Event was Lopez’s first ring action since a November loss to George Kambosos as he dropped four lightweight titles on ESPN’s Upset of the Year.

The fight was also Lopez’s junior welterweight debut, and early on his power didn’t have the usual impact. Despite not being sharp in the beginning, Lopez never had much of a problem against the 13-1 underdog (according to Caesars Sportsbook).

“We’ve been at 135[lbs]for about nine years, it’s been killing my body,” said Lopez, who battled Kambosos after a tumultuous training camp with a minor tear in his esophagus. “…We want Josh Taylor…We want (Regis) Prograis, we want (Jose) Zepeda, that’s what we want. We want to be a two-division world champion.

“I take all these boys and take all their dreams away from them; I’m here to be her nightmare.”

Taylor, Prograis and Zepeda belong to the class of Lopez’s new division. Campa, 30, is well below that. Round after round his face was shattered, and by the time the fight ended his left eye was swollen shut and his nose was spurting blood.

Fighting in Las Vegas, 25-year-old Lopez seemed to land at will, but it wasn’t necessarily a meaningful performance after the second-longest layoff of his career.

The last time Lopez (17-1, 12 KOs) hit the ropes, he picked up a win over Vasiliy Lomachenko and was widely recognized as one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world.

Campa (34-2-1, 23 KOs) wasn’t talented enough to cause problems, nor to provide the kind of test that might show Lopez’s readiness to fight for a title in a new weight class.

In his next fight, which is scheduled for December 10 in New York, a title fight is unlikely anyway. Taylor is likely to face Jack Catterall in a rematch on November 26, while Prograis and Zepeda are slated to fight for a vacant title this fall.

One of boxing’s most touted contestants, Xander Zayas, KO’d Elias Espadas (22-5, 15 KOs) in the fifth round in the chief support bout.

The 19-year-old Puerto Rican scored a knockdown with a left hook in the opening round, finishing the 31-year-old Mexican in Round 5 to improve to 14-0 with 10 KOs.

https://www.espn.com/boxing/story/_/id/34396921/teofimo-lopez-posts-seventh-round-tko-pedro-campa-rebounds-first-pro-defeat Teofimo Lopez posts seventh-round TKO of Pedro Campa, rebounds from first pro defeat

Emma Bowman

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