TEOFIMO LOPEZ is the biggest star in America since Floyd Mayweather and is primed to make history, his legendary promoter Bob Arum said.
Mayweather was promoted by Arum when he turned pro in 1996 until he famously bought out his Top Rank contract to go on his own.
Teofimo Lopez is the undisputed lightweight king
Promoter Bob Arum with Floyd Mayweather in 2005Credit: AP:Associated Press
The all-time great emerged as both the pound-for-pound and pay-per-view king right up to his retirement in 2017.
Boxing in the States is yet to have a successor.
But veteran promoter Arum has seen no one shine more than Lopez, who dethroned lightweight ruler Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2020’s biggest upset.
He told SunSport: “Floyd Mayweather was the last American fighter who made that kind of impact as Teofimo did with the Lomachenko fight and will do in the future.
“But again, it’s all periodic, before Mayweather, Americans had Oscar De La Hoya, we had Sugar Ray Leonard.
“Again, boxing is such by its very nature, the talent keeps changing but doesn’t necessarily become diminished.”
Lopez became world champ in only his 15th bout – three fights before Mayweather – as he knocked out Richard Commey for the IBF belt in December 2019.
The 23-year-old was still rightfully an outsider against masterful southpaw Lomachenko last October, where all the titles were at stake.
But Lopez silenced the doubters and became an overnight sensation, knocking the P4P No1 off his perch.
It also made him only the fifth man – behind Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Terence Crawford and Oleksandr Usyk – to hold all four undisputed titles.
Lopez is the youngest of the five, but can enhance his legacy further by becoming the first ever two-weight undisputed champion of the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO, four-belt era.
Unified super-lightweight pair Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez are set to put all the straps on the line this summer.
And with the duo both signed to Top Rank, Lopez is already being talked up as a future opponent for the winner.
Arum, 89, said: “Recently I talked to Lopez’s father, and they’re looking forward to moving to 140.
Vasiliy Lomachenko was beaten by Teofimo Lopez in 2020Credit: Handout – Getty
Josh Taylor is set to fight Jose Ramirez in an undisputed title fightCredit: Reuters
“And I’m hoping the winner of Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor, which we hope to do in May, the winner of that fight will be matched with Teofimo before long.
“Then he would have accomplished something great, becoming so far as I know, the first fighter in the modern era to be the undisputed champion of two different divisions.”
Arum is also confident Lopez will move as high as welterweight as his promising career progresses.
The unbeaten New Yorker has already admitted to struggling to shrink his body down to the 9st 9lb lightweight limit.
But with fellow box office rivals like Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney, both 22, as well as Gervonta Davis, 26, Lopez plans to stick around at the weight.
First, he has been ordered by the IBF to face 19-0 mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr, a former sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao’s.
Source: Boxing - thesun.co.uk