By Dan Ambrose: Teofimo Lopez Sr said that his son Teo will be the lightweight champion by 2023.
Teofimo, 25, fights on December 10 against the former two-division world champion Jose Pedroza (29-4-1, 14 KOs) on ESPN at Madison Square Garden in New York.
‘Sniper’ Pedraza is not an easy mark, and it could spoil things for Teofimo, and force Top Rank to make a tough decision on whether he is worth keeping.
Losing to Pedraza and George Kambosos Jr would be a sign that Teofimo is not the fighter that Top Rank thought he was after his 2020 win over the injured and junior Vasyl Lomachenko.
Former heavyweight champion Teofimo (17-1, 13 KOs) will need to defeat four different champions to accomplish this feat.
With the way he parted ways with a mediocre fighter in George Kambosos Jr last year, it’s hard to imagine Teofimo fulfilling his father’s wish for him.
Many boxing fans have already concluded that Teofimo is a mental basket case and is not cut out to compete at the top level of the sport.
Teofimo did not play well in his debut match at 140 against Pedro Campa last August. Although Teofimo stopped Campa in the seventh round, it was far from an easy fight for him.
“Everything is good. What is the best return from a great success with Campa? He prepared a good show. He showed everyone what he can do,” Teofimo Lopez Sr told AB Boxing News about Teofimo’s recent seventh-round knockout win over Pedro Campa last August.
“He’s not just an athlete, he’s a boxer, and we’re going to the biggest and best things. Right now, we’re just looking forward to improving and trying to get better fights.
“We definitely want Josh Taylor to fight right after Pedraza. We’re not looking at Pedraza. We’re going to go through him first. Big arena, big night. I know all the Puerto Ricans are going to come and support him. It’s going to be a big night.
“We all come from the same country. We are all Latinos, and what better way than to come out here and do it with Pedraza? He comes out and gives it his all, and takes on every challenge.
“He’s not backing down from anybody, and we’re just here to put on a good show. We’re going to beat the real Pedraza. We’re going to beat the wet Pedraza.”
“We’re going to beat Pedraza, who’s working, and we’re going to show the whole world how to entertain. Ever since my son was little, I’ve always told him, ‘You have to entertain the crowd.’
“We want to see the bounce, and that’s what my son brings. Come December 10, I want everyone to come. It will be a big night for Latinos, and you know why we all stand together. Let’s keep this interesting, man.
“It’s about money. Between me and my son, we don’t look at it that way. We are coming out here to be non-controversial. Who are we to get that, we will make it happen.
“We did that in the 16th fight, which I predicted when he was in the seven fights that he would not be told in the 16th fight when we beat Lomachenko. It happened exactly as I said.
“The funny thing is, I took my name out of this. They call me Nostradamus for a reason. I predict my son will be the undisputed two-time champion before 2024. If not, 2024.
“He will be a two-time undisputed world champion at 135 and 140. The most entertaining boxer right now is Teofimo Lopez,” Lopez Sr. said.