Teofimo Lopez fell from the top of the boxing mountain nine months ago after an unexpected loss to George Kambosos Jr. Lopez made his junior welterweight debut on Saturday night and returned to the win column with a dominant seventh-round stoppage of Pedro Campa.
Lopez wasted no time in making his presence known, coming out in the opening round and winging power blows at Campa while hitting on some rapid hooks and uppercuts. Campa didn’t back down, instead retaliating with a couple clean blows and pressure before Lopez ended the first stanza with a precise left hook.
The first time Campa appeared to be worried by Lopez’s power was in the third round, when he was briefly knocked down by a Lopez right hand. Nonetheless, when Lopez continued to deliver powerful blows, Campa absorbed them well and even mocked Lopez, as if to say, “You can’t damage me.”
That apparent inability to actually damage Campa played into one of the key narratives heading into Resorts World in Las Vegas, with some wondering if Lopez could bring his power with him as he gained weight.
However, Campa’s ability to absorb Lopez’s strikes in the early half of the fight did not translate into the ability to win rounds, and despite his desire to walk forward and trade blows, Lopez was simply too fast both offensively and defensively.
Lopez rushed forward in Round 7 with a right cross and rising jab that downed Campa for the first time in the bout. Lopez, thinking he had finally broken down his opponent, continued to taunt and showboat, prancing in front of Campa before unleashing a torrent of blows that prompted the round to be stopped at the 2:14 mark.
Lopez is now in a division with lots of dangerous names, like Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, and Ryan Garcia, who has also recently made the jump to junior welterweight.
“We’d been at 135 for nearly nine years, and it was killing my body. We want these guys, Josh Taylor and Prograis, and I’m only 25 “Lopez stated this before being asked if he would be interested in fighting Garcia. “If Josh Taylor is too preoccupied with his wedding and there is no one else available, then so be it. I’ll fight all of those boys and crush all of their aspirations.”