When Teofimo Lopez announced his retirement immediately after his victory over Josh Taylor, it’s fair to say that a lot of the boxing world reacted with skepticism. Such a lack of belief is understandable, given his young age and the amount of fighters we’ve seen retire only to walk it back down the years. However, if the president of the WBO – the sanctioning body for the belt he won- is to be believed, Lopez at least is taking his retirement seriously.
A fighter announcing retirement but not vacating any belts he holds is often a clue that they’re not entirely sure about that decision yet: something we saw from Tyson Fury last year. Teofimo Lopez, however, has taken steps to do so immediately, notifying the organization of his decision.
The situation is less clear with the Ring Magazine belt he also won. That’s not considered one of the four ‘main’ world titles, but it is usually seen as coming with the lineal championship and therefore holds some prestige. Lopez suggested after the fight that he wanted to vacate it but must wait a year. Fury did vacate his version of it four months after beating Derek Chisora last year, though he had held it longer, so quite how accurate that is will become clear in time.
Does Teofimo Lopez have something still to prove?
One thing that may potentially tempt Lopez to carry on, though, is a difference of opinion about how many belts he actually holds. He has insisted this week that he is the undisputed champion, meaning he has all four recognised belts (and that he was the first to achieve that in two divisions).
This, of course, isn’t true. Now, he may argue he has grounds to feel hard done by there, since Josh Taylor did hold all four belts a year ago and at the weekend came with one, without losing any fights in between. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the former champion vacated three of them in the long delay between his last fight and this one, and that on Saturday there were four recognised champions in the division. It’s possible, therefore, that his pride will eventually prompt Lopez to return and attempt to win all those belts for real.
Whatever he ultimately decides, though, Teofimo Lopez is clearly taking pride from showing that he does, after all, still have it.
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