Just 21 years old, Teofimo is a one-year pro. A sensational young prospect at 135 pounds, he is considered one of the top young talents in the sport by many observers. He was an amateur standout before his debut – he earned a place on the 2016 U.S. Olympic boxing team at 132 pounds, but controversial politics in the amateur program took it away from him. Teofimo instead represented Honduras – the birthplace of his parents – at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
He’s been very active since his debut, with 10 fights in his first 20 months as a pro.
He’s also been very impressive – Kevin Iole named him Yahoo Sports “2018 Prospect of the Year.”
Teofimo stepped up to 10-round status for the first time in his fight on July 17 in New Orleans and won by sixth-round TKO against William Silva.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Mega lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez predicted he’d knock out William Silva in the fifth round. He was close. He went a few seconds into the sixth round before stopping Silva in a one-sided demolition.
Lopez nearly ended it in the first round when he dropped Silva with a clean left hook on the chin with about 20 seconds to go. Although Lopez didn’t finish Silva then, he dominated every round. He was much faster and landed numerous hard shots to bloody the outclassed Silva and knock him back.
In the fifth round, Lopez scored another knockdown just before the bell. He landed a series of clean punches before flooring Silva with another left hook.
The Las Vegas-based Lopez continued to pound Silva in the sixth round, landing three left hooks and a right to knock him down again, causing [the] referee to stop the fight 15 seconds into the round.
Lopez came into the fight with a heavy heart, having had his dog – who he called his best friend – die a few days ago. He also said he injured his right hand. [End Rafael item]
In his post-fight interview, Teofimo said, “Set him up with the jab, don’t let him hit you with jab, you play with his mind. I was setting him up so I could surprise him with a big shot. I’m covered with blood, but it’s his blood.
“It’s a takeover.”
Boxingscene’s Ryan Burton reported [July 23, 2018 – excerpts]: Blue chip lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez made the most of his showcase fight when he stopped William Silva in 6 rounds on July 14th.
However, there was a bit of bad news though as Lopez suffered a fracture in his right hand during the fight that required surgery.
The soon to be 21-year-old had his surgery performed by Dr. Steven Shin in Los Angeles and promises that he will come back stronger than ever.
“They said that I can start using my right hand again in October and that I can get back in the ring in late November or December. I believe that I will be back in the ring in December at Madison Square Garden,” Lopez told BoxingScene.com. [End Burton item]
In earlier interviews, Teofimo said, “I’m an entertainer – got to entertain! My style – I’m technical, very technical. I’m very smart when I’m in the ring, like Albert Einstein. I’m like a Sugar Ray, Floyd Mayweather – I’m a boxer, but if the knockout comes, it comes.
“I’m living in Las Vegas now – viva Las Vegas! I moved here in mid-August, 2017. It was just a great decision overall. I had to get out of Florida. I was born in New York, but most of my years I was raised in Florida. It came to a point where a lot of friends of mine wanted to hang out with me, just a big entourage or whatever it was, everybody wanted to be there. It was a distraction.
“We already accomplished so much in Florida that we just felt stuck. So, we felt like we’ve got to go somewhere else and Vegas is the spot. Top Rank is here with their gym, too. We sat down and talked about the decision. Everything’s on the West Coast for boxing, and that’s what we needed – we needed something refreshing, something new, something to elevate us. My whole family moved here – my mom, my sisters, everybody.
“What I feel in Vegas is that I feel like this is truly peace for me. I can get away from everybody.
“I’ve sparred with a lot of pros. Sometimes they would invite me to go to their training camps, sometimes they were in my area. I’ve been in training camp with Shawn Porter at the time he was fighting Keith Thurman, and Brad Solomon, helping them get ready for their fights, and they were both 20 pounds bigger than me.
“I also sparred with Guillermo Rigondeaux and Luke Campbell, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist. I’ve sparred with many, many, many professionals since I was 13 years old.
“I don’t have a nickname right now, but people know me as Gordo.”
Trainer-father Teofimo Lopez Sr. said that the name ‘Teofimo’ runs far back in his family history: “My family is originally from Spain. Teofimo is the name of my father, my father’s father, and his father. What happened was, there were nine brothers and one sister in the family. It was a tight-knit family, and my father was the third son. He was the only one to leave the family. He went to Brazil and from Brazil he went to Honduras, where he met my mother. He was the only one that got the name.”