Teofimo Lopez blames his opponents Sandor Martin and Jamaine Ortiz for his poor performance against them. Teo feels that Sandor and Ortiz weren’t trying to engage with him, making it tougher. Lopez still says he beat both, despite fans feeling he was given gift decisions.

(Photo credit: Top Rank)

Lopez’s Declining Performance

The problem is that Teofimo, 26, showed an inability to cut off the ring in both of those fights. Sandor easily outboxed Lopez, using minimal movement to elude his attempts to land big shots.

Jamaine Ortiz was too fast and got the better of Teofimo during the exchanges. That fight appeared to be a one-sided win for Ortiz, but the judges gave it to Teofimo by an unpopular 12-round decision. Teo should have given Ortiz a rematch to clear up the controversy, but instead, he moved on.

WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo (20-1, 13 KOs) will be defending this Saturday, June 29th, against Steve Claggett (38-7-2, 26 KOs) at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida.

Top Rank has pulled Teofimo back from fighting good opposition after the way he fought against Ortiz. Fans on social media believe Top Rank doesn’t trust Teofimo’s ability to fight good fighters, so they’re using Claggett as his opponent to help Teo keep his WBO belt.

Teofimo’s Delusional Statements

“Sandor Martin, I felt the guy didn’t really want to compete with me. The same thing with Jamaine Ortiz,” said Teofimo Lopez to Sean Zittel, talking about two fighters that outboxed him but he was still given controversial wins against. “Ortiz showed that he didn’t want to engage with me,” said Teofimo.

Either Teofimo is intentionally disingenuous about Ortiz and Sandor not being able to compete with him, or he’s deluded. They not only competed with Teofimo but made a monkey out of him in those fights, schooling him badly and leaving him questioning himself afterward in his fight with Sandor. “Do I still got it?” said Teofimo after his win over Sandor in 2022.

It’s scary how out of touch Teofimo is in reality, but that might explain why his performances have steadily deteriorated since his fight against Vasily Lomachenko. That fight changed him.

“I understand how people say that I should work around that. So these are just things I’m going through. I’m not facing guys that are chumps,” said Teofimo. “These guys are well-experienced, and they’re difficult style fighters. We go aiming towards those types of fights for learning, and actually getting better.”

I don’t think Sandor Martin or Jamaine Ortiz were chosen for Teofimo for learning purposes. It was more of a case of Top Rank choosing them because Teo had lost to George Kambosos Jr, and he needed to be rebuilt. Ortiz likely was chosen because of how bad Teofimo looked in his fight with Sandor, looking and sounding like a basket case.

“I’m still developing despite everything I’ve accomplished. Every time a fighter does come to me [brings pressure] or that aggression. What happens? The fight changed,” said Teofimo.

A Fall from Grace

Teo’s fight against Jamaine Ortiz showed that he’s not improving but is getting worse. He’s clearly not the fighter who destroyed Richard Commey and Diego Magdaleno five years ago. Back then, Teofimo was explosive and lightning-quick. He doesn’t fight like that anymore.

Moreover, Teofimo was witty and charismatic in interviews, gaining a lot of followers. After Lomachenko, he changed and started babbling, which did not make a lot of sense in his interviews. If there was a way of taking the 2019 version of Teofimo and bringing him to 2024, he would dominate and be heading towards stardom. He would be a PPV attraction and not stuck fighting on regular non-PPV ESPN.

“Everyone can say about cutting off the ring, but until you are in there with me, it’s a different story. You got to be in my shows. It’s not like I lost those fights. I’ve won every fight. It’s more about what did I do right and what did I do wrong, and work in the gym. That’s life. They’re [fans] just going to be hard on me because of where I’m at,” said Teofimo.

Teofimo hasn’t won every fight. He’s lost one, and he should have two additional defeats or three if you count the Masayoshi Nakatani fight as a loss as well.

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