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Teofimo Lopez Confirms Retirement By Vacating Title And Sounds Off On Boxing Corruption

Teofimo Lopez Confirms Retirement By Vacating Title And Sounds Off On Boxing Corruption featured image
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 08: Teofimo Lopez speaks during the press conference ahead of his June 10 WBO junior welterweight championship fight against Josh Taylor, at Chase Square at Madison Square Garden on June 08, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

June 10th at the MGM Grand Arena in New York. The American former champion had previously announced his retirement shortly following his fight with Taylor.

Teofimo Lopez’ (19-1, 13 KO’s) move is groundbreaking in the sport given there have been very few instances of fighters as young as Lopez (who turns 26 on July 30) retiring early, and after winning a world title. The two-division champion now clearly seems adamant on his retirement, and the news was confirmed last Thursday when both WBO president Paco Valcarcel and Teofimo Lopez released their own messages surrounding Lopez’ retirement.

Just now, Teofimo Lopez texted me that he relinquished his Jr. Welterweight title. We should respect his decision. If he comes back, the WBO’s doors will always be open for him.” Paco Valcarcel stated on his Twitter account.

While retweeting the WBO president’s message, Teofimo Lopez also added his own.

Thank you everyone for making the greatest moments in my career a GREAT ONE! Thank you Top Rank Boxing ESPN for creating “THE TAKEOVER” into a real thing! I am forever grateful for all of the sanctioning bodies in boxing for showing me I can, and am more than boxing! What a career!” Lopez stated.

Teofimo Lopez and Paco Valcarcel confirming Lopez’ retirement from the sport through social media.

Lopez’ world title victory over Josh Taylor (19-1, 13 KO’s) and subsequent retirement has shook up the Super Lightweight division that had previously not received anywhere close to the buzz it has received in just the past half year. With Devin Haney (30-0, 15 KO’s) and Ryan Garcia (23-1, 19 KO’s) seemingly intent on moving up to the division and Rolando “Rolly” Romero’s (15-1, 13 KO’s) victory having drawn controversy due to the referee’s decision to stop the fight, the 140-pound division is set to become one of the most exciting weight classes.

Teofimo Lopez’ retirement now sets the stage for a new champion to be born with the #1 and #2 contenders Arnold Barboza Jr. (28-0, 10 KO’s) and Jose Carlos Ramirez (28-1, 18 KO’s) now taking center stage for a potential American-on-American bout for the now-vacant WBO 140-pound title.

Only time will tell what the implications of Lopez’ decision will be. As Paco Valcarcel himself has indicated, Teofimo Lopez will likely be quick to receive a world title opportunity for the WBO title if he comes out of retirement, but the 25-year old’s words seems to indicate he is already looking past the sport of boxing.

Money seems to be the main cause of Teofimo Lopez’ decision, with the American former champion previously remarking that he wasn’t getting paid enough by Top Rank, and confirming as such on retired boxer Shawn Porter’s podcast.

The only way you get Teofimo back is a 9-figure contract deal.” Lopez stated on The Porter Way podcast.

Discussing the matter further, Teofimo Lopez seems to want to inspire significant change in the earnings of professional boxers through his action.

Because I’ve made ESPN over 100 million dollars and I’m still getting paid a million dollars a fight while all these other fighters that have not even done a quarter of what I’ve done and accomplished in the sport, they’re getting 8, 10, 12, 15 million dollars, so obviously I’m the black sheep of the industry and they’re really hurting me on that end.

I really want to fix the sport of the boxing world and the corruption that’s going on. Obviously it doesn’t happen overnight, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we need to help the these young kids that are out there right now.