NEW YORK – Teofimo Lopez impressed Sandor Martin with how he dealt with Pedro Campa in Lopez’s debut on the junior welterweight restrict August 13.

Martin reminded Lopez on Thursday, although, that the previous light-weight champion will encounter a way more succesful 140-pound opponent Saturday evening at Madison Sq. Backyard. The 29-year-old Martin claims that considered one of his benefits is that he has competed at or close to the junior welterweight most all through his 11-year, 42-fight skilled profession.

The Brooklyn-born Lopez will expertise that distinction, in response to Martin, once they meet in a 10-round WBC elimination match that ESPN will televise as the primary occasion of a four-fight broadcast (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT).

“He’s speaking about preventing Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor,” Martin advised by way of a translator, “however he doesn’t have the driving force’s license to be driving at 140 kilos. Issues are totally different right here. Fighters are stronger, they’re extra full, they’re sooner. He’s not prepared for that.”

The Spanish southpaw suspects he’ll look even higher when he opposes Lopez than when Martin upset Mikey Garcia in October 2021 as a result of he fought Garcia at a contracted catch weight of 144 kilos. Garcia (40-2, 30 KOs), a four-division champion from Moreno Valley, California, was at one level a 30-1 favourite versus Martin, but the massive underdog craftily out-boxed Garcia and gained a 10-round majority choice at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California.

Las Vegas’ Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) moved up from the light-weight most of 135 kilos to the junior welterweight division following his beautiful split-decision defeat to Australia’s George Kambosos Jr. (then 20-0) in November 2021 at Madison Sq. Backyard’s Hulu Theater. Lopez gained all six rounds on every scorecard earlier than he dropped and stopped Mexico’s Campa (34-2-1, 23 KOs) within the seventh spherical August 13 at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Martin (40-2, 13 KOs) has gained 11 fights in a row since Swedish southpaw Anthony Yigit (then 19-0-1) beat him by unanimous choice of their 12-rounder in September 2017 in Solna, Sweden.

The Lopez-Martin winner will turn into the WBC’s second necessary challenger for Prograis’ tremendous light-weight title.

In accordance with the WBC’s guidelines associated to fights for vacant championships, the lately topped Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) should make a compulsory protection towards former WBC/WBO champ Jose Ramirez (27-1, 17 KOs) and, if he wins, meet one other obligation by boxing Lopez or Martin. Prograis knocked out Jose Zepeda (36-3, 28 KOs, 2 NC) within the eleventh spherical to win a vacant WBC belt November 26 at Dignity Well being Sports activities Park in Carson, California.

“After I fought Mikey Garcia, it was at a catch weight,” Martin mentioned. “I don’t actually like preventing in these kind of fights as a result of it’s not in my division. I really feel finest at 140. That’s the place I’ve fought and have had good outcomes all through my total life. [Lopez is] not used to 140. Though he would possibly suppose so, boxing at 140 is totally different from 135 kilos. So sure, I feel that will probably be an essential issue on this combat.”

Keith Idec is a senior author/columnist for He will be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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