Teofimo Lopez beat probably the most completed, skillful southpaw the previous light-weight champion might’ve fought lately.
A assured Sandor Martin promised that he’ll do one thing Saturday night time, nonetheless, that Vasiliy Lomachenko couldn’t accomplish when he opposed Lopez in October 2020. The Spanish southpaw predicted throughout an interview with BoxingScene.com that he’ll pull off one other upset on brief discover when he containers Lopez of their 10-round fundamental occasion at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York (ESPN; 9 p.m. ET).
The favored Lopez promised that he has taken Martin each bit as critically as Jose Pedraza, the previous two-division champion Martin changed 3½ weeks in the past as a result of Pedraza contracted an undisclosed sickness throughout coaching camp. Barcelona’s Martin hopes Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) means what he mentioned.

“For his personal good, I hope he takes me as an genuine menace,” Martin mentioned by way of a translator. “I skilled critically for this battle. I’m very well-prepared for this battle. And so, I’m ready to ship an ideal battle come Saturday. This isn’t going to be a straightforward stroll within the park. I’m very well-prepared for this, and if he’s not, he’s gonna have a giant downside.”
Martin (40-2, 13 KOs) stunningly upset Mikey Garcia of their 10-round, 144-pound battle in October 2021. The unknown underdog defeated Garcia, a four-division champion, by majority resolution in what was typically thought to be a secure battle that was supposed to maintain Garcia busy.
Martin gained seven rounds apiece on the scorecards of judges Carla Caiz (97-93) and Fernando Villarreal (97-93). Decide Zachary Younger scored the Martin-Garcia battle even (95-95).
The 29-year-old Martin has fought solely as soon as within the virtually 14 months since his big upset of Garcia (40-2, 30 KOs), who retired moderately than making an attempt to avenge his loss. He shut out Mexican veteran Jose Felix (39-6-1, 30 KOs) on two scorecards (100-90, 100-90, 99-91) in that bout to win a 10-round unanimous resolution April 1 in Barcelona.
Martin’s handlers negotiated with Lopez’s representatives, however Lopez’s promoter, Prime Rank Inc., ultimately picked Pedraza (29-4-1, 14 KOs) as Lopez’s opponent for Saturday night time. A decided Martin remained within the gymnasium and was prepared to exchange Pedraza at a second’s discover as soon as he discovered Pedraza was unwell.

“I’m at all times prepared as a result of I’m an athlete each single day of the 12 months,” Martin mentioned. “I used to be already within the gymnasium. I used to be anticipating a possibility like this, and that’s what occurred. I’m at all times in nice form, with a purpose to make the most of this chance. With these final three weeks, all we did is intensify the coaching. So, I’m very calm and I’m very assured with my preparation and with my bodily conditioning.”
The 25-year-old Lopez, a Brooklyn native who resides in Las Vegas, will battle for the second time as a full-fledged junior welterweight. He bounced again from his stunning split-decision defeat to Australia’s George Kambosos Jr. (20-2, 10 KOs) in November 2021 by stopping Mexico’s Pedro Campa (34-2-1, 23 KOs) within the seventh spherical of his final battle, a fundamental occasion ESPN aired August 13 from Resorts World Las Vegas.
“I believe he seemed good,” Martin mentioned. “It was a great battle to start out his marketing campaign at 140 kilos, nevertheless it’s removed from being on the highest degree.”
Keith Idec is a senior author/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He could be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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