Teofimo Lopez, Xander Zayas Get KO Wins & Boxing Results
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In front of a sold-out crowd of 3,533, and I know, because I tried to buy a ticket last minute, and couldn’t, Teofimo Lopezstopped Pedro Campa in the seventh round, as the main event of a Top Rank telecast from the Resorts World Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The result was predictable, but the way it happened, not so much.
Lopez, who during the telecast, I was told spoke of only sparring for two weeks, or training, something of that nature I was there and didn’t hear it, looked like that early. Lopez’s timing and rhythm were out of wack, as most thought the under of 5 1/2 rounds would be a safe bet, but were sorely mistaken. Beyond, that Campa didn’t show signs of feeling Lopez’s power until late in the fight, and at times Campa was surprisingly putting Lopez on the ropes.
What I thought would be a dynamic debut for Lopez turned into a pandora’s box of questions. Did Campa just fight to the best of his abilities on this night, and Lopez handled it soundly? Did ring rust affect Lopez? Does his power indeed translate to 140 lbs? All these are interesting questions I think to wonder about, as Lopez didn’t replicate the Mason Menard fight which is what started “The Takeover” movement.
The big question is, did Teofimo Lopez set the bar too high that when facing a tough and durable opponent, I want to harken back to those performances and at a new weight class is that a reasonable standard to hold Lopez to?
“I was at 135 pounds for nine years. It was killing my body, since I was a teenage kid, man. We want Josh Taylor. We want these guys. We want Prograis. We want Zepeda. We want all the belts. We want to become two-time undisputed champion,” said Teofimo Lopez after the fight.
Josh Taylor is the no-brainer here, as Taylor seems to be showing signs of decline after the Jack Catterall fight, and if a 140 lber can catch him before he moves to welterweight, which I think will be a rigid division for them it could further cement someone’s legacy.
“Teofimo proved tonight that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with at 140 pounds. There are many incredible fights to be made in that weight class. The future is very bright for one of the sport’s most talented fighters,” said Bob Arum, the chairman of Top Rank Inc.
The big thing was Lopez proved two things 1) he is a star, and 2) we still don’t know what his future holds.
The Xander Zayas era isn’t near, it is here. Zayas stopped Elias Espadas, a game and tough veteran touted by many as the toughest test of Zayas’ career, yet no one would know if they hadn’t been told. Zayas dropped Espadas in the first and stopped him standing in the fifth. More so, Zayas got just as loud of cheers when the action was happening as Teofimo Lopez, which tells me – Zayas is already a star, he simply now just needs the wins and the belts. A popular pick of Prospect of the Year in 2021, I think Zayas is pretty safely the true prospect of the year in 2022 with performance like this one.
“I feel amazing. I’m glad to be back with a strap around me, a regional title, something amazing. It’s special to me,” said Xander Zayas after the fight.
Featherweight Jose Vivas outworked Edy Valencia in a fight that I thought Valencia might be able to win on the b-side.
Andre Cortes got a big eight-round decision win over Abraham Montoya in a test for the young prospect. Montoya is a game spoiler who offered a lot of problems including rocking Cortes into the ropes at one point in this fight. Cortes passed this test with a unanimous decision win, the big question now is this? Is it Oscar Valdez or Xavier Martinez, the next fight for 130 lbs Cortes? As Cortes now seemingly graduated to a co-main event slot on the card after beating such a game opponent. Beyond that, Cortes is a Las Vegas resident making him an easy ticket seller in the local market.
Middleweight Troy Isley got a win over Victor Toney, who is related to James Toney in some capacity. The fight was a tough outing as Isley, an offensive fighter, was forced to respect the movement of Toney, but Toney’s lack of offense made the fight a tactical battle and a needed developmental hurdle for a young fighter.
Featherweight Duke Ragan, a 2020 Olympic silver medalist, defeated undefeated D’Angelo Fuentes in a very tough bout for both men. Ragan is a talented boxer, but at times can get caught with right hands that said, Ragan’s best trait is that he knows how to win, and he won a tough fight that will make him better in the future.
Omar Rosario, the super lightweight signed to Top Rank, is continuing to fight tough fighters, but found himself in another fight in which he took more damage than my liking early in his career. Rosario is clearly talented, I just hope they don’t try to move up the ranks too quickly.
Opening the card, the Brisbane, California stud, Charlie Sheehy got a tough four-round decision, ending his KO streak of three straight wins via stoppages as he faced Esteban Munoz, a tough guy, who wasn’t going to get knocked out. A good learning lesson for a young fighter, not everybody will get knocked out.
Weird, weird, and even weirder. Mickey Bey and Tevin Farmer were set to fight on PPV in Arizona. The card started, yet the main eventers never fought. The reason was that the promoters, Bigger Than Life Entertainment, had not proven to the two fighters that they’d be paid in some capacity they felt comfortable with. The rebuttal I heard was that Farmer and Bey were co-promoters with them. This just seems like a confusing mess, but in the end, the fans got the bad end of the deal.
Fans in Arizona, saw the card start but had to find out online that the main event wouldn’t happen. A shame, I was really hoping this event would happen. This is a developing story.
In Detroit, Shohjahon Ergashev got a KO win as he is a highly ranked undefeated super lightweight as well as Joe Hicks won his bout via a first-round KO.
Wesley Ferrer got a majority decision win over Jayson Velez.
MMA in 500 Words Or Less
Bantamweight Marlon Vera defeated Dominick Cruz, in a pattern that seems to be the new normal, young fighters beating old legends. Vera stopped Cruz via KO in the second round.
Other notables, light heavyweight Azamat Murzakanov stopped Devin Clark, Angela Hill won her fight, Nina Nunes defeated Cynthia Calvillo, and flyweight Tyson Nam, who was a big deal a decade ago won as well.
Dilano Taylor knocked out Rory MacDonald continuing the pattern of aging legends losing in the sport of MMA. This was the main event of the PFL’s fight card.
Goiti Yamauchi knocked out Neiman Gracie in the main event of a Bellator card.