Unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez can once and for all settle the undisputed score in the division should Bob Arum back up his desires. 

The IBF, WBO, WBA and WBC franchise champion Lopez has had to argue for his case as the undisputed champion at 135 ever since beating Vasiliy Lomachenko last year because Devin Haney holds the actual WBC title, a belt which had it’s rights transferred to Haney via email in 2019 without the undefeated upstart having to throw a punch to win it.  

“Teofimo is a terrific fighter and he’s had nothing but success. If he wins his fight with [George] Kambosos, and we get through the [undefeated WBO super lightweight mandatory challenger Jack] Catterall fight, it might be a really attractive fight for [Taylor] to fight Teofimo,” Arum told Boxing Social. 

“[Lopez] said he won’t have trouble making 135 for a couple of more fights, but he would like to go up to 140 and fight the winner of [Taylor and Catterall]. Realistically, because of Catterall, we’ll give Teofimo another fight at 135, maybe against the Linares and Haney winner. Linares is an excellent fighter. Haney could very well be an excellent fighter, but he’s unproven, We’ll have to see. If Haney can handle Linares, that’ll be a big plus for him.”

The 23-year-old Lopez (16-0) and the 22-year-old Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) have been ferociously going at each other since Lopez’s stunning win over Lomachenko last September, both on social media, and through the boxing press, with each denouncing the status of the other. 

Even the respective loquacious father of each fighter in Bill Haney and Teofimo Lopez Sr. have entered the verbal fray and made it a family fracas. 

Haney will face Linares on May 29. Should Haney come away victorious, an actual fight with Lopez for undisputed status will settle the score, all while undoubtedly being one of the biggest and most desirable fights of the year

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com