Facing Josh Taylor made a lot more sense for Teofimo Lopez when he held all of the titles at 140 pounds. His reasoning was as simple as could be, become a two-time undisputed champion.
Now depending on who you ask, Lopez either was or wasn’t an undisputed champion at 135 pounds. Considering that he held the WBC’s “Franchise title” along with the IBF, WBA, and WBO crowns, many believed that he needed to defeat Devin Haney, who held the full version of the WBC belt, in order to achieve undisputed status. Confusing issues aside, in the eyes of many, including Mauricio Sulaiman, the sanctioning body's president, Lopez was an undisputed champion.
Taylor, on the other hand, gave up three of his four titles in an attempt to swerve his mandatories and line up another date with Jack Catterall, someone he controversially defeated. Whatever took place in those conclaves, however, didn’t lead to an immediate rematch. Even with Taylor having just one belt in his possession, the WBO, Lopez opted to take him on.
Championships notwithstanding, Taylor, to a large extent, was viewed as the man to beat. So, with Lopez ultimately picking up the win, several names, including Regis Prograis, consider Lopez as the division’s top dog. Haney though, doesn’t agree.
“I can’t says he’s the guy,” Haney told K.O. Artists Sports during a recent interview. “He’s probably the most popular in the 140 pound division.”
Ironically enough, the 24-year-old took the very spot that Lopez left behind when he moved up in weight. With a win over George Kambosos Jr., Haney became an undisputed champ at 135 pounds. Although he did stick around to defend his four titles against Vasiliy Lomachenko, it appears as though Haney will be following Lopez to 140.
Presently, negotiations are still ongoing between Haney and Prograis. With just a few more details to iron out, the two will likely square off later this year.
In Haney’s mind, a win over Prograis would mean more than just becoming a two-division champ. According to the newly instated 140-pound contender, Prograis is the number one super lightweight in the world.
“I think Regis would be that guy.”