Teofimo Lopez is one of the most exciting and talented boxers in the sport right now. Having already arguably become undisputed champion, at the age of 23, defeating Vasyl Lomachenko! The New Yorker with Honduran heritage looks to dominate the sport for many years to come.
In this boxing style analysis I breakdown Teofimo Lopez’s boxing fighting style, a little on his background and how I expect him to progress in the next couple of years.
Who is Teofimo Lopez?
Lopez started boxing from a very young age at the age of 6 growing up in Brooklyn, New York. Under the guidance of his father and current trainer, a young Lopez was able to rise up the amateur ranks quickly, winning the prestigious National Golden Gloves in the lightweight division.
He then went onto the Olympic trials where he won, but his place to compete in the lightweight division was already taken. So he opted to represent Honduras, where his parents are from, at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Soon after the Olympics, Lopez signed with Bob Arum’s Top Rank in 2016. From here went on an incredible run of convincing victories, before getting his world title shot against Richard Commey. Winning the IBF world lightweight title with a convincing KO vistory. This helped to set up his opportunity to face Vasyl Lomachenko for all four major belts (If you include the WBC franchise belt).
Lopez going in as the underdog shocked most by putting on a fairly comfortable display using his jab and straight power shots to keep Lomachenko at bay. Lopez won this fight in a convincing unanimous decision, making him the youngest four belt champion at just 23 years old.
- WBC World Lightweight Title
- IBF World Lightweight Title
- WBO World Lightweight Title
- WBA World Lightweight Title
- The Ring Magazine Lightweight Title
- 2015 – National Golden Gloves
- 2013 – US Youth National Championships
Teofimo Lopez’s Boxing Style
For me Lopez is a typical boxer puncher, who likes to set up power shots using his jab to gauge his range so he can throw powerful straights to the head or body. He is however, a natural counter puncher as well due to his speed and Philly shell stance. This helps him to counter more aggressive fighters and will continue helping him as he moves up through the weight division and faces higher competition.
At the moment he is definitely taking advantage of his explosive power thanks to his physical abilities. This especially makes sense when he knocks out the majority of his opponents.
I will now go into more detail of the key elements and techniques of Lopez’s style and also highlight some of these in action.
Philly Shell stance
For the most part, Teofimo Lopez will use a Philly shell boxing stance similar to Floyd Mayweather Jr. In fact he very much reminds me of young Floyd in some respect with the way he holds himself in the ring.
He will use this stance so he can protect himself from body shots, parry jabs and roll straight shots. It’s important to remember Lopez is still very new into his career and his biggest tests have only been Lomachenko and Nakatani in challenging his fundamental structure.
This right now is working for him, as he has devastating powerful right cross which this stance helps him to counter with.
Explosive Power Punches
Due to Lopez’s natural size, athletic ability and his technique of throwing power punches, Makes him deadly to come up against. As he has progressed through the early stages of his career we have seen some vicious knockouts against Magdaleno, Menard and of course Commey for the IBF world title.
Usually Lopez will look to counter with a straight cross by slipping the jab or cross on the inside, while throwing a straight punch. See example below against Commey:
Lopez also likes to throw big left hooks to follow up either his straight punches or right uppercuts too. This makes him extremely dangerous when he sees an opening, which has so far resulted in the vast majority of his opponent getting hurt or being knocked out when landed.
This for me is probably one of Teofimo’s most underrated ways of attacking his opponents, and that is Lopez’s intelligent body punching. There are three ways he generally does this:
- Straight lead left hook to the body.
- Transitioning body to head combos
- Jab – cross to the body
Lopez mostly uses these body attacks to create openings up top so he can use his powerful looping right hand. Check out my Instagram clip of these in action below:
Counters and Defence
Another aspect for me that Lopez is brilliant is his counter punching. I touched on this before, with his stance, as he will look to shoulder roll on occasion and then throw his deadly right uppercut or straight counter.
For the most part this works for him, but he is still to be actively challenged for a full 12 rounds. Lomachenko did give Lopez some problems in the last 6 rounds in their bout. However, his power in his right hand and reach with his lead hand have almost acted as a deterrent to most he’s faced.
It is clear to me that this is an area he needs more improvement, and he has brought in assistant coach Jorge Rubio to help him in this area. It will be interesting to see how he progresses his defence in his next few fights.
Room for improvements.
Lopez is still very young into his professional career and has a long way to go before he enters his prime in my opinion. It helps that he is very powerful at the moment at lightweight and I believe that carries through with him as he moves up through the division and gets older. Lopez is definitely big enough! I found this quote by Tyson Fury quite funny, but true:
He’s the biggest little tiny man I’ve seen in my life. And he’s the biggest little man I’ve ever seen. ..There isn’t any 135 or 140-pounder that can beat him. No Lomachenkos or nobody, because he’s a heavyweight on two tiny legs with speed and power.”Tyson Fury
One area we are still to see if he is able to cope with are the rigours of inside fighting. In the last 6 rounds with Lomachenko he did struggle with the pressure, but ultimately it was Lopez’s power that helped keep the Ukrainain at bay.
I would like him to utilise more is his jab in different ways. We saw him use this effectively against weaker opponents, but as the competition steps up from now on this he will need to be better.
As mentioned above his defence is another area needing improvement, but the fact he is working on this shows he’s looking to improve.
Check out my full offensive breakdown of Teofimo Lopez below for more
For me Lopez has all the potential ability in the world to dominate and become pound for pound number one in the world. Like I said he is still very young and has lots of time and opportunity to grow his skillset, I just hope he doesn’t get avoided too much as he progresses.
I’d love to see a rematch with Lomachenko. Or obviously to see him face off with other talented young stars Haney, Garcia or Davis in the future.
Make sure to check out all my boxing style analysis blogs here. Thanks for reading!
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