By Dan Ambrose: Sandor Martin stepped in to replace the ill Jose Pedraza in the main event of Teofimo Lopez on December 10 on ESPN + at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Former two-division world champion Pedraza had to pull out of the fight with former heavyweight champion Teofimo (17-1, 13 KOs) due to illness related to COVID-19.
Sandor already sent Mikey Garcia into retirement in 2o21. Will he do the same with Teofimo?? Some boxing fans feel that Teo doesn’t have the mental strength to be a great fighter, as he was crushed a year ago by a professional Aussie. George Kambosos Jr.
The fact that Teofimo apologizes and is in denial about his loss makes it worse. To kill him, Teo chooses not to even try to compensate Kambosos for his loss, which shows that he lacks confidence.
Luckily for Top Rank, they got #5 WBC, #6 WBO, #11 WBA, and #15 IBF Martin (40-2, 13 KOs). This can work for High Rank in more ways than one.
Not only did Top Rank get a highly rated Martin to take the fight, but they got a guy who could test if Teofimo could cut the mustard at 140.
Sandor Martin has agreed to a deal to fight Teofimo Lopez on December 10 in New York, a source told ESPN. Jose Pedraza withdrew from the 140-pound bout with a non-COVID illness. Martin won a career best last year with an upset of Mikey Garcia. An improvement over Pedraza, IMO.
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) November 17, 2022
Martin, a tactical fighter who uses his IQ to win fights, could be a nightmare for Teofimo, who is weak against intelligent fighters. We saw what Kambosos Jr did to Teofimo, where he played against him a year ago and took away his three heavyweight titles.
If Teofimo loses to Sandor, it’s time for Top Rank to start thinking about trimming the fat from their promotion company by getting rid of Teo because it’s clear he’s not the fighter they think he is.
This will be a good test to show if Teofimo has the mind & ability to be one of the top fighters in the light heavyweight division.
It is fair to say that if Teofimo cannot beat Sandor Martin, he is destined for the middleweight at 140.
At this point, Teofimo will need to consider moving back down to 135, where his size gives him an advantage over smaller fighters.
Teofimo certainly owes his success in weight to his size in this weight class. But now that he’s competing at 140, he’ll need the ability to win the fight because he can’t rely on being the bigger guy.
In Teofimo’s debut at 140 last August against the unknown number two Pedro Campa, he did not impress in this fight, he was hit repeatedly and struggled until he scored in the seventh round.
The way Teofimo looked at Campa, the Top Rank should be easy for him because he is not planning to face competitors at 140.
Of course, Top Rank should know by now if they are wasting their time with Teofimo because the last thing they can do is invest heavily in developing a fighter who can’t compete with the best.