Teofimo Lopez took over the lightweight division. Now campaigning at junior welterweight, it is time for Operation: Take Back.
Lopez, the former lightweight champion, will face Mexican veteran Pedro “Roca” Campa in the 10-round main event Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Resorts World Event Center at Resorts World Las Vegas. In the eight-round junior middleweight co-feature, rising Puerto Rican star Xander Zayas steps up in class against Elias “Latin Kid” Espadas.
Lopez-Campa and Zayas-Espadas will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets starting at $40 go on sale Wednesday, July 13 at 12 p.m. PT and can be purchased at ETix.com.
“Teofimo Lopez has a clean bill of health and is ready to make noise at 140 pounds. It all starts with a difficult test in Pedro Campa,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Xander Zayas is a special young talent, and I expect him to put on another sensational performance. Top Rank looks forward to another fantastic night of boxing at Resorts World Las Vegas.”
Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs), a Brooklyn native who now resides in Las Vegas, makes his 2022 debut following a whirlwind past few years that saw him graduate from prospect to lightweight king. He became a viral sensation with a first-round, one-punch knockout over Mason Menard in December 2018. One year later, he captured the IBF world title with a second-round destruction over Richard Commey. Lopez became the unified and lineal lightweight champion in October 2020 with a unanimous decision over pound-for-pound legend Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko. Lopez’s lightweight reign came to a shocking end last November when George Kambosos Jr. climbed off the canvas to earn a split decision in what many experts called the Upset of the Year. Now at junior welterweight and fully recovered from assorted injuries, Lopez is set to conquer a second weight class.
“I’m thankful to be back August 13. I’ve been looking forward to this since my last fight,” Lopez said. “I’ve had a lot of complications, but we’re looking towards the future and are on to bigger and better things. I’m here to take over the 140-pound division just like I did at 135. Like always, I’m going to bring excitement to the sport of boxing. The Takeover is still in full effect. You don’t want to miss it.”
Campa (34-1-1, 23 KOs), fighting out of Hermosillo, Mexico, is unbeaten in eight fights since the lone loss on his ledger. He is conducting an eight-week camp in Southern California under the watchful eye of a new head trainer, Manny Robles, who led Oscar Valdez and Andy Ruiz (among many others) to world championship glory. Campa is coming off a third-round knockout over Carlos Sanchez Valadez, who entered the bout 22-0.
“I am excited and thankful to Top Rank and Teofimo Lopez for this opportunity. He is a tremendous fighter,” Campa said. “I am coming to Resorts World Las Vegas ready to implement everything I have learned with my incredible trainer, Manny Robles. We’ve been in Southern California working hard and preparing for the best version of Teofimo Lopez. I believe I can be a force at 140 pounds, and it’s up to me to show that on August 13.”
Zayas (13-0, 9 KOs), the 19-year-old phenom from San Juan, bolstered his status as one of boxing’s top prospects after going 6-0 in 2021. He knocked out durable veterans Larry Fryers and Dan Karpency and went the six-round distance against New Mexico native Jose Luis Sanchez. Zayas made his 2022 debut in March, going eight rounds for the first time with a shutout over Quincy LaVallais. His scheduled June 11 return was scrapped after he contracted a non-COVID-related viral infection. Zayas is healthy and primed to fight Espadas (22-4, 15 KOs), a native of Yucatan, Mexico, who has never been knocked out. He has not lost since a close 2018 decision to Olympic bronze medalist Yamaguchi Falcao.
Zayas said, “I can’t wait to get back in the ring after what happened in June. That is all in the past, and I am 100 percent recovered. I want to thank all the fans for the support. That meant a lot and motivated me even more to train harder. On August 13, there will be a lot of fireworks between Puerto Rico and Mexico. You can count on that!”
In undercard action, streaming live on ESPN+:
Las Vegas-born junior lightweight contender Andres “Savage” Cortes (17-0, 10 KOs) steps up in an eight-round tilt against Abraham Montoya (20-3-1, 14 KOs). Cortes has won three straight fights by stoppage, including last August’s first-round blitzing of former world title challenger Genesis Servania. Montoya is coming off a razor-thin majority decision loss to top prospect Gabriel Flores Jr.
Featherweight U.S. Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan (6-0, 1 KO), from Cincinnati, Ohio, returns in a six-rounder against fellow unbeaten D’Angelo Fuentes (7-0, 4 KOs).
Middleweight Troy Isley (6-0, 4 KOs), Ragan’s Olympic teammate from the Tokyo Games, will see action in a six-rounder against Victor Toney (6-1-1, 5 KOs). Isley knocked out Donte Stubbs in the sixth round in his last outing.
Lightweight prospect Charlie Sheehy (3-0, 3 KOs) makes his second pro appearance at Resorts World Las Vegas in a four-rounder, while Puerto Rican junior welterweight standout Omar Rosario (7-0, 2 KOs) will fight in a six-rounder.
In a featherweight battle scheduled for eight rounds, veteran contender Jose Enrique Vivas (21-2, 11 KOs) will take on Edy Valencia (19-7-6, 7 KOs).
Credit: Top Rank Boxing