“To Fluctuate in the In the Mental Areas”: Teddy Atlas Lines Up the Inconsistencies in Teofimo Lopez’s Performance as He Secures a Questionable Win Against Jamaine Ortiz

Published 02/09/2024, 6:20 AM EST

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Teofimo Lopez won his twentieth battle. Or, as some of the skeptics might call it, he scraped through a nightmare. He defended his light welterweight title from Jamaine Ortiz. But his performance, coupled with the match decision, has once again brought into question his struggle with maintaining consistency. Not to say the least, much before the bout, the point hadn’t escaped the time-tested eyes of Teddy Atlas either.

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It’s a fourth straight win for the Brooklyn-born boxer. He defeated Ortiz unanimously. Questions have been raised on the scorecards. But more significantly, to many, it appeared that ‘The Technician’ succeeded in turning the tables on Lopez quite a few times. Why didn’t he repeat the performance that saw him score an impressive win against a top-tier boxer such as Josh Taylor? Why ‘The Takeover’ hasn’t been able to give a regular account of himself. Teddy Atlas, for one, believes that there might be an answer.

Teddy Atlas: The Takeover’s Shifting Swagger

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The legendary trainer went back in time. After beating Vasyl Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez suffered his first loss to George Kambosos Jr. in 2021. It led to a lot of followers changing their views about the boxer. However, to the surprise of many, a year or so later, he was back in the saddle. He inflicted a crushing defeat on a former undisputed champion.

I just recognize where Teofimo was a great talent…after he beats, uh, Loma, he loses to Kambosos they they jumped off the bandwagon, but then he came back, you know, and he beat Taylor, uh in an in a really an easy win. Uh he he he beat a good solid fighter uh and and beat him easily really really dismantled him in different ways, you know,” said the trainer, who had once trained Mike Tyson briefly.

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Now, as the title holder, Lopez once again marches into the ring to defend them, Atlas contemplates the posers some of the followers might have. In his opinion, it’s irrelevant whether he fights his next opponent effectively. The more pertinent query is how well Lopez can fight on any given day. “So now he’s back, he’s back on top again, he’s got those belts, and the only question is not how good he can be but how good he will be on any particular night?” pointed out the Hall of Famer.

But there might be a reason why his game fluctuates. It may have more to do with his frame of mind. Teddy Atlas said, “Because he has had the tendencies to fluctuate in the in the mental areas, where sometimes he looks like he did with Taylor, like he did with Lomachenko, and sometimes not quite up to that.

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Notwithstanding what the ace trainer attributed as the issue with Teofimo Lopez’s performance, even those who don’t follow ‘The Takeover will agree that he is loaded with immense talent. Hence, when he envisages future fights with some of the bigwigs, inconsistent performance might pose a greater challenge. Perhaps more than the opponent per se.

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Do you agree with the legendary trainer’s assessment of Teofimo Lopez? Please share your views with us in the comments below.

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal

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