Teofimo Lopez didn’t look like a pound-for-pounder in his unanimous decision victory over Jamaine Ortiz on Thursday in Las Vegas.
The physically gifted 140-pound titleholder did enough to win but spent the entire fight chasing his elusive opponent but rarely catching him, which made for a relatively weak performance and a lousy fight.
To be fair, as I wrote earlier in Weekend Review, it’s difficult to corral a foe who refuses to engage, particularly if they’re as quick and capable as Ortiz. However, special fighters find a way. And Lopez didn’t.
So where does that leave the Honorable Mention on our pound-for-pound list?
He’s getting a pass this time, meaning he’ll stay where he was for the time being. After all, he won the fight. And, again, Ortiz’s strategy was a contributing factor in his subpar performance.
We’re watching, however, He can’t continue to look good in one fight and so-so in the next, which has been his pattern the past few years. If he is ever going to move toward the top of this list, he’s going to have to demonstrate consistency.
Next pound-for-pounder up: No. 10 Devin Haney is scheduled to defend his WBC 140-pound title against Ryan Garcia on April 20 on pay-per-view from Las Vegas.
Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:
Terence Crawford – No fight scheduled.
Naoya Inoue – Scheduled to defend his undisputed 122-pound championship against Luis Nery on May 6 in Japan.
Oleksandr Usyk – Scheduled to face No. 9 Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight championship on May 18 in Saudi Arabia.
Dmitry Bivol – Scheduled to face No. 12 Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed 175-pound championship on June 1 in Saudi Arabia.
Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
Canelo Alvarez – No fight scheduled.
Jermell Charlo – No fight scheduled.
Gervonta Davis – No fight scheduled.
Tyson Fury – Scheduled to face No. 3 Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship on May 18 in Saudi Arabia.
Devin Haney– Scheduled to defend his WBC 140-pound title against Ryan Garcia on April 20 in Las Vegas.
Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez – No fight scheduled.
Artur Beterbiev – Scheduled to face No. 4 Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed 175-pound championship on June 1 in Saudi Arabia.
Errol Spence Jr. – No fight scheduled.
Vasiliy Lomachenko – Scheduled to face George Kambosos Jr. for the vacant IBF 135-pound title May 12 in Australia.
Shakur Stevenson– No fight scheduled.
Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (no fight scheduled); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Roman Gonzalez (no fight scheduled); Kazuto Ioka (no fight scheduled); Teofimo Lopez (no fight scheduled).