LAS VEGAS — Teofimo Lopez made a triumphant return to the ring, stopping Pedro Campa in the seventh round Saturday night at the Resorts World Events Center.
Lopez debuted as a 140-pound junior welterweight in his first fight since suffering the only loss of his career.
Moments after putting Campa on the canvas early in the seventh, Lopez (17-1, 13 KOs) annihilated his overmatched opponent with a flurry of punches, prompting referee Tony Weeks to stop the fight at 2:14. .
“I’m grateful for that, I came back,” Lopez said.
Campa fell to 34-2-1.
Lopez, 25, looked much more like the promising young fighter who captivated the world when he defeated Vasily Lomachenko to win the 2020 unified lightweight championship.
Campa, who relies on a direct approach and hard punches, struggled to land as Lopez remained active throughout the fight and displayed impeccable defense.
On offense, Lopez was much faster and sharper with his shots, landing 52% of his power shots, per CompuBox.
“I was able to work a little more on some things, but overall it was good,” Lopez said of her performance. “It’s been a long time. I had a lot on my mind. I almost died (in) the last fight, so it was on my mind, I had to clear it.
“Going into this, I’m not afraid to die, but the last thing I want is for my son to not have a father.”
Just nine months ago, Lopez hit a career low when he lost as a heavy favorite to George Kambosos Jr. by split decision.
But Kambosos’ loss in New York on Nov. 27 was then overshadowed by news that he battled a condition called pneumomediastinum and had a lot of air in the retropharyngeal space, according to a report. ESPN, something he only learned after suffering his very first loss.
“It weighed on me, but I had to get this guy out, somehow,” the Brooklyn fighter said.
Heading into the seventh, Lopez was the aggressor, staying in pursuit and constantly poking Campa in the face while soaking up shots and shaking off the apparent rust from the ring.
Lopez seemed to back off a bit in the fourth and fifth, perhaps registering laps while conserving energy, but returned to an active role and landed several combinations in the sixth.
“Little by little, those hits are going to add up and eventually it’s going to hurt them,” Lopez said. “It may not do it right away, but in due time it will get them out.
“It’s a blessing, man. Time is something we don’t get back.
Earlier, Xander Zayas (14-0, 10 KOs) stopped Elias Espadas (22-5) in the fifth round, delivering a devastating right hook to the jaw to win the vacant WBO NABO junior middleweight title.
The 19-year-old from Puerto Rico was dominant early on, scoring a knockdown in the first round, then using sharp combinations to wear down the Espadas over the next three rounds before finishing the fight with 2:36 left in the fifth. round.
According to CompuBox, Zayas, who threw 60 punches per pound, landed 42% of his power punches while 27 of the 86 punches he landed were to the body.
New York Post