‘The Takeback’ Lopez starts comeback with KO of Campa

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 11: Teofimo Lopez (L) and Pedro Campa (R) face-off during the press conference ahead of their NABF & WBO International junior welterweight fight at Resorts World Las Vegas on August 11, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Teofimo Lopez might need to change his nickname from The Takeback to The Comeback.

Fighting for the first time as at 140 pounds, Lopez rebounded from his first loss last November to knock out Pedro Campa in a junior welterweight bout at the Resorts World Casino in Las Vegas Saturday night.

“This is a takeover, takeover,” said Lopez, who raised his record to 17-1 with 13 knockouts. “We’ve been at 135 for nine years and it was killing my body. We want all the belts, we want to be a two-time undisputed world champion.”

Campa (34-2-1, 23KOs) went down early in the seventh round on a short right from Lopez. Campa, from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, got up, but the fight ended when the referee separated the fighters after a flurry of punches by Lopez. The fight ended art 2:14 seconds in the seventh round.

Lopez, from Brooklyn, New York, was upset last November in a 135-pound bout to George Kambosos Jr. in a fight that had been rescheduled five different times. Lopez had a tear in is espophagus that made it difficult to breath. Still, he lost only by split decision.

On Saturday, Lopez used his superior hand speed and defense to keep Campa at bay throughout the fight.

After an uneventful first round, Lopez came out and landed a big overhand right midway through the second round, but Campa was unfazed.

Lopez followed in the third round with two more overhand rights that forced Campa into a clinch. Campa continued to move forward throughout the round, but Lopez delivered the bigger blows

In the undercard, Xander Zayas (14-0) from San Juan Puerto Rico knocked out Elias Espadas (22-5) Yucatan, Mexico, 23 seconds in the fifth round of their junior middleweight bout.

Zayas dropped Espadas with a left hook in the first minute of the fight, but Espadas recovered and wasn’t hurt through the first three minutes. 

Zayas dominated the action in the next two rounds, connecting on numerous combinations to Espadas’ head. 

Zayas was cautioned for low blows midway through the fourth round, but continued to put the pressure on the more-experienced Espadas.

Early in the fifth round, Zayas ended the fight with his second knockdown. Zayas connected with a looping right hand to the head that sent Espadas reeling into the ropes. Espadas got up, the referee stopped the fight.