Teofimo Lopez Defeats Steve Claggett To Retain His WBO Junior Welterweight Title

Teofimo Lopez defended his WBO Junior Welterweight Belt by beating a determined Steve Claggett in a unanimous decision. 

The challenger started well. Claggett controlled the center, as he pushed forward in the first. Lopez stayed on the outside by using feints and jabs. Teo landed a left hook, but Claggett maintained his pressure. Lopez also landed a double jab, as Claggett countered with a right of his own. Lopez continued to move around, timing his opponent with a counter jab.

The third round was the best for Lopez. The Takeover landed sharp left hooks to the body, but Claggett continued to pepper the midsection. Lopez landed a right hand, double jab and another right to end the round strongly. Claggett was going nowhere, however.

Claggett landed a double jab and a right hook, but Lopez responded with a left/right uppercut on the counter. The Takeover needed to fight in the center, but Claggett’s front foot pressure was keeping him on the ropes. Lopez may have landed the cleaner punches, but Claggett was outworking Lopez. Both fighters had swelling on their faces by the fifth.

The fight changed in the seventh. Both fighters stood toe-to-toe in the center. Lopez started tapping his jab, as Claggett’s high guard dipped, allowing The Takeover to land flurries. Lopez landed with a powerful right hand followed by a clean left hook. But Lopez had his best round in the eighth, leaving Claggett in trouble.

Lopez countered with a sharp uppercut to the body, and a clean short hook. Several right hands followed and a devastating uppercut. Claggett was hurt on the ropes. Claggett, who had been standing between rounds, sat down for the first time. The ninth was another strong round for Lopez.

He landed a one-two, followed by a right hand that rocked Claggett. Another right hook from Lopez snapped Claggett’s head back. While Claggett managed to push Lopez towards the ropes, Teo was now in total control. Claggett continued to press forward in the championship rounds, but Lopez was picking him off at will. Claggett needed a knockout, but it never came. While the fight may have been tougher than expected, Lopez won a very wide unanimous decision: 120-108, 120-108 and 119-109.

Teo was a -1200 favorite going into the fight and fans wanted to see a knockout, and although he won a wide unanimous decision, Lopez failed to deliver a KO for the fourth consecutive time. Teofimo will have to showcase a lot more power if he expects to move up to 147 or 154 to compete with champions such as Terence Crawford.

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