WBO Denies Barboza’s Teofimo Fight Request, Lopez Allowed To Make A Voluntary Defense

The WBO has rejected Arnold Barboza’s request to be named as the mandatory for Teofimo Lopez’s junior-welterweight belt. 

Lopez secured the belt with a unanimous-decision win over Josh Taylor to become a two-weight and two-time lineal champion.

In the aftermath, Lopez stated that he had retired from the sport only to then backtrack on those comments. But Barbosa will not be given the opportunity, despite being the number one contender.

The WBO ruled that there is no mandatory due at this time. As a result, Lopez will be free to face any fighter in the top 15 for a voluntary defense. 

“Teofimo Lopez, Jr., is currently in a voluntary period and can defend his title against any of the 15 world-rated contenders in the Jr. Welterweight Division.

“Therefore, the issue before us is not ripe for our intervention,” Luis Batista-Salas (WBO Championship Committee chairman)

This is another blow for Barboza after he had been in the running for the WBO belt when Lopez had announced his retirement with many believing he would vacate.

But now that Lopez will come back, Barboza must keep on winning to get the shot that he has been chasing for so long. And there is no getting away from that.

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