Lopez underwhelms in win over Claggett in Miami

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MIAMI — Teofimo Lopez retained his WBO junior welterweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Steve Claggett on Saturday evening at the downtown James L. Knight Center, but he failed to make a statement against the major underdog.

Lopez — a -1200 favorite, per ESPN BET — shut out Claggett on two cards, 120-108, with 119-109 on the third. Canada’s Claggett was fighting in a 12-round fight for the first time.

And that first title shot came against ESPN’s No. 10 pound-for-pound boxer. Lopez easily defeated Claggett — he outlanded 315 to 60 – but surprisingly never came close to scoring a knockdown, much less a knockout, against a boxer fighting on the world-class level for the first time.

Lopez (21-1, 13 KOs) showed tremendous power at 135 pounds, where he reigned as undisputed champion, but in five fights at 140, has scored just one KO. That came in August 2022 against journeyman Pedro Campa.

“I knew exactly what kind of fighter this guy was …he’s going to come forward and test my conditioning. And that’s what we had today,” said Lopez, 26. ” … He’s a tough fighter. I don’t think anyone should overlook him. I knew that coming into this. … He handled himself.”

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