Lopez vs Claggett Predictions: ‘The Takeover’ is due a big performance

 | Thursday 27th June 2024, 9:46am

Thursday 27th June 2024, 9:46am

teofimo lopez

WBO, The Ring and lineal super lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez returns to the ring this Saturday, June 29 against challenger Steve Claggett. The fight will take place at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida with Sky Sports Action broadcasting the show.

Here are my Lopez vs Claggett predictions ahead of the return of ‘The Takeover’.

Lopez vs Claggett Tips

  • Lopez by stoppage @ 4/5
  • Fight to go the distance - No @ 8/13

Teofimo Lopez divides opinion. Some see a skilled ring technician who has hoovered up world titles and looked good doing it. Others see a brash, arrogant athlete whose considerable success at the age of 26 has seemingly gone to his head. The truth is, the super lightweight world champion is both of these things.

Looking for the Lopez of generational boxing renown? Search no further than his expert upset over the wonderful Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2020, a breakout display that propelled ‘El Brooklyn’ into the pound-for-pound discussion.

If you want evidence of the immaturity and braggadocio that has turned some against Lopez, may I direct you to his upset loss to George Kambosos Jr. In his very next fight after the Lomachenko win, with his name on the lips of the entire boxing world, he lost his belts to the underdog Aussie after taking his challenger lightly. A lack of tactical advice from his trainer father, Teofimo Lopez Sr, did not help. Lopez was meek and outgunned, despite having Kambosos on the canvas during a rare moment of clarity.

Lopez is 4-0 since, though it hasn’t been easy. The tame Pedro Campa was blasted out in seven rounds. But the New Yorker was perhaps a little lucky to emerge with a split decision against Sandor Martin, who had him on the deck in their fight.

This steady, unspectacular comeback made what happened next all the more shocking. Lopez produced one of the performances of his career a year ago to dethrone WBO, The Ring and lineal super lightweight champion Josh Taylor. ‘The Tartan Tornado’ was unbeaten going in, despite a bitterly disputed victory over Jack Catterall, and had been the division’s first-ever four-belt undisputed champion. Boxing politics removed some of his title belts, but Lopez took the rest by force.

‘The Takeover’ has defended those championships once since then, scoring a unanimous decision win over worthy challenger Jamaine Ortiz in February. ‘The Technician’ was more of a known quantity than Claggett. Ortiz has beaten ex-world champion Jamel Herring and taken Lomachenko the full 12-round distance. 

Lopez was booed for his performance during the fight and saw his display criticised despite the wide nature of the scorecards. ‘El Brooklyn’ did not push the action against an opponent he proved he was levels above. The ruthless streak that saw him pick up career-defining wins over Lomachenko and Taylor was not evident.

Lopez tends to fight up or down to the level of his opponent. That stands him in good stead when the opponent is an elite-level fighter. But when they are on that next rung down, a Kambosos, Martin or Ortiz perhaps, Lopez falters.

Bad news then that his opponent here is the 38-7-2 Steve Claggett. The WBO’s eighth-ranked challenger, a fine run of recent form has put him in line for this unexpected title shot. The 35-year-old’s record is littered with losses, some to unheralded fighters. 

But Claggett has strung together nine victories since a 2021 split decision loss to Mathieu Germain. Seven of those wins have come by stoppage and while none of the opponents particularly jump out, they have mostly been fighters with decent enough records.

In short, he is the exact sort of opponent that Lopez beats, but looks below-par while doing so. A boxer that someone of Teofimo’s ability should tear through like a hurricane, but too often he gently laps at these guys like an oscillating desk fan. 

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Lopez vs Claggett Fight Odds

Lopez is a distant odds-leader at 1/8 with an implied 88.9% chance of victory. Claggett is priced at 5/1, giving him an assumed probability percentage of 16.7% for the win. A draw is available at 16/1, though I wouldn’t be tempted by that 5.9% shot. Claggett might have two draws on his record, but neither came at anything like this level.

Lopez vs Claggett Full Card

Teofimo Lopez vs. Steve Claggett for Lopez's WBO super lightweight title 

Robeisy Ramirez vs. Brandon Leon Benitez; Featherweight 

Yan Santana vs. Brandon Valdes; Featherweight 

Rohan Polanco vs. Luis Hernandez Ramos; Welterweight 

Nico Ali Walsh vs. Sona Akale; Middleweight 

Euri Cedeno vs. Dormedes Potes; Middleweight 

Lorenzo Medina vs. Colby Madison: Heavyweight 

Bryan Polaco vs. Richard Acevedo; Middleweight

Lopez vs Claggett Prediction

I was tempted by the idea of Lopez fighting down to Claggett’s level and nicking a sloppy decision here. But I am actually going to back ‘El Brooklyn’ to break the cycle and finally treat a mediocre opponent the way he should.

My pick is Lopez to land the stoppage at 4/5. I think the champion will offer a long overdue reminder of who he is and justify his consideration for the pound-for-pound list.

You can find all our latest boxing betting tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page

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