Teofimo Lopez has always sold himself on brash confidence, but ESPN cameras caught him in a vulnerable moment after his controversial split decision win on Saturday night over Sandor Martin.
“Bro, do I still have it, man?” he asked his team. “Do I still got it?”
Lopez’s expression was not one that indicated he was joking around in any way, and the response of those around him — trying to encourage him that he does, in fact, still have it — was also sincere.
This would hardly be the first time the confidence of Lopez (18-1, 13 KO) has been questioned, though this is very openly by himself.
In the past, some have questioned that confidence after his 2019 win over Masayoshi Nakatani, his first time going the 12-round distance, when he seemed to indicate he didn’t want to fight taller opponents anymore, and that was a clear and earned Lopez win.
Wins over Richard Commey and Vasiliy Lomachenko vaulted him into the top tier of the sport, and with good reason, but an upset loss to George Kambosos Jr in late 2021 was worrisome to some not just because he lost, but because of the way he handled the defeat — in short, poorly, in the eyes of many. And now this, when he went a hard 10 rounds with a guy he never quite seemed to figure out.
However you take this, we’re all armchair quarterbacking here at best, but it certainly isn’t going to quiet anyone who already thinks maybe he just has not mentally recovered from the Kambosos loss, and that maybe his career has hit a wall for whatever number of reasons you could name.