Teofimo Lopez, Edis Tatli agree to terms for lightweight fight on Crawford-Khan undercard
Teofimo Lopez is once again ratcheting up his level of competition.
The 21-year-old has agreed to terms for a lightweight fight against Edis Tatli, industry sources told The Ring. The bout, once a deal is completed, will be staged April 20 at New York’s Madison Square Garden on the ESPN pay-per-view undercard of Terence Crawford’s title defense vs. Amir Khan.
Lopez (12-0, 10 knockouts) is one of the fastest-rising stars in the sport. He’s The Ring’s reigning prospect of the year, and now, he’s rated No. 8 at 135 pounds. The Brooklyn, New York, native has flashed with brilliant display of hand speed and finishing power; he also packs the requisite charisma.
Lopez has dazzled on ESPN under the guidance of Top Rank. His first-round knockout of Mason Menard in December was one of the most spectacular of 2018. His seventh-round destruction of Diego Magdaleno last month was equally impressive. His in-ring celebrations — whether it’s a backflip or the “take the L” dance from Fortnite — have helped build his profile, too.
Even as he increases his level of opposition, the eye-popping knockouts keep coming. He’ll look to maintain that streak against Tatli, a 31-year-old from Helsinki, Finland. Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) split a pair of fights with Francesco Patera in 2017. Now, Tatli prepares for his U.S. debut against a different class of opponent.
Lopez could challenge for a title before the year is out. He’s called for a fight with former two-division titleholder Jose Pedraza as well, a matchup that could materialize later in 2019.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger