Leonard Ellerbe debunks Teofimo Lopez’s A-side talk
Since defeating Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO’s), WBO/WBA/IBF world lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) believes he is king of the division. As such, Lopez thinks that it is only right that he be considered the A-side in all future fights at 135. According to his logic, he beat the previous top dog and has the most hardware, making him the man. While that is a solid rationale, the belts and his crown jewel win over Loma are not everything.
ONE PIECE DOESN’T MAKE A WHOLE PUZZLE
One of the first people happy to poke holes in his theory is Mayweather Promotions’ CEO Leonard Ellerbe. In a recent interview with Fight Hype, Ellerbe explained how there are many levels and layers to being the legitimate A-side. There is no doubt that the Take Over has acquired some of these elements, yet he still has some way to go. In fact, by so forcefully voicing his flawed opinion, Ellerbe points out how it highlights Lopez’s lack of business acumen.
“He is a terrific young fighter, it is a tremendous accomplishment in beating Lomachenko. It was the biggest fight that Top Rank could make on their network, it was the biggest fight that they could possibly make. But for him, and his pop, to make that comment, it just goes to show their lack of knowledge about how the business goes. Here it is, he is the B-side to Lomachenko, and correct me if I am wrong, has he ever headlined a show before [the Loma fight was the first time]? Has he ever sold out any venues [No]?”
“…They’re delusional as it relates to the business. Having the belts, that’s a great thing, but in no way, form or fashion could he ever even be considered an A-side in anything going on over here! Ryan Garcia is a bigger attraction than he is, and that’s a fact! That is an irrefutable fact…Top Rank has a great plan for him and his future, he’s not a pay-per-view fighter…yet! But he’s going to get there because, again, he is a very good fighter.”
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
On one hand, it should not be a surprise that Ellerbe did not agree with Lopez’s assertions. Why would he when he helps promote Take Over’s rival ‘regular’ WBA world lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (24-0, 23 KO’s)? For quite some time, Ellerbe has screamed from the mountain tops that Tank is actually the biggest draw in the division. On the other hand, there is really no denying the CEO’s points about Garcia being a bigger draw. Nor is the case for his point regarding his lack of certain accomplishments generally attributed to an A-side.
It will be interesting to see who Take Over mixes it up with next, especially with his recent boasts. As thick with competition as the lightweight division is, he will not want for opponents. However, when it comes to WBC world lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney (25-0, 15 KO’s) specifically, Ellerbe is convinced Top Rank avoids that fight.
“They’re not fighting not Devin Haney, I can tell you that right now…There’s way too much risk without a lot of reward. And again, with all due respect, to not take anything away from the kid because Teo will fight anybody. The fighters will fight, they are not scary. So I never want to come across like this fighter is scared to fight. No, no, it’s the business and the big picture of where the future is at.”
By: Bakari Simpson