Teofimo Lopez remains neutral on Devin Haney showdown
Lopez versus Haney is a great fight. Countless boxing fans and insiders would love to see this scrap. It would be an elite level collision of knuckles and boxing intelligence. Even better, the fight would give rise to one true and legitimate undisputed lightweight champion. Sadly, the fight remains as elusive as a deadbeat dad clad head-to-toe in Predator camouflage tech. Just when we get a glimpse that it could be next, it fades back into the jungle. WBC World Lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney (25-0, 15 KO’s) is down for the fight. On the other hand, WBA Super, WBO and IBF World Lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) is not quite sold, still.
DOUBLE-TALK ALL THE TIME!
When it comes to the notion of facing Haney, Take Over has been all over the place. On occasion, he has been gung-ho for the dust-up. Yet the greater majority of the time he has snubbed it like an orthodox Muslim would a pork rib. After toppling Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko to become the most belt-holding champ in the division, it seemed like easy math. Lopez even said in the post-fight conference that he would love to face The Dream next. Obviously that never took place.
Since that bold proclamation, there has been no solid indication from the Lopez camp that the Haney bout will happen. To his credit, in his latest interview with Fight Hype, Take Over is not quite so dismissive. At the same time however, the unified champion said nothing to indicate that it would be soon or even a priority.
“I don’t like mentioning these guys no more. We’ve come to another part where they need us, we don’t need them. At the end of the day we all need each other, absolutely. But at times like these, I don’t need to keep him up. Let him keep himself relevant, let him do his part. Let him go out there and do whatever he has to do. Fight Leonardo’s and the same goes for Garcia and whoever else is in my division because this is my division.”
THE MOST DISPUTED UNDISPUTED CHAMPION IN HISTORY
Calling himself the undisputed lightweight champion clearly makes Lopez giddy as the Grinch breaking a tyke’s toy. Yet, is he really? So long as Haney retains the WBC 135-pound title, Lopez is merely tossing around pretty but hollow words. Nearly six full months after defeating Loma, Take Over still cannot give a sensible reason for not being eager to face Haney. That is rather shocking. It’s shocking because he has been asked about Haney in every interview since the day he beat Loma. This very interview ended with him being temporarily speechless by that notion.
No one is arguing if Lopez is the man to beat at 135 pounds to be called the man at the moment. He melted former world champion Richard Commey in two rounds to become a unified champion. In his very next fight, he dethroned then top dog Lomachenko. These feats were very impressive. Since the Loma win however, Lopez has largely taken his belt home and is refusing to play.
Yes, you can rightfully say that Take Over is the man at the moment. It is also accurate to say that Lopez experienced his fair share of difficulty over the second half of fight. So much so that many believe that if given a rematch Loma could very well convincingly defeat Lopez. Rather than put that mystery to bed, the unified champ vowed never to face him again. Of course, there is Haney, but Lopez is playing dumb and talking that ‘why him’ jazz. Yet, if Lopez is not interested in fighting Loma, Haney or ‘any of those guys,’ how long will the people be interested in him?
By: Bakari Simpson