Is Teofimo Lopez Trying to Hype a Fight or Just Slipping Into Madness?
When it comes to the business of boxing, oftentimes fighters are required to sell a made or potential fight. Sometimes in this process however, boxers can go above and well beyond the call of duty. This certainly seems to be the case with WBA super, IBF and WBO lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) talking up a match with undisputed super lightweight champion Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor (18-0, 13 KO’s).
On November 27, Lopez will face the challenge of undefeated Australian boxer “Ferocious” George Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KO’s). Despite this upcoming battle, to be contested in the storied Madison Square Garden Theatre, Lopez finds himself fielding questions regarding Taylor.
At the root, Lopez himself is the cause of this line of questioning. This is due to the Take Over repeatedly calling out Taylor. Upon hearing of the challenge, the undisputed champion was quick to dismiss Lopez as a realistic option. In his opinion, Teofimo Lopez was something of a fraud because he was running around falsely telling everyone he was an undisputed champion. Until Lopez fights, beats and claims WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney’s title, Taylor will refuse to acknowledge the Take Over.
Rather than simply ease up on pursuing Taylor, Lopez has doubled down on his insistence that Taylor is scared of him. Even worse, the Take Over plunged himself into pure nonsense and incoherence! The unified champion committed his ludicrous statements to public record when fielding questions from Boxing Social:
“I told you he was going to do that, he was going to move up to 147. He ain’t going to want to make that fight happen! I want to go to 140 so I can make my fight happen with him. Josh Taylor is a great fight for us. Yeah, he don’t really want to make the fight with [WBO welterweight champion Terence] Crawford. I’d rather make the fight with him right here.”
“If I call you out, it’s because I want you! I’m not calling you out because I need clout! What do you bring for me?! Other than all the belts, nothing else! I ain’t over here trying to get clout from you boy, at all! I’ll be your biggest payday!”
FICTION OVER FACT
This is easily one of the goofiest, most hairbrained statements of the year. To begin, Lopez has called out, then changed his tune regarding Haney countless times. Said to say, his “calling someone out” in and of itself doesn’t hold much weight.
Lopez has also done serious damage to his reputation and credibility by erroneously claiming undisputed status. So, clearly he understands the value and importance of the distinction. Therefore he knows very well what Taylor represents for him. Going a step further, if victorious in a dust-up with Taylor, the Take Over would become a world champion in a second weight class.
Whether he confesses to this knowledge is one thing, but confession or not, the Take Over fully comprehends what a showdown with the Tartan Tornado would do for him. This is why it’s that much more sad and disappointing, if not worrisome, that Lopez continues to spout off with these erratic and purely fictional narratives. In the end, these statements only serve to make him look silly.
Let’s just hope that, assuming he defeats Kambosos, the Take Over finally does what Taylor told him to do and fight Devin Haney to attempt actually becoming the undisputed lightweight champion. If successful, he probably would have a great chance at having Josh Taylor. Until then, the Take Over will continue to sound rather ridiculous in the public eye.
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By: Bakari Simpson