Teofimo Lopez Proving to Be Money-Hungry to a Fault
The talent of reigning WBO champion Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) can’t be questioned. But when it comes to his actions and rhetoric outside the ring, he is a constant topic of discussion, for better or worse. Has The Takeover become too focused on money for his own good?
SHOW ME THE MONEY
Lopez has made recent headlines for turning down an offer to face “King” Ryan Garcia. During an interview with media source Boxing News, Lopez explained his decision.
“When you’re the best, when you are THE guy, when you bring major sponsors, endorsements, big, major business deals, when you offer me a 1.5 (million dollars) stake in the piece, fuck you. So, no. Yeah, I declined the offer.”
Garcia’s promoter, Golden Boy, is interested in staging a fight between Lopez and Garcia for February 2024 on Super Bowl weekend. If Lopez was honest about the offer, one could understand why he said no.
However, something’s amiss. Professional boxing is often about the art of negotiating. It’s known that when attempting to make a fight, there’s an initial offer, then a series of follow-ups and counter-offers. Then, hopefully, the involved parties can eventually agree to a deal. With Garcia being a cashcow, maybe it would have been advantageous for Lopez to continue negotiations for a fight against Garcia, especially if it meant a sizeable payday.
A GROWING PATTERN
It’s the latest event that has led to scrutiny of Lopez by several fans and insiders in the boxing community. Following a win over Vasyl Lomachenko to become the unified lightweight champion in December 2019, Lopez got into a public battle with promoter Bob Arum over his market value. Before his win over Josh Taylor to capture the junior welterweight title on June 10, The Takeover said he was leaving ESPN/Top Rank, claiming he’s not being taken care of and that his value is being played with.
Lopez feels that he’s a superstar and deserves top dollar. However, throughout his career, the pride of Brooklyn, New York has never pulled in monster numbers at the box office, where it counts. The harsh reality is that contemporaries Gervonta “Tank” Davis, Devin Haney, and even Garcia are more popular and pull in greater numbers and sponsors. The argument is not so cut and dry about Lopez getting compensated. It’s about understanding where he lies in the large boxing landscape, value-wise.
The question is: what does the back-and-forth bickering do for his career? More and more, he’s acquiring the reputation and narrative of a fighter who is more concerned about money and the bottom line than anything else.