Is Teofimo Lopez on the Outs With ESPN & Top Rank?
Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) is not afraid to speak his mind. The former unified lightweight champion has no problem expressing his frustration with those in the industry. It appears that he is now at odds with ESPN and is putting them on blast!
Currently in training camp for his June 10 battle against WBO junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor (19-0, 13), Lopez appeared on the Punsh Drunk Boxing. During the interview, Lopez made the following remarks about the four-letter network.
“I don’t sugarcoat shit. […] All these motherfuckers dick-ride, and they suck dick. […] Just to even put it more on the spot, this is my last fight on ESPN.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. This is why this fight means everything to me, and you know what? If they want the black fighters, they can keep them!
“They’re playing with my numbers. I need to go find somebody else that’s gonna actually take care of Teofimo Lopez moving forward.”
WHAT HAS TEOFIMO UPSET?
According to the former lightweight champion, the crux of his current issue with ESPN centers around his split-decision victory over Sandor Martin in December 2022. Aired live on ESPN, Lopez claimed that he chastised ringside commentators Timothy Bradley and Andre Ward during the pre-fight meetings for what he called “their corruption”. As a result, Lopez strongly felt that the commentary from ESPN that evening was biased against him.
Bradley and Ward were critical of Lopez’ performance. But to be fair, there was also plenty of criticism from fight enthusiasts. The reality is that he struggled against Martin. More than a few fans and pundits felt that Lopez was fortunate to walk away with the win.
Maybe Lopez’ anger stems from what happened immediately after the fight. ESPN cameras caught the 25-year-old questioning himself, wondering “if he still has what it takes.” It was a moment that had him trending throughout social media circles.
If he’s still mad at that, he has no right to be. It was Lopez who foolishly questioned his own abilities in public. All ESPN did was cover and comment. ESPN, Bradley, and Ward were simply going what they are paid to do.
ON THIN ICE?
After winning the unified titles against Vasyl Lomachenko in October 2020, Lopez spent most of 2021 squabbling with his current promoter, Top Rank, who currently has a deal with ESPN. This rant against ESPN from The Takeover is the latest episode of him running his mouth and spewing venom.
One has to wonder if this could be the final straw with both ESPN/Top Rank. Should Lopez lose to Taylor, Top Rank could say enough is enough, and part ways with him. When it comes to the upcoming fight, Lopez’ mouth has upped the stakes. By calling out a network giant like ESPN, he is definitely putting a target on his back.