Teofimo Lopez still claiming undisputed
The lightweight division is only one fight away from crowning a undisputed champion. Sadly, WBA, WBO and IBF world lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) has shown no interest in making that bout. On October 17, Lopez defeated Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO’s) and took his WBA and WBO straps. Following this prizefight, Take Over was farcically labeled as the undisputed lightweight champion. That was due to Lopez also acquiring Hi-Tech’s faux “WBC Franchise lightweight champion” belt.
The actual WBC world lightweight champion is Devin “The Dream” Haney (25-0, 15 KO’s). For Lopez to earnestly lay claim to undisputed, he would have to take Haney’s legitimate strap. Unfortunately, the unified champion has been content to pretend as if he is actually already undisputed. ESPN, DAZN and of course the WBC are all willing participants in this ongoing delusion. Yet, while all of these entities are willing to support this fallacy, none of them can explain it.
TEAM LOPEZ NEEDS A LOT OF MONEY!
Here and there, Lopez has shown fleeting interest in making the bout with Haney. During the post-fight conference for the Lomachenko fight, he said he would be open to facing him next. Yet, that willingness sizzled into nothingness faster than a chip of ice on a hotplate. Since his battle with Hi-Tech, the Take Over suddenly started saying a bout with Haney would take three to five years to mature. This is obviously ridiculous. Neither man will still be in the weight class by that point.
Following the Alvarez v Smith fight however, the Take Over and his father, Lopez Sr, ran into Eddie Hearn. Hearn, of Matchroom Boxing, is also a co-promoter for Devin Haney. When the subject of the Dream came up, Lopez Sr. indicated that his son would fight him next for the sum of 10 million dollars. Given this tremendous sum of money, it is virtually impossible to deny that Team Lopez is pricing themselves out of the fight. For many fans, this is akin to flat-out ducking Haney.
“Give us ten million, we’ll fight Devin tomorrow!
~Teofimo Lopez Sr
YOU AINT THE MAN YET!
While father, son and Hearn discussed the potential showdown, the notion of Lopez’s ‘undisputed’ status came up. Yet, Hearn was unwilling to falsely give Take Over that distinction.
“You’re missing one [belt]! You can’t be undisputed. The Franchise doesn’t count…You’re a Franchise champ, which is a great achievement. The only thing I don’t like about a Franchise belt is when you win the Franchise belt you can’t be undisputed. You should be the undisputed champion, you should be the undisputed champion for your victory. Unfortunately, you’re not!”
Only time will tell if Lopez ever does square off with Haney. But at the moment, it is really looking like Take Over will be content riding off with his novelty undisputed status.
By: Bakari Simpson