Teofimo Lopez: “Haney Must Fight A Top Ten Guy First!”

Teofimo Lopez say he wants Devin Haney after George Kambosos!

Teofimo Lopez (left), Devin Haney
Teofimo Lopez (left), Devin Haney

Teofimo Lopez say he wants Devin Haney after George Kambosos!


When it comes to Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez’s (16-0, 12 KO’s) view on the lightweight division, he remains a mixed bag. Even calling himself the undisputed lightweight champion has an asterisk by it. True, the Take Over owns the WBA super, WBO and IBF World Lightweight titles. Meanwhile though, Devin “The Dream” Haney (25-0, 15 KO’s) possess the WBC lightweight title, with Lopez claiming the135-pound WBC Franchise strap.

When talking about his next opponent, its not an easy task to pin Lopez down to a concrete opinion. This is because, depending on the interview, he will say radically different things. On the one hand, the Take Over will freely acknowledge that he is surrounded by great talent in his division. He has gone on record to say that he could make splendid match-ups with many of them. Lopez even went so far as to say that it was his obligation as a fighter to make these prizefights a reality for the fans. Sadly, the Brooklyn-born boxer will turn right around and say that those fighters need to prove more.

MIXED MESSAGES

Of all his potential in-ring adversary’s, the most light gets shined on Haney. It easy to see why. This is the longest feud that Lopez has enjoyed in the division. Lopez v Haney would also crown a legitimate undisputed lightweight champion. Regrettably though, thus far Lopez has consistently flip-flopped on the notion of facing the Californian. He’s gone from saying he wants the bout next to he needs ten million, and over to it will take 3-5 years to materialize.

“As long as he fights his mandatory and keeps on winning. He has to show me something, he has to fight a top ten. At least a top 15, I’ll give him top 15! As long as you beat a top 15 guy then we can talk, then we can really talk! Then we can make a fight happen! Until then, what’s the point? Who has he faced?”

~ Teofimo Lopez talking to Fight Hype

In a recent interview with Fight Hype, the Take Over reaffirmed his believe that the WBC had to personally prove to him that he was worthy of the match. Then, just a day or so later, the unified champion conducted an interview with ESPN. When talking into those microphones, Lopez insisted that if it were up to him he would take Haney in his next outing. From the outside looking in, these are very conflicting messages!

“[on who he wants next] Devin Haney first. Then Garcia or Tank, probably at 140. And Josh Taylor-Jose Ramirez winner at 140. The winner of that fight becomes undisputed at that weight division, and I’m trying to go back-to-back [being undisputed] at 135 and 140.”

“…The only thing that is holding it up is my mandatory. I have to pay my respect to Kambosos… It’s not because it’s who I want but because it’s my mandatory. A lot of fighters say I’m ducking a lot of people, but I’m not. I got to go through the process; that’s just part of the game. If things go south, Devin Haney is the next guy, and hopefully, we can make that fight happen without him trying to overprice himself.”

~ Teofimo Lopez talking to ESPN

THE TIME IS NOW!

First, as he said himself, Lopez has to get past his IBF mandatory George “Ferocious” Kambosos (19-0, 10 KO’s). Provided that he is successful in this endeavor, let us hope that Lopez appreciates the value in facing Haney. If he is true to his word, he will make that fight on the strength of the fan’s desire to see it.

Take Over loves to say that he is the king of the division and all the rest come after him. The tricky thing about this is once you are on top you have to fight to stay there. The champion must demonstrate their dominance and not merely speak about it. Lopez is in a strategic position to make a meaningful run at lightweight, provided he took out the top fighters at 135. But will he do it? There is an excellent chance that Lopez could jump up to 140 and leave this food on the table. That would be a shame. Yet, in the end, only time will tell what happens. Thankfully, 3kingsboxing.com will be there to cover the story no matter what plays out.

By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari S.2971 Articles
Bakari is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com. Visit cheetahhead.com to view more of his literary work.