Teofimo Lopez says he craves a Tank Davis fight
Within the lightweight division, there is no question that Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) is the man to beat. This is due to his holding the WBA Super, WBO and IBF World Lightweight titles. Not only does he have these belts, he beat Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomoachenko (14-2, 10 KO’s) to obtain the WBA Super and WBO titles. Prior to his loss to the Take Over, Hi-Tech was near universally viewed as the man on top of the 135-pound hill.
Almost immediately after winning the Lomachenko fight, the boxing world clamored for Lopez to face Devin “The Dream” Haney (25-0, 15 KO’s). A potential bout with Haney had long been openly discussed. In fact, at one point the two were in a mini-tournament that would more likely have demanded that they fight. However, Lopez exited that tourney in order to pursue a title shot. Yet, the biggest reason that the Take Over versus Haney is in such demand is due to Haney owning the WBC World Lightweight title. Despite The Dream holding this belt, Lopez insists on calling himself an undisputed champion. If the two finally fought, all the confusion could be cleared up in smooth action.
A FIGHT FOR THE PEOPLE?
Sadly, even with the demand for the showdown, Take Over has remained radically inconsistent on the topic. In one interview he will say that is a fight he wants as soon as possible. The trouble is, in the next three interviews the Brooklyn native says he has no desire to face Haney. This flip-flopping had proven to be quite frustrating! In one of his latest interviews, on the Ak and Barak Show, the unified lightweight champion now says his most desired bout would be with Regular WBA World Lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis (24-0, 23 KO’s).
“I would love to fight Tank Davis, I would love to knock him out. A lot of people talk about it, that it will be a 50/50 fight. If we mention Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney and all that, the guy that I think everybody thinks will be a 50/50 would be me and Tank Davis. Even though I don’t believe it would be. I know what I bring to the table.”
Yet what is a Lopez interview without him sidestepping the notion of penning a fight with Haney to settle the undisputed issue?
“I kid you not, you know what’s going to happen? When I take off Devin Haney’s lips and I do what I got to do, the whole thing next is they are just going to say that Gervonta Davis is a regular champion, you got to beat him to be undisputed! It’s just going to keep going. So my whole thing is it ain’t never going to stop…I don’t see Floyd [Mayweather] letting Tank come out into the woodwork to fight me, but I know that Devin Haney’s father, they so dumb enough, they’ll make that fight happen!”
There is some validity that many may want Lopez to face Tank after Haney to prove his dominance. Yet, dodging Haney is a very bad look and prevents him from actually being the undisputed lightweight champion. Furthermore, as a fighter who claims to be the best and seeks to fight the best, what’s the problem? Especially when he himself says the Haney fight would be easy to make!
One would think Lopez would want those fights even without the belts because Haney and Davis are considered among the division’s elite. Actually, their holding titles should be the cherry on top and nothing much more. Well, if solidifying his dominance was Take Over’s true goal, that is.
At the moment though, both The Dream and Davis are off the table because Lopez must face George Kambosos next. Most in the boxing world feel that this should not be an overly difficult task for Take Over. Provided that he does topple Kambosos, it will be interesting to see who Lopez fights next…and his rationale for selecting them!
By: Bakari Simpson