Teofimo Lopez is quite rightfully and understandably the cover story of the latest issue of The Ring, having upset Vasiliy Lomachenko back on Oct. 17 to unify three of the four lightweight world titles, and more than that, stake his claim as one of the sport’s legitimate rising young superstars.
But Devin Haney, who holds the one title Lopez does not at 135 pounds, is using the cover as a chance to take another shot at Lopez:
With due respect to Haney (25-0, 15 KO), who is a good young fighter, it’s going to be hard for him to sell the idea that Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) is ducking anyone, at least to people whose existence isn’t centered on hyping up Haney. While Lopez fought the man most considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport at the time, and pulled off the big win, backing up all his biggest claims and boasts, Haney fought an old man version of Yuriorkis Gamboa, who did once hold featherweight titles — back in 2009-11. And then even in doing that, he failed to impress, and got more negative reaction than positive.
Haney really does hold a belt, but a lot of fighters in a lot of divisions hold belts. Lopez is without question The Man at lightweight, and to get that status, he’s the guy Haney or anyone else will have to beat.
The simplest thing to do would be to make the Lopez-Haney fight, but it’s boxing, so the simplest thing is usually about the ninth most likely thing to happen.