Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney may be on a collision course for an actual undisputed lightweight championship fight, and Lopez says that’s what he wants, and expects will happen, despite an order to make an IBF mandatory defense.
Lopez has been ordered to face George Kambosos Jr, but that might could be worked out with the sanctioning body for something like a fight with Haney, who with the WBC title holds the one of four belts that Lopez doesn’t already have.
“We’re going to make the fight happen. I tried to save his career. I did. I kid you not. I tried to protect his career. I told him, ‘Hey three to five years, work your way up.’ But now, he’s got out of hand, and it got me going now, so we’re going to start pressing him on it. Me and my father, we’re on the same page. I believe Devin Haney will be next.”
Haney (25-0, 15 KO) has said he also wants the fight, and isn’t focused on his own order to face Ryan Garcia next, with Garcia seeming more focused on facing Gervonta Davis, anyway.
It’s honestly kind of a best-case scenario if we were to get Garcia-Davis and Lopez-Haney. With due respect to Kambosos, honestly, who wants to see that besides Kambosos? There are bigger fish to fry, better and more appealing and bigger money fights to make. If we can’t get Lopez-Haney (or Lopez-Garcia or Lopez-Davis), then Kambosos has fought his way to his spot, for what it’s worth. But it really would feel like a consolation fight as far as fans are concerned. (I’m not saying Kambosos should give a damn what we want, mind you.)
If the IBF wouldn’t allow Lopez a voluntary defense for a unification with Haney and they stripped him of their belt if he opted to fight Haney anyway, then we wouldn’t really get an undisputed fight with Lopez-Haney. But they could just lie about that and say it is anyway, people have been pretty receptive to that sort of thing. And I think most everyone would still just rather see the bigger and better fight, and it would still clearly be a fight featuring The Man at 135.