In case you were curious, no, Ryan Garcia’s Saturday victory over Luke Campbell didn’t impress Junior Lopez, aka Teofimo Lopez Sr.
The father to lightweight titlist Teofimo Lopez, who trained his boy since he was a pup, told Bad Left Hook that he was bewildered by the reaction from Team Garcia in that Texas ring Saturday evening.
“What grade do I give Ryan? An A? No, no grade. Luke Campbell was a fighter that was nothing like the guy who fought Jorge Linares or Lomachenko, that was a washed up Luke Campbell. And Luke still dropped Ryan!
“You saw it in a video that’s out there, me to Eddie Hearn, I said that Luke was a loser, in that losing was already in his head. And Ryan fought and beat him. I don’t know what him and his guys were doing after the win, they were so happy.”
It’s like they were all relieved, Lopez said.
So anyone opining that King Ryan is the new real deal at 135, that a superstar was born in Texas and Garcia skipped the line and passed Teofimo Lopez as the brightest bulb at lightweight, Lopez Sr has a message.
“Hell no,” essentially.
“Don’t come over here and tell me he’s the king of boxing,” the trainer said, noting that his boy met Masayoshi Nakatani before folks realized what a solid pro the Japanese fighter is, and didn’t fear gloving up with 135-pound titleholder Richard Commey. Lopez believes the 22-year-old Garcia needs to follow that path and build that sort of resume.
“We’re the only ones, the real ones,” the Brooklyn builder continued. “We’ve been fighting champions, it’s time for these other fighters to start fighting real guys, start showing us they deserve to get a fight with us, the same way we did to get at Lomachenko.”
So you know, Lopez says his son is quite willing to fight Gervonta Davis, but none of us should be hopeful for that happening.
“Because Tank is out of the equation, Floyd Mayweather made that clear. We’re willing to fight Tank tomorrow! But Floyd is gonna make it difficult, he’s saying Tank is the A-side. Why would he say that Tank needs a tune-up next, and that he’s the A-side? Why do they need a tune-up before fighting my son?”
It’s clear there’s no “New Year, New Me” POV for Junior. He’s not shy about telling me he thinks he darn well deserves Trainer of the Year from the BWAA, and zero surprise, he’s still touting his son as The Guy in and around 135.