Teofimo Lopez holds at least three of the four belts at 135 pounds, or all four depending on what interview with the WBC’s Mauricio Sulaiman you choose to believe today, and without any question or controversy is “The Man,” the No. 1 fighter, the top dog at lightweight, and one of the rising superstars in the sport.
Teofimo sat down with Mark Kriegel on last night’s ESPN broadcast — where he was also shown in support of past foe Richard Commey —
Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) said he’s got no interest in a rematch with Lomachenko, and fairly pointed out that Lomachenko could easily have forced in a rematch clause, but did not, perhaps because they were so certain they’d win.
“There’s no need. We went out there, we destroyed everybody, and we did what we had to do,” Lopez said. “Everybody talks about a rematch, however, (there was) no respect. Didn’t get no rematch clause, so that’s on their end.”
As stands now, Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KO) may return in the summer against Masayoshi Nakatani.
Lopez also addressed the other young lightweights in the division who have been making noise, taking some shots at each of them.
“What about Ryan Garcia? They’re famous on the internet, I’m real life hot,” he told Kriegel. “They gotta get their weight up. They’re not fighting anybody. All of them. Devin Haney, half his career’s been in Mexico. He’s been fighting cab drivers. Tank Davis, he’s been fighting 122, 126 pounders.”
Currently, and this will hold for tomorrow’s update, our lightweight top five is Lopez, Lomachenko, Garcia, Haney, and Davis. And to not put this all on one person’s set of rankings, particularly my own because I understand how that could come off, here are some others:
- The Ring: Lopez, Lomachenko, Garcia, Haney, Commey (Davis not ranked at 135)
- TBRB: Lopez, Lomachenko, Garcia, Haney, Commey (Davis No. 9)
- ESPN: Lopez, Lomachenko, Davis, Garcia, Haney
- BoxRec: Lopez, Davis, Lomachenko, Haney, Garcia
If Teofimo weren’t well-liked, a lot of people might really be taking this as, “I don’t want to fight the people seen as my top contenders.”
The hope is that it’ll just be trash talk, which is fine, and that if/when the real offer is on the table, it’ll go forward. But boxing being boxing, it’s really easy to start feeling some worry if you pay enough attention to situations like this over the years. It’s easy to say, “Well, Lopez fought Lomachenko, why wouldn’t he fight everyone else?” And it’s good to want to believe that’ll be the case, but Lopez wasn’t the A-side then. He’s calling the shots now. That changes some fighters. We like to think Teofimo will continue to be Teofimo, serious about legacy and fighting the best, but time will tell.
But on the whole, I think you just have to take the situation for what it is right now. Teofimo is good with the trash talk, it keeps him in the headlines (clearly), and frankly, he’s not going to fight any of those guys immediately, anyway. Lopez is currently expected to fight George Kambosos Jr next, as Kambosos is his IBF mandatory. That fight is headed to purse bid, as Top Rank’s Bob Arum says the managers for both want “crazy” money for it, which he feels is not realistic.
So let’s be optimistic and say it’s just trash talk, and that when the time is actually there and right and good, the fights will happen.