After Teofimo Lopez Jr joined a recent boxing podcast and unloaded on ESPN while making a curious statement about their black fighters, his father comes out to explain his son’s perspective and make it clear that what his son said was not meant as any sleight towards black fighters. Check out some excerpts of what he had to say below.
“When my son said Top Rank can stay with all their black fighters — because you know what it is, when Devin Haney came into Top Rank and all this, they’re promoting him more than they’re promoting my son and he feels a little type of way.
“You got to understand this, we’re fighting the top dude, bro. And we got to get some respect for that. And he just feels some type of way, like ‘oh, they just want to promote’ — in (Junior’s) mind — ‘the black fighters.’ You got Keyshawn Davis, you got Shakur Stevenson, you got ‘Baby.’
“So you got all these fighters from Top Rank that are getting more recognition than my son is getting and he’s trying to fight the top dogs. So that’s just something that he had inside...that he’s not being promoted, being appreciated about what he’s doing, bro.
“Like this fight with Josh Taylor, they’re putting him in the fucking Hulu Theater, bro. Like, for real, bro?! I mean, this is the fight that’s going to put him in the Hall of Fame. This is a big fight and nobody is even mentioning it, bro. So that’s why he’s like that. He got a lot of shit in his fucking chest.
“A lot of people is going to try to put this shit like he’s racist. Bro...my son-in-law is black, you understand? My daughter got married to a black dude, bro. I love black people. We all love black people, we was raised with black people, bro. I lived in the projects, bro. I don’t even got to explain myself because it’s stupid.
“The hate is so fucking strong that they’re going to try to put that shit on him and I just want to emphasize to everybody that’s not what they think, it’s just what’s happening. And it just happens to be all the black fighters that are with Top Rank are the ones that they’re promoting.
“‘I’m over here trying to fight Josh Taylor, somebody that nobody wants to fight, so I’m taking all the risk. At least give me something, you know? At least give me some props.’ ‘No, you know what we’re going to do, Teofimo? We’re going to put you in the fucking Hulu Theater.’ That’s like a smack in the face, bro.
“This is the biggest fight this year. I mean, this is for all the fucking marbles, bro. This is the real fucking fight and he’s doing it at only 25 years old. This is only his 20th fight...Even Max Kellerman said it on the Max Kellerman Show. And you know what? They brought that video down. That video’s private now because Max Kellerman said ‘you know what, you win this fight, you’re in the Hall of Fame.’
“(My son) understood that he was wrong with what he said. But it has nothing to do with race. It has nothing to do with that. You can’t mention the word ‘black’ nowadays because everybody gets offended. It’s a word that you cannot use. And I told him ‘you got to talk to the media, apologize and let them know that you didn’t have no (racist intent)’ — like he didn’t say it like in a racist way, bro.
“He just said it like ‘Top Rank is really just focusing on the black fighters because it’s the market. Marketing-fucking-strategy. They see that’s what people want to see. They love black fighters. I mean, they the best at what they do. You know, black people are fucking very athletic, bro. Nobody can beat them, and I understand that. But we get the chance to prove to the world that my son can be the best fighter in the world, and that’s all we want, bro. We want the chances, and when we get them, we go for it.”