Teofimo Lopez looks like he won’t be “retiring” after all, which should come as a real shock to everyone, and also has indicated that he will be keeping his WBO 140 lb title.
On Tuesday, the WBO ordered that Lopez had 24 hours to tell them in writing if he would or would not be keeping the belt, because if not, they were going to move to fill the vacancy, possibly with Arnold Barboza Jr vs Devin Haney, more likely with Arnold Barboza Jr vs Jose Ramirez.
Lopez posted this evening on Twitter:
If you’re not familiar with Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, this is the scene where Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) had previously indicated that he would be stepping down from his position, then declared that he was “not fuckin’ leaving.”
If you have seen the movie, then you know things went really well for Belfort from that point on.
He also called out Devin Haney:
Yo @Realdevinhaney , since you were so quick to jump in the mix for my WBO Championship belt! Let’s make the fight happen so the world can see who is about that action.— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) July 13, 2023
& no, you will not be on the A-side. I hold the King title of the division as well! So don’t run away!! Bitch
Previously today, Haney — who had the same 24 hours Lopez had, only for him it was to have more time to decide about staying at 135 or moving to 140 — requested an extension from the WBO, which may be a moot point now. Haney’s request was denied, anyway.
So how might this all play out?
Lopez (19-1, 13 KO) is a promotional free agent at the moment, and he’ll probably go where the most money is. That could be simply staying at Top Rank and with ESPN, who have built him as a centerpiece star for a few years now.
Haney (30-0, 15 KO) would still have the option to jump up in weight and fight Teofimo. Haney is also a free agent at the moment, and one figures a Teofimo fight would be up there with the biggest fight he can get, though he’s said Gervonta Davis at PBC is a target, and Davis is a bigger star than Lopez.
One dark horse here might be Matchroom and DAZN jumping in. They badly need marquee names right now, and Haney has a good history working with Matchroom and the streamer. Teofimo isn’t as fond of them, but money talks, and he also seems to change his mind fairly often. If they come with a big offer, don’t count them out.
If Lopez, who turns 26 at the end of this month, does re-sign with Top Rank and doesn’t fight Haney next, then Barboza and Ramirez are Nos. 1 and 2 in the WBO rankings at 140 and would both be viable opponents and pretty easy fights to get done.
If this all turns out to be another Great Work by Teofimo, then so be it, but for now, it appears he’s not fuckin’ leaving.