Teofimo Lopez Jr. scored the most significant upset of 2020 when he slugged his way to a unanimous decision win over Vasiliy Lomachenko.
In doing so, he unified the 135-pound division with the WBO, WBA, IBF and WBC Franchise titles. Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) has been on a victory lap since October calling himself the undisputed lightweight champion.
Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn wants to remind Lopez that the “undisputed” title is actually incorrect.
“I know Teofimo just bought a T-shirt range out, ‘Undisputed.’ I think he should call those back in and change the logo,” Hearn told Boxing Social. “I did say to him, and this is my honest opinion, he should be undisputed. We shouldn’t be in this position that we’re in, but [Teofimo] is not undisputed because the other governing bodies do not recognize the Franchise champion is someone that can unify. So the only way he can become undisputed by fact and on paper is to fight Devin Haney. He deserves to be undisputed. He beat the No. 1 lightweight, who used to be undisputed in Vasiliy Lomachenko.”
A fight between Lopez and Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) would finally clear the muddied lightweight title picture, but Hearn believes Lopez is pricing himself out from a potential fight.
“I think Teofimo Lopez against Haney is a wonderful fight. Listen, [Teofimo] asked me for $10 million for that fight,” said Hearn. “You can’t get there, but I’m sure we can make him a nice offer. Teofimo is a nightmare at the moment for Bob Arum, and Bob isn’t mincing his words at the moment. He’s had enough. So [Teofimo’s] saying, ‘I want this, $5 million minimum, I want $8 [million], I want $9, I want $10 [million].’ So right now, I’ll leave that to Bob and Top Rank to put those numbers together because in this world right now, it ain’t going to happen.”
As much as everyone would welcome a Lopez and Haney fight, the Brooklyn-based Honduran will most likely take on his IBF mandatory challenger next in George Kambosos Jr. (19-0, 10 KOs). The bout is slated to take place sometime in the spring in Australia.
Lopez plans on fighting three times in 2021. If one of the other two opponents is Haney, the title of “undisputed” can officially be bestowed.
“Well, [Lopez vs. Haney] is an incredible fight, and going back to those Four Kings [of the 1980s], every one of the [current lightweights] fighting each other is an incredible fight,” said Hearn.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com