Teofimo Lopez Jr. could only chuckle when he got wind of Devin Haney and his father’s attempts to get in touch with Lopez’s own father.
Bill Haney, the trainer and manager of the undisputed lightweight champion, recently posted a few entertaining videos on social media showing himself trying to locate Lopez Sr. in order to make a deal for their sons to fight each other. In one instance, Bill Haney left a message on Lopez Sr.'s phone, in another, he was seen searching for Lopez Sr. at a Las Vegas supermarket. In both cases, Lopez Sr. was nowhere to be heard or seen.
When asked about Bill Haney’s efforts, Lopez said in a recent interview that he specifically told his father to ignore the elder Haney. At the same time, Lopez noted that he understood that Team Haney’s desire to fight him was essentially an indication of the lucrative proposition he represented—even more than Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, the hard hitting southpaw from Baltimore who is regarded by many as one of top American draws in the sport.
“They (Haneys) need to make money, and the best money fight that they will get won’t be with Tank,” Lopez told Boxing Social. “It will be with Teofimo Lopez. And obviously that’s what his father’s trying to build.”
Lopez said Bill Haney’s actions reminded him of what his own father was trying to do a few years ago with three-division titlist and then unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko of Ukraine. At the time, Lopez was eager to face Lomachenko and Lopez Sr. was more than happy to gin up some semblance of conflict by being belligerent toward Lomachenko and his father. In the end, Lopez got his shot at Lomachenko, in November of 2020, going on to upset the Ukrainian on points.
Lopez is now campaigning at the 140-pound limit. He made his debut in August, stopping Pedro Campa in seven rounds. It was the first time Lopez fought since he was upset by George Kambosos in their 135-pound title unification bout last November at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden’s New York City. Lopez, a native of Brooklyn, will return to MSG on Dec. 10 to fight Spain's Sandor Martin in a 12-round 140-pound bout as the main event of an ESPN telecast.
Haney, who will most likely defend his belts against Lomachenko next year, has hinted at moving up to 140 in recent years, given his difficulties making the lightweight limit. Haney, Lopez, and Lomachenko are all promoted by Top Rank.
“They’re probably trying to replicate what we had with Lomachenko and his father and my father and me,” Lopez said of Haney and his father. “Maybe they’re just trying to build it up for the 140s. Obviously they know they’ve gotta move up, anyway, to the 140s, so why not start now? Listen, I’m ahead of these guys two, three steps. Whatever they’re trying to do, whatever they’re trying to emulate, we’ve done that, we did that. We became undisputed. We know how it goes.
“Sorry that your son (Haney) does not know how to promote himself. I’m sorry that he doesn’t know how to talk when the camera is on, I am sorry that you have a bum ass son. I’m sorry. But, hey, he ain’t it, man, and you know it.”