Teofimo Lopez evidently still refuses to accept the idea that he lost to George Kambosos on fair terms in their lightweight title unification bout last November.
The 24-year-old Lopez recently made bizarre remarks suggesting that his fight with Kambosos had been fixed.
Lopez said that the Australian was declared the winner of their 12-round lightweight unification bout (WBA, WBO, and IBF titles) at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden through because it benefited DAZN, the platform that showcased the fight, and, by extension, WBC lightweight titleholder Devin Haney, who has long been affiliated with the streaming app and promoter Eddie Hearn.
Lopez is not a DAZN fighter and is contractually tied with Top Rank Inc. and its exclusive broadcasting partner ESPN. But he ended up fighting on DAZN for that one bout because the rights to that fight were won by Hearn, who works exclusively with DAZN. Haney’s last six fights have taken place on DAZN, going back to 2019.
Lopez said DAZN preferred to have Kambosos, who was also not tied to any network at the time of their fight, become the winner of their bout as it would pave the way for Haney to become the undisputed champion. Lopez said those plans would have been thwarted in the event that he defeated Kambosos. Lopez said he would have vacated his titles and thus make it more difficult for Haney to collect the remainder of the lightweight titles.
“It’s a made fight for Haney,” Lopez said of the Kambosos-Haney bout in an interview with FightHype.com.
Asked to elaborate, Lopez referred to his own bout with Kambosos.
“The whole sh!t was a scheme, bro,” Lopez said. “They had DAZN, I was on the DAZN platform. They gave it to Kambosos because they knew what I was going to do with it (the titles). They knew what I was going to do. I was going to drop them [the titles].
“It’s a longer process for Devin to become quote and quote undisputed. It’s all a game. They paid that sh!t.”
Lopez's comments were made shortly before it was reported Sunday that 23-year-old Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) had reached an agreement, as part of a multi-fight deal, to face Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) June 5 in Melbourne, Australia. But the bout will be promoted by Top Rank and Lou DiBella and televised by ESPN, not DAZN, which would obviously invalidate much of Lopez’s broad and admittedly baseless conjecture. Moreover, further invalidating Lopez’s claims is the fact that Haney has been a free agent since last summer, having ended his contractual ties with Hearn and DAZN.
This is not the first time that Lopez has expressed skepticism toward the ruling of the Kambosos bout. In the post-fight interview, Lopez insisted that he won “11-2” or “10-2” and even suggested that some unscrupulous moves had gone on behind the scenes, despite the fact that the vast majority of observers believe that Lopez, the heavy favorite, had been clearly outpointed by the Aussie challenger.
Immediately after the Kambosos loss, Lopez was reportedly hospitalized with a life-threatening medical issue. That incident has compelled him to move up to the 140-pound division.
Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) rejected the notion that Kambosos could conceivably have the upper hand, politically speaking, over Haney since the fight would take place in Kambosos’ homeland of Australia.
“No,” Lopez said. “Everything’s already made. Everything. I had to see that for myself. They already know who won before they even f-----g announced it.”
“F--- both of ‘em,” Lopez added.
Lopez is currently recovering from surgery on his right hand. ESPN reported that he is expected to return to the ring this summer, potentially against Arnold Barbosa Jr., in what would be Lopez's debut at the junior welterweight limit.