Teofimo Lopez appears to have no intention of scaling down his animus for ESPN commentators Timothy Bradley and Andre Ward.
Lopez attracted controversy a few months ago when he lambasted Bradley and Ward—both Hall of Fame fighters—for being biased against him during an ESPN telecast of his last fight against Spaniard Sandor Martin in December. Lopez blamed both commentators for skewing the public’s perception that his win—via split decision—over Martin was not exactly merited. Lopez, to be sure, was captured by a camera verbally questioning himself after the fight.
Lopez—who takes on Josh Taylor for Taylor’s WBO 140-pound title this Saturday at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City—chastised Ward and Bradley again in a recent interview as it relates to another fight that the broadcasting duo handled: the recent undisputed lightweight championship between champion Devin Haney and challenger Vasiliy Lomachenko, which ended with Haney winning a unanimous decision.
Lopez said he believed Lomachenko, whom Lopez defeated in 2020 to become a unified champion at 135, had outclassed Haney. Lopez then blamed Ward and Bradley for failing to give Lomachenko credit for the work he did in that fight. (Bradley, however, can be heard throughout the broadcast giving Lomachenko praise for his combinations).
“People gotta look at these fights without the commentators,” Lopez told FightHubTV. “Commentators try to make it very one-sided. It’s interesting to see that you have commentators, their jobs require two things. Those two things are to keep your view to the fans equal … and the second one is you criticize what he’s doing right and he’s doing wrong in those rounds.
“So when they’re resting you can pinpoint what this guy is doing right, what’s making him win those rounds. You basically have to navigate the fans to see from your point of view, right? But it’s so hard when you’re one-sided for one guy. It’s so hard, because then what you’re doing is influencing only one way, not the other way around.”
Added Lopez, “Every time Loma Was Connecting, they stood quiet. Every time Haney threw a jab or an uppercut, they mentioned it. It’s very hard to, if you know you’re boxing, then you know what’s going on. If you don’t know the business of boxing, then people are going to be upset and down on the decision. But I wasn’t.”
Lopez then went on a bizarre tirade against Bradley, a former two-division champion, who boasts wins over welterweight greats Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao. Bradley will be formally inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York, this Sunday, as part of a 2023 class that also includes Carl Froch. Ward was inducted last year.
“I don’t even know how Tim Bradley is in the Hall of Fame, to be real,” Lopez said. “I don’t understand that part. I don’t think he’s a Hall of Famer. Andre Ward could be what it is. He retired undefeated, he faced some tough caliber fighters. I don’t think Bradley is a Hall of Famer. There’s other guys, other f-----g fighters that definitely out-did his career and his resume.”
“Maybe one guy (that Bradley beat that is worthy of Hall of Fame credentials), Juan Manuel Marquez. Okay. But Pacquiao? Pacquiao beat him. Ain’t no way he beat Pacquiao. Know what I’m sayin’? To each his own.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.