Teofimo Lopez didn’t watch Gervonta Davis knock out Leo Santa Cruz last month.
The undisputed lightweight champion considered that outcome completely predictable and didn’t think it was worth paying $75 to see it. Lopez is much more interested in facing Davis himself, as long as Davis and his promoter, Floyd Mayweather, realize that Davis won’t be the ‘A’ side in the promotion of what would be a much-anticipated showdown between young, strong, elite lightweights.
Lopez explained his thoughts on potentially fighting Davis during an appearance on “The Ak & Barak Show,” which streams Monday through Friday on DAZN and SiriusXM.
“I didn’t even watch it,” Lopez replied when asked about Davis’ performance against Santa Cruz. “I’m not gonna pay $75 to watch Tank fight, for something that I knew that he was gonna do. You know what I mean? However, man, I think that these guys – and for Floyd to even say that he needs to be the ‘A’ side if he fights me, that’s just for Floyd. Floyd, you could be the ‘A’ side if you fight me. You know what I mean?
“But not Tank Davis. Tank Davis, he’s not even close to it yet, man. I’m the ‘A’ side no matter what these guys say. And when it comes to it, man, you guys know me – I’ll accept any fight. I accept any fight. I don’t care. However, now I have to think about what do you bring to the table for me now? Because I had to work my way up. I’m not gonna give you something without earning the sh-t.”
Brooklyn’s Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) upset Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision in the biggest fight of Lopez’s career October 17 at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Lopez added Lomachenko’s WBA “super,” WBC “franchise” and WBO titles to his IBF belt by winning that 12-round fight.
Lopez-Lomachenko also was the most-watched boxing match on free or cable television in 3½ years. ESPN’s telecast of their high-profile fight drew a peak audience of 2,898,000 and an average audience of 2,729,000, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Davis has demonstrated star power of his own while fighting on Showtime and Showtime Pay-Per-View. The unbeaten Baltimore native does not, however, have a win as impressive as Lopez’s defeat of Lomachenko on his resume.
Regardless, the 23-year-old Lopez might move up from the 135-pound division to the junior welterweight limit of 140 for his next fight. Davis, meanwhile, might remain at the 130-pound limit, the weight at which he knocked Santa Cruz unconscious with a left uppercut in the sixth round at Alamodome in San Antonio.
Davis (24-0, 23 KOs) won the WBA “super” 130-pound crown for a second time by beating Santa Cruz (37-2-1, 19 KOs). He also owns the WBA world lightweight title, but Lopez is the WBA’s “super” champion at 135 pounds and is widely viewed as that sanctioning organization’s legitimate lightweight champion.
Lopez also believes Davis exploited an opportunity against a featherweight who had fought at the 130-pound limit for just the second time.
“Same thing that Loma did with us – I had to bring something to the table,” Lopez said. “These guys gotta bring something to the table. They haven’t really brought anything to the table for us to even mention anything about a fight, eventually. … We are the future of boxing, so there is these type of fights that can happen in the near future. But how do you guys expect me to give somebody a title shot or [a shot at] the undisputed crown, king, if they haven’t even f-cking fought at least a B-level fighter or a C-level fighter? At least to make it seem like, ‘Damn, this guy got the goods. Let me see this fight.’ ”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.