By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez hasn’t stopped smiling for a very long time. The undefeated Brooklyn, New York native is fresh off becoming the youngest undisputed world champion in boxing history with his October upset win over Vasiliy Lomachenko.
The praise following his victory has come from all corners of the globe. However, Devin Haney has continually called for Lopez to stop avoiding him and step into the ring. For the most part, Lopez has ignored him as he works on a deal with mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr. With that being said, Lopez has heard enough of the nonstop trash talk coming from team Haney.
“Talking too much shit,” said Lopez on the Ak and Barak Show. “I can’t do it, I gotta give it to him, I gotta give him that work, man. I gotta press him. And that’s all, man. That’s just really it, man. I’m the type of person that I have a lot of pride and my ego gets in the way sometimes. So, if Kambosos doesn’t get involved with the whole mandatory, if the thing falls – like I said, since he’s my mandatory, that’s the only reason why we’re still talking about Kambosos. But we’re already in talks – this week we’re gonna be talking to Eddie Hearn. And like I said, man, let’s see what happens from there.”
For the 22-year-old Haney, his issues with Lopez derive from his supposed undisputed claim. With the WBC lightweight title currently wrapped around his waist, Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) is under the impression that Lopez’s WBC Franchise belt shouldn’t allow him to call himself the undisputed champion at 135 pounds.
Regardless of Haney’s belief, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has stated on numerous occasions that Lopez is without question the undisputed lightweight champion.
While Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) could simply turn a blind eye to Haney’s perpetual call outs, the 23-year-old would rather shut his mouth instead. If talks between mandatory challenger in Kambosos Jr. break down at any point or, if he would be willing to accept a step aside deal, Lopez wants Haney next. If, in fact, both lightweight champions are able to reach a bout agreement, Lopez wishes to warn Haney to be careful of what he wishes for.
“I think it got to the point where I’m just fed up,” Lopez said. “Me and my pops, we’re fed up. And I just said, ‘Man, let’s press this dude. I don’t care what it’s gotta take.’ You know, I’m gonna respect the fact that Kambosos is my mandatory. We’re gonna work on that part, because I’ve gotta get that part first. But if things go south, like I said, man, Devin, be ready, my man, because I’m gonna f–k you up! Straight up!”