The Latest In The Curious Case Of Teófimo López
Teófimo López remains completely disconnected from reality.
The 24-year-old was ringside for the Top Rank on ESPN main event featuring Miguel Berchelt and Jeremiah Nakathila Saturday in Las Vegas while sporting a cast on his right hand following arthroscopic surgery last week.
After Nakathila scored a sixth-round TKO of Miguel Berchelt in their scheduled 10-round 135-pound affair, Lopez fielded questions from reporters and quickly claimed his loss to George Kambosos Jr. (20-0, 10 KOs) in their DAZN-streamed lightweight title unification (WBC franchise, WBA, WBO, and IBF titles) bout last November was a result of corruption to help unbeaten WBC lightweight titleholder, Devin Haney (27-0, 15 KOs).
Lopez asserted that the Australian won their fight because he is not a DAZN fighter and is contractually bound with Top Rank and ESPN. He ended up fighting on the network because the rights to the fight were won by Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn, who works exclusively with DAZN. Haney’s last six fights have taken place on the popular sports streaming service, dating back to May 2019, exactly a month after signing with Matchroom.
Lopez’s dissent, though, is largely nonsense, given that Haney ended his contractual ties with Hearn and DAZN last summer. Furthermore, the 23-year-old, on Sunday, inked a multi-fight co-promotional deal with Top Rank and Lou DiBella to fight exclusively on ESPN platforms.
That didn’t stop Lopez from projecting that it’s all part of a conspiracy to tarnish his name and reputation. “It’s a made fight for Haney,” Lopez said of the Kambosos-Haney fight in an interview with FightHype.
When asked to elaborate, Lopez dug himself further down the hole. “The whole sh!t was a scheme, bro,” he added. “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-unquote ‘undisputed.’ It’s all a game. They paid that sh!t.”
While this is not the first time Lopez has complained about the result of the Kambosos bout, which was his first loss as a professional, his statements continue to get more bizarre. Even after the fight, Lopez became the subject of criticism on social media for claiming he won 10-11 rounds of the fight. Considering he was knocked down in the opening round, this would suggest Lopez believed he had won every other round, which is nothing more than flagrant lunacy.
After the loss, Lopez was hospitalized and diagnosed with “pneumomediastinum” with “extensive air in the retropharyngeal space” by doctors during his post-fight visit to Bellevue Hospital in New York. This may have been caused by Lopez participating in a “body shot challenge” competition with former professional strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who outweighs Lopez by nearly 200 pounds. I’m no orthopedic surgeon by any stretch of the imagination, but I can imagine that taking a hit from that individual could result in several internal injuries.
Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) chooses to live in a world of illusion and delusion, but Hearn, meanwhile, is supportive and understanding of Haney’s decision to chase the opportunity that has long eluded him, albeit he expects “The Dream” to eventually return to DAZN.
“We’ve been talking over the last weekend nonstop about this situation,” Hearn said. “His plan is to go and get those belts, then come back (to DAZN), and hopefully, we’ll be linking up again. This is obviously the only fight out there for him. There’s no other fight out there. I don’t know the full basis of the deal. The deal that we had planned was the rematch clause would take place in America. I saw that the rematch clause would take place in Australia, which is something that we didn’t or wouldn’t agree to anyway on behalf of Devin. In our deal structure, the rematch was in America. I felt that would only be fair. He’ll have these two fights in Australia. If he wins the first one, which I believe he will, and then no doubt we’ll talk after that.”
Although Haney will be fighting in Kambosos’ territory and Lopez contradicted his own theory by stating it would result in a “longer process” for Haney to become undisputed, he still firmly believes the fix is in.
“Everything’s already [fixed]. Everything. I had to see that for myself. They already know who won before they even f—–g announced it.”
“F— both of ’em,” he added.
Lopez is expected to return to the ring this summer, possibly against Arnold Barbosa Jr., in what would be his debut at 140-pounds.