Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe says Teofimo Lopez and his dad are “delusional” if they really believe they’re the “A-side” in the lightweight division among the top fighters like Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, and Vasily Lomachenko.
Ellerbe points out that Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) was the B-side for his fight against Lomachenko on October 17th, and he’s never sold out a venue before that he’d headlined.
Further, Teofimo isn’t a bigger attraction than Ryan Garcia, and he’s not a pay-per-view attraction like Tank Davis. Top Rank is trying to turn Teofimo into a star, Ellerbe says, and they’re not going to put him in with a risky fighter like Devin Haney.
They’re also not matching him back up against Lomachenko, who he was fortunate to beat. Teofimo took advantage of Lomachenko being injured to beat him.
When Lomachenko decided to fight through the pain from his injured right shoulder, he dominated Teofimo through the last half of the fight.
Teofimo is NOT the A-side
“He’s not undisputed because Devin has got the WBC belt,” said Ellerbe to Fighthype about Teofimo holding four titles at 135.
“It was a tremendous accomplishment beating Lomachenko. It was the biggest fight Top Rank could make on their network, it was the biggest fight they could possibly make.
“But for him and his pops to make that comment, it just shows a lack of knowledge as far as the business goes,” said Ellerbe about Teofimo saying he’s the A-side of the lightweight division.
“He [Teofimo] was the B-side for Lomachenko. Correct me if I’m wrong, but has he ever headlined a show before?
“Has he ever sold out any venues? He’s a good fighter, but they’re delusional as it relates to the business. Having the belts, that’s a great thing,” said Leonard about Teofimo holding the IBF, WBA, WBC Franchise, and WBO lightweight titles. ”
“But in no way, form, or fashion could he ever be considered an A-side with anything that is going on over here. Ryan Garcia is a bigger attraction than he is, and that’s a fact.
“That is an irrefutable fact. History will show you that,” said Ellerbe about having world titles isn’t the same thing as being a star or a big box off attraction.
“Canelo has fought GGG and Kovalev. Do you think he was the A-side in all of that? The numbers don’t lie,” said Ellerbe.
Teofimo could hurt his career if he or his promoters at Top Rank insist that he be the A-side in fights against Haney, Ryan Garcia, and Tank Davis.
If Teofimo tries to use his four titles to get the A-side advantage against those fighters, he’ll never fight them. Teofimo will outgrow the 135-lb division without fighting any of the big names aside from Lomachenko, and he’ll have to move up to 140.
For Teofimo to become a star, he’s going to need to fight Haney, Ryan, and Tank. But he won’t be able to do that if he’s insisting on being the A-side.
What Teofimo doesn’t understand is that it doesn’t matter how many world titles he possesses. Belts no longer matter in boxing.
The fans are confused about who is a champion and who isn’t, and they’re immune to being told such and such fighter is a champion.
The sanctioning bodies have spoiled it by creating too many titles, and the fans are no longer impressed when told that a fighter is a world champion.
Teofimo only has his win over Lomachenko that the casual boxing fans have seen, and he wasn’t impressive in that fight.
Ellerbe wants Teofimo to fight Haney
“Top Rank has a great plan for him [Teofimo] and his future,” said Ellerbe. “He’s not a pay-per-view fighter yet, but he’s going to get there because he’s a very good fighter.
“But I think he should fight Devin Haney. I think that’s a tremendous fight. I know who wins the fight in my opinion, but Top Rank has a different plan for Lopez and it doesn’t consist of fighting Devin Haney right now.
“It all has to make business sense,” said Ellerbe when asked about Teofimo taking part in a tournament.
“For starters, Tank Davis is a pay-perv-view fighter. Of all the guys that we mentioned, Tank is a pay-per-view fighter. Who brings the most to the table in fighting Gervonta Davis right now?
“Tank is the guy that makes every one of them the most money. That’s a fact. Ryan Garcia brings a lot to the table. Him, his dad, and his team have built himself into an attraction.
“People want to see Ryan Garcia for a reason. He has a couple of the belts, and he’s a good fighter,” said Ellerbe about Teofimo.
Earlier on Saturday, Teofimo said that for Haney to get a fight against him, he’ll need to agree to let him be the A-side, and that’ll get from two to three million.
Teofimo to get big money fighting Kambosos
“I would never say anything negative about him and what he’s accomplished, but he’s delusional about that part of the comment.
“But God bless him. Him and his pop says Bob [Arum] is going to pay him eight to ten million dollars in his next fight.
Hey, I love it. Tank is willing to fight anybody. He [Teofimo] has a bright future ahead of him, but he’s delusional as it relates to the business.
“He’s entitled to his opinion,” said Ellerbe in reacting to criticism from Teofimo about Tank Davis fighting Leo Santa Cruz in his last fight.
“I could come back and say for the short a** money he took for the Lomachenko fight, but he gained so much from winning the fight.
“But it just shows you they’re in a different world. Trust me, Bob Arum is going to bring him back to reality.
“It’s a good fight for him and a great business move,” said Ellerbe in responding to the news that Teofimo may fight his IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr next in front of 60,000 fans in Australia.
“They’re not fighting no Devin Haney, I can tell you that right now. There’s way too much risk [fighting Haney] with not a lot of reward,” said Ellerbe.
If Top Rank is able to set up a stadium fight between Teofimo and Kambosos next, that’s good for him. That fight isn’t going to turn Teofimo into a star.
Top Rank can’t turn Teofimo into a star on the cheap by matching him against weak no-name opposition like Kambosos. The average boxing fans in the U.S has never heard of Kambosos, and they’re not going to be interested in this mismatch.
Lopez WON’T fight, Haney says, Ellerbe
“Teo will fight anybody, and the fighters will fight,” said Ellerbe. “They’re not scared.
“It’s the business and the big picture of where the future is at. But Teofimo, he’ll fight anybody.
“Again, they [Top Rank] have a plan for him in his career, and it’s none of my business.
“But their immediate plans are they’re not going to fight no Devin Haney, that’s for damn sure.
“Yep,” said Ellerbe when asked if Teofimo will stop Kambosos. “It’s a good fight for Top Rank, it’s a good fight for him [Teofimo fighting Kambosos in Autralia], and it’s a good business move.
“Again, it’s part of the process. They’re trying to build the kid [Teofimo] into a star. That’s all that is.
“Fighting Devin Haney is not going to do that. Trust me, it’s way too much risk. Teo will fight Devin, but in my opinion, that’s not what the company [Top Rank] is going to do,” said Ellerbe.
It’s pretty obvious that Lopez won’t be fighting Haney given his talk of wanting to be the A-side, and Top Rank won’t let that fight happen due to the risk.
Teofimo lacks the stamina to fight hard for a full 12 round fight, and he’ll end up running out of gas after four or five rounds.
O boy @TeofimoLopez capping in the franchise witness protection program and @KingRyanG just joined him.
I’m ready to fight in April! 🍽😤#RealChampion
— Devin Haney (@Realdevinhaney) January 8, 2021