Teofimo Lopez says he wants Terence Crawford next after rejecting an offer to defend his WBO light welterweight title against Ryan Garcia during Super Bowl weekend in February.
Teo (19-1, 13 KOs) likes the idea of facing Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) because he can learn from that fight, and he feels it can get negotiated.
What could work against the tough negotiator Teofimo is inactivity. He’s only fought once in 2023 against the faded former undisputed 140-lb champion Josh Taylor, and he’s already turned down a fight with Ryan.
If Teofimo is going to sit inactive, waiting for Crawford to finish his rematch with Errol Spence Jr, he’ll have been over a year by the time the clash against Terence gets made.
It’s great that Teofimo beat a washed Taylor, but for him to get a good deal for a fight with Crawford, he would need to do more than that. To get the best possible deal with Crawford, Teofimo needs a solid win over a fighter that isn’t over-the-hill. One of these fighters would be great:
Gary Antuanne Russell
Arnold Barboza Jr
It won’t help Teofimo if he’s pricing himself out for fights against Ryan Garcia or Devin Haney. Teo has already said a fight between him and Haney won’t happen due to promotional issues.
Haney already said today that he’s moving up to 147 to go after a belt in that weight class if he successfully defeats WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis on December 9th.
Teofimo wants Crawford next
I know the offer they [Top Rank] threw at me was apparently Ryan Garcia. I declined the offer,” said Teofimo Lopez to Shawn Porter’s social forum about an offer made to him by his promoters, who wanted him to defend his WBO light welterweight title against Ryan Garcia during Super Bowl weekend on February 10th in 2024.
“They tried to make it a pay-per-view fight, and I understand that. I understand how the percentage thing goes. It was an offer. It’s not to say the fight [with Ryan] can’t happen. It’s just negotiations,” said Teofimo.
Teo might be a little in the dark, but Ryan Garcia IS the A-side, given the 1.2 million PPV buys for his fight with Gervonta Davis and his 11 million Instagram followers. Teofimo only has 888,000 Instagram followers, and he’s definitely nowhere near as popular as Ryan in terms of viewing numbers.
“You decline the offer they throw out at you, and then see what they’re eventually going to say, ‘Alright, you know what? It’s true.’ If I’ve got Madison Square Garden, MSG, literally, the Sphere reserved for Teofimo next year, how are going to hit me with a low state like that?” said Teofimo.
“I think right now, they’re [Team Ryan Garcia] are using the momentum of the 1.2 million pay-per-view buys as leverage, and I think it’s a bunch of bull s***,” said Teofimo about the PPV numbers the Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia fight brought in last April.
— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) November 30, 2023
“They helped each other, Ryan and Tank. One didn’t do the other, despite whatever they wanted to say. However, with that being said, I can’t really trust right now the managers & promoters right now.
“Crawford, me and Crawford,” said Teofimo when asked what fight he wants the most right now. “If it comes. I love challenges,” said Teofimo on why he wants Crawford. I love it. How else am I going to learn?
“How else am I going to be great? Besides, I’m the first male to become two-time undisputed,” said Teofimo, embellishing his credentials, as he’s NEVER become an undisputed champion at 135 or 140. “That’s all it is. It’s not like I’ve got some animosity.
“It’s not like I want to be [undisputed]. I am [in make believe], and he [Terence Crawford’ is [used to be before being stripped of IBF 147-lb title]. We’re not too far away.
“People don’t understand is that why is Roberto Duran a great when he lost to all those guys, so to speak, because he fought all those guys. He gave them a hell of a fight,” said Teofimo.
Teo rejected an offer to fight Ryan Garcia
“In my last fight with Taylor, we sold out the [Madison Square Garden Hula] Theater,” said Teofimo. “Not only did we sell it out, we got the highest gross that had ever been in boxing in that arena. The highest gross. So you can’t tell me that I can’t sell. We’ve got all these other promoters, and they get upset because I’m a promoter myself.”
Teofimo’s fight with Taylor was placed in the small Hula theater at Madison Square Garden in New York rather than the bigger one, which tells you all you need to know about his ability to sell tickets. If there was confidence that Teofimo could sell, he’d have been fighting at the big arena.
“Crawford, it depends on his team,” said Teofimo when asked how realistic a fight between him and Crawford is. My father would love for me to do that, and that’s just who we are. I get to test myself again. I love that. I get to see how much more that I can go. How much more can I do?
“With Crawford, I’m going to learn some new s***. If I learned this [Archie Moore cross-armed defense] with Taylor doing the camp, I’m going to learn some new things that are going to help me benefit for that fight.
“Of course, they have to,” said Teofimo about Ryan Garcia treating him like the B-side for the negotiations. The thing is, they’re going to go off the 1.2 million PPVs. The 66,000 PPV buys for the Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou. Do you believe that?
“They only had 66,000 pay-per-view apparently. Netflix had Tyson Fury and the Furys,” said Teofimo about his believe that the Fury-Ngannou fight was well-promoted in North America.
“The reason why I’m getting blasphemy for this stuff. I understand it’s a business. I’m a businessman. You cannot for one second think you can get more out of me if I’m going out there risking it all. Everyone else could have a nice white good Christmas. No, it can’t work that way.
“They don’t see us athletes, us fighters, or just combat in general as the guys that should be talking to the suit & ties. Just go get that money for us. We’re a model. That’s it. We get pimped. I ain’t getting pimped, though,” said Teofimo.