In an exclusive interview with ProBoxTV, Teofimo Lopez, one of the world’s top boxers, discusses the current state of boxing, its challenges, and the role of fighters in reshaping the sport. He touches on his career, the influence of promotions, and his vision for boxing’s future.
“…maybe me and Ryan Garcia or me and tank Davis. I’m always up for a good fight like that, a fun fight for the fans.” – Teofimo Lopez
It seems Lopez keeps the boxing world on its toes with his decision on retirement.
“…Are you retired right now or unretired? I just want to get that straight. I’m still retired… It gives me more time frame to really focus on my personal life right now…”
Lopez is unwilling to put a definitive date on his return to the ring: “I hear people say, ‘Keep active, that’s always going to keep you good. I can always stay active in the gym as long as I’m sparring; that’s all I need. I don’t need much as far as that goes. I really want to take care of the personal things that I’ve been pushing to the side.”
Boxing: The Financial Dynamics
Shedding light on his earnings, Lopez highlights a reality that many overlook: while the numbers might sound impressive, after all deductions, what’s left can be far less.
“I agreed to a contract with [Vasili] Lomachenko at that time for $1.3 million… after taxes, after paying everybody, it definitely cuts at least half of that.”
Lopez doesn’t shy away from addressing the manipulation and strategies deployed by big names in the industry.
“…I could do something to these guys but what is that going to do for me at the end? I’m still going up the ranks.”
One thing is clear: Lopez believes in fighting the best to be the best, a sentiment seemingly lost on many in the boxing world today.
“You’re willing to fight anybody which is what I think of when I think of a champion… Why are guys not taking the Hard Road like I did?”
Lopez on Personal Branding
“We have now Nestle, you know, essential water, little things like this. I mentioned Bud Light, so you know, just working my ranks into trying to get this into like what the fighters need now is to clean up their image.”
Lopez highlights the significant role of endorsements and sponsorships, like Nestle and Bud Light, in helping boxers cultivate a more refined public image. He emphasizes that while rebranding is crucial, it shouldn’t just focus on the main attractions but extend to upcoming talents, allowing them a chance to shine and attract deals.
“We just can’t maintain on just the main guys that people talk about, which is Crawford, Garcia, Davis, myself in the mix if that comes around, Canelo. We need more names.”
By pointing out the industry’s focus on prominent figures, Lopez presses the need to diversify the spotlight. He believes giving newcomers more time and freedom could contribute significantly to expanding the pool of recognized names in boxing.
“Tank” Davis & Garcia
When it comes to future fights, Lopez is open and ambitious, with names like Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia on his wishlist. However, he notes the complexities of arranging these bouts, pointing out fighters opting for different matches and the strategic maneuvers within the sport.
“The reason why the Gervonta Davis fight won’t happen is obviously they have their plan of what they’re going to do with Tank. It works; good system. He doesn’t have to go above the B level; he doesn’t have to go below the B level. He stays right there,”
“I would like to fight Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia ,” said Lopez. “We tried to make a fight with George Kambosos, but they would rather take the fight with Vasyl Lomachenko. Devin Haney is fighting Regis Prograis at 140lbs.
“I’m waiting for these guys to go and show me something.”
Lopez provides insight into the careful career planning that happens behind the scenes, suggesting that some fighters, like Tank Davis, can maintain their positions without necessarily taking on the most challenging opponents.
Respect and Legacy
Before signing off, Lopez circles back to the theme of respect, not just within the sport, but also in how he’s shaping his legacy, influenced by his father and now as a father himself.
“Look at my father; he did a phenomenal job with me, despite everything. So, you know, I just want to follow in those footsteps to lead a better generation,” he reflects, pointing to the long-term vision that guides his career, not just as a boxer, but as a role model.
Teofimo Lopez, with his fiery spirit, continues to be a force both inside and outside the ring. His journey is more than a series of fights; it’s a crusade for respect, systemic change, and personal legacy. And while the future might be uncertain, one thing’s for sure: Lopez’s story is far from reaching its final round.