There’s a brewing superfight in the lightweight division, but it may be bogged down in boxing nonsense before even being allowed to start simmering.
23-year-old Teofimo Lopez and 25-year-old Gervonta “Tank” Davis have both emerged as elite-level main stage players at the exact same time. Lopez did it with a stunning upset of Vasiliy Lomachenko and Davis did it with a stunning one-punch KO of Leo Santa Cruz. In a sane world, these two young warriors would be on a collision course to prove who the best man truly was. In this insane boxing world, however, the more it makes sense that these two HAVE to fight one another, the harder it’ll be to actually put the bout together.
Most of the obstacles to making this fight stem from maddening “who´s the A-side” talk. The A-side, of course, gets to control things like size of purse, venue, and network of choice. Underneath the surface, though, it’s about bragging rights and who gets to be recognized as the bigger star coming into the fight.
Floyd Mayweather insists that the fighter he promotes, Davis, is the A-side. Lopez, on the other hand, says that he’s the A-side and that Mayweather is just playing star, using Davis as a pawn.
“Floyd is speaking for Tank. I think Tank needs to step up, he’s a grown a** man, he needs to talk. He doesn’t need Mayweather to always talk for him,” Tank told iFL TV.
“I think Mayweather is still trying to be relevant, I am gonna be honest, I am gonna be blunt. I am gonna be blunt as hell right now, I think Floyd is still trying to find ways to stay relevant. So he uses Tank Davis, he talks to the media for him.
“Let Tank do his own talking. Let Tank be a man. Stop babying the man. I think Floyd is crazy for this man to think that Tank will be the A-side. It’s ridiculous.
“We know deep down, I am the undisputed champion. I earned the crown, I fought for the crown. Whatever it was, beat the best guy they had in the division. Collected all the belts. And you’re saying I am gonna be the B-side, you’re crazy man.”
While this inane ego-driven bickering goes on, talks between the two teams can’t even begin. The two sides can’t even think about coming together for fruitful negotiations if there’s legitimate beef over where each stands—especially as the bickering grows increasingly public and saving face becomes an issue.
This Lopez-Davis situation is a throwback to the Mayweather-Pacquiao feud of a few years back, where it took years for talks to take place because of ego issues. Eventually, though, there was enough money in the Mayweather-Pacquiao superfight for both sides to swallow pride and come together.
Will we ever get to that point with Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis? Will one or both move on and/or get beat before they can fight one another?
Time will tell, but, as of right now, things definitely don’t look good when it comes to making the fight any time soon.