Last Saturday at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California, there was more bad blood outside the ring than in the Mikey Garcia-Sandor Martin main event inside the ring.
In a social media-friendly ringside, post-fight confrontation, young, brash, and confident lightweight titlists Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney clashed in a long and spirited (and more than a bit obscene) battle of egos for the amusement of everyone.
“Y’all fake it ‘till ya make it. Y’all don’t want the fight,” Lopez, alongside his father Teofimo Sr., declared after being confronted by Haney and his father, Bill Haney. “Y’all don’t want the fight.”
“I want to make the fight,” Haney countered. “We can make it happen.”
“We can definitely make it happen. My thing is, y’all do all this, but y’all don’t really want to fight,” claimed Lopez.
“Man, you don’t want the fight,” Haney shot back.
Lopez owns the IBF, WBA, and WBO world lightweight titles– the latter two belts acquired with a victory over then-WBC Franchise Champ and pound-for-pound darling Vasiliy Lomachenko in October of 2020. Haney, meanwhile, captured the WBC interim title versus Zaur Abdullaev in September of 2019 and was later elevated to full WBC champ status when WBC lightweight champ at the time, Lomachenko, was declared Franchise Champion.
“You a p-ssy, man,” Haney exclaimed.
“I ain’t a p*ssy, n***a,” Lopez fired back. “Never been, not on my blood. Never been. I’m from New York, n***a. You’ve been fed from a silver spoon your whole life. I know that sh*t.”
“Make the fight, then,” Haney said.
“Sign the f*****g’ contract, then,” replied Lopez.
“What contract,” Haney replied “What contract you want me to sign?”
The 24-year-old Lopez claims to have already tried to book a unification bout with Haney, only to have Haney and his team snub a meeting with his promoter Bob Arum in Las Vegas. This was a claim he was quick to make during the heated confrontation on Saturday.
“What happened to the meeting with Bob,” Lopez asked over and over. “What happened to the meeting with Bob? What happened to the meeting with Bob? What happened to the meeting with Bob? What happened to the meeting with Bob? What happened to the meeting with Bob? Exactly! What happened to the meeting with Bob?”
“We run this,” Haney declared towards the end of the confrontation.
“You’re wack, bro,” Teofimo Jr. dismissed “I was born for this sh*t. That’s the difference.”
“You’re cap. You’re cap, n***a,” shouted Devin Haney. “You’re cap. You’re cap.”
Later on, when both young talents were brought together by the DAZN broadcast crew during the evening’s post-card wrap-up, the temperature was down a few degrees, but the contempt was clearly still there.
“I was relevant before you,” Haney replied to Lopez’s question of how it felt that he could only be relevant through him. “What are you talking about? You’re a clown bro, you’re a clown. So how I’m relevant because of you but I got more followers than you? I have more followers than you though.”
“This is the problem with society today,” Lopez answered back. “You see what I’m saying? You see, that’s the problem with society today. It’s all about followers. It’s not about followers, that’s why you guys fake it till you make it right?”
While all this beef is good for making headlines and getting fans talking, there’s a lot of work that will have to go into making Lopez-Haney happen. The biggest obstacle is conflicting promotional and network ties.
Lopez will be fighting his IBF mandatory opponent George Kambosos Jr. on DAZN November 27, but only because DAZN’s lead promoter Eddie Hearn got the bout via purse bid as the second highest bidder after Triller defaulted on their winning bid. Normally, Lopez is exclusive to Top Rank and ESPN– and both will surely want to keep Lopez “home” after more than a year outside their reach.
Haney, meanwhile, is a Matchroom Boxing/DAZN contract player and, from everything out there, it seems anything big involving him will have to be on DAZN. The 22-year-old is scheduled to fight December 3 and hopes are high that it’ll be against Joseph Diaz Jr., whose fight with Ryan Garcia was recently called off due to a Garcia hand injury.
Fight fans will have to wait and see what happens with this big rivalry. History tells us, though, that big business tends to trump big beef.