Former unified lightweight world champ Teofimo Lopez has some very legit reasons for losing his November bout with George Kambosos.
There was the nearly year-long delay in getting the fight to happen, with multiple changes to the date and venue. There were a pair of legit injuries that hampered his training– to the left elbow and right hand– which both required surgery. Most serious of all was the COVID-related pneumomediastinum with “extensive air in the retropharyngeal space” on fight night that doctors say could’ve been fatal.
There are also, however, some bat-sh*t crazy, totally illegitimate reasons for the loss– and it seems that these are the ones the 24-year-old Lopez is grasping at the tightest.
In a recent interview with FightHype.com, the former champ let loose with the firm belief that his loss to Kambosos was part of a broad conspiracy involving streaming service DAZN to get all the belts over to WBC belt holder Devin Haney.
“It’s a made fight for Haney,” Lopez replied when asked for a pick on the upcoming Kambosos-Haney fight. “The whole sh*t was a scheme, bro. DAZN, I was on the DAZN platform. They gave it to Kambosos ‘cause they know what I was gonna do with it. They knew what I was gonna do, I was gonna drop (the belts) then it’s a longer process for Devin to become ‘undisputed.’ It’s all a game, man, they pay that sh*t.
“Everything’s already made. I had to see that for myself. They already knew who won before they even f**kin’ announced it. See the tapes…f**k both of ‘em.”
The revelation that Kambosos-Haney will be aired on ESPN, not DAZN and that Haney will now be Lopez’s stablemate, tied to Top Rank Promotions, kind of blows that conspiracy theory to smithereens. But logic, of course, rarely has much to do with stuff like this.
This isn’t the first time the world’s hearing of Lopez’s conspiracy theories regarding his first career defeat. As a matter of fact, Teofimo refused to accept defeat on fight night, telling Kambosos and the world the following in the post-fight interview, after saying that he thought he won “11-2 or 10-2:”
“[You’re] a hell of a fighter, but I won tonight. Everyone knows that. The referee raised my hand. I won tonight. I don’t care what anyone says, yo. I won tonight…I ain’t no sore loser. I take my wins like I take my losses. At the end of the day, I’m a true champion. I came out here. I did what I had to do…I don’t care what anyone says, man. I am as real as they come. And, watch, this is the takeover, man. We don’t stop. we keep coming, yo. At the end of the day, man, I love you all. I won this fight.”
Lopez’s father, Teofimo Sr. would go into greater detail about a possible conspiracy to beat his son in an interview after the event.
“It was a complete robbery,” Teofimo Sr. told Seconds Out. “We dictated the fight from the beginning, aggressively, taking all those points. Everybody in the world knows what happened, everybody’s saying he won 9-3, 10-2, the whole arena saw it and it was just disgusting…Everybody was just upset, they booed the decision in the Madison Square Garden…I could not believe what they just did to us…Everything can be bought, that’s why I teach my boy ‘you gotta take them out.’ If you don’t take them out they could do something to us…You know, I’m saying he was coming up too fast, too strong, making a lot of noise and things happen. Things happen, you know.”
Well, nutso or not, Lopez will be getting a chance to pick up almost where he left off, just in one division higher, at the 140 lb. limit.
With unified 4-belt champ Josh Taylor about to vacate his titles and Lopez getting a very high no. 2 ranking in his new division by the WBO, the former lightweight champ could be fighting for at least one world title as soon as he’s physically able to.