Teofimo Lopez calling himself Top Rank’s best fighter on their roster
By Don Young: Teofimo Lopez says Top Rank doesn’t value their “Best fighter” in their stable because they were outbid on Thursday by Triller, who won the bid with a monstrous $6.018 million for Teo’s non-marquee fight against IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr.
It’s highly debatable whether Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) is, in fact, Top Rank’s “best fighter” in their stable as he claims himself to be. Teofimo has only fought three good fighters during his career in Vasily Lomachenko, Richard Commey, and Masayoshi Nakatani.
Of those fights, Teofimo struggled against Lomachenko and Nakatani. The performances suggest that Teofimo isn’t the best fighter on Top Rank’s stable as he probably would have lost to Lomachenko if the Ukrainian fighter had started attacking him earlier.
What you can say about Teofimo is he’s Top Rank’s best talker on social media. He does an excellent job of self-promoting himself. With that said, Teofimo is not the best fighter in Top Rank’s stable.
Top Rank fighters that arguably superior talents than Teofimo:
- Terence Crawford
- Tyson Fury
- Josh Taylor
- Vasily Lomachenko – when healthy
- Jose Ramirez
- Oscar Valdez
Teofimo didn’t look particularly solid in his fights against Lomachenko or Nakatani to consider him the best fighter in Top Rank’s stable. This writer views Teofimo as Top Rank’s seventh-best fighter in their stable.
Teofimo’s social media skills are what puts him ahead of better talents on Top Rank’s roster. In terms of skills, Teofimo isn’t on the level of Loma, Crawford, Valdez, Fury, or Taylor. But he’s clearly better at marketing his fights than they are.
Top Rank would have preferred that Teofimo took a bigger fight than the Kambosos Jr match against Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, or a rematch with Vasily Lomachenko, but Teo wanted to face Kambosos Jr.
Teofimo says he would have been stripped if he didn’t take the fight with Kambosos now, but some believe that the International Boxing Federation could have granted him an exception if he’d asked them.
“The $6 million from Triller, right there, says that Top Rank doesn’t value the best fighter on their roster,” said Teofimo to ESPN.
Top Rank offered Teofimo $1.25 million for the Kambosos fight, which he felt was disrespectful, and he wanted a higher figure. Instead of accepting that, Teofimo chose to have the fight put on the market through the purse bid process.
It worked for Teo, as he’s getting considerably more with the $6 million he would have received from Top Rank.
“We knew what we were being offered was disrespectful, and we expected the open market would value us differently. And it showed today,” said Teofimo about Triller’s $6 million bid.
Teofimo believes that the winning bid by Triller shows his true value rather than it being a case of a company overpaying for a fight that normally wouldn’t be getting a lot of traction in terms of buzz from fans.
The boxing public hasn’t shown a lot of interest in Teofimo’s fight with Kambosos. They’re not talking about Kambosos other than mentioning him as his mandatory that Teofimo insists on fighting.
Of Teofimo’s $6 million winning bid from Triller, he’ll wind up with $3.9 million after Top Rank gets their 20% of $782,000. As for Kambosos, he’ll get $2.1 million with $500,000 going to his promoter Lou DiBella.
Top Rank still has Teofimo under contract for 3.5 years, but if they don’t pay him the kind of money he wants, he can use his four titles to force purse bids for his mandatory challenger.
How long Teofimo can use that process is unclear because he’s going to need to stay at 135 to use his IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO titles to test the market each time he fights with purse bids.
If Teofimo moves up to 140, he’ll need Top Rank to help him out by setting up a title shot against the Josh Taylor vs. Jose Ramirez fight winner.
Assuming Top Rank no longer wants to do that, Teofimo will either have to use the WBO route to have them install him as the #1 mandatory for the 140-lb title held by Ramirez or get in line and work his way to a title shot.
If Teofimo wants out of Top Rank, which appears to be the case, he’ll need one of the promotional companies like Triller to buy out his contract.
That’ll obviously be expensive, and it’s unknown if they’ll be willing to put out the kind of money it would take to get him. The problem is, if Triller adds Teofimo to their stable, they’ll need to pay him top dollar to keep him happy.
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- Evander Holyfield vs. Kevin McBride exhibition added to Teofimo vs. George Kambosos Jr card on June 5th
- Teofimo Lopez: The fight with Kambosos won’t go past 3 rounds