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Teofimo Lopez says Kambosos is next, Haney, Ryan Garcia and Tank are back-up options

Image: Teofimo Lopez says Kambosos is next, Haney, Ryan Garcia and Tank are back-up options

By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez says he’ll be defending against his IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr next, but he could potentially face Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, or Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis if the negotiations fail.

In a surprising comment, Teofimo asserts that Kambosos  Jr (19-0, 10 KOs) and Ryan Garcia are the only ones of the Four Kings that has proven himself.

In Teofimo’s eyes, WBC lightweight champion Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis haven’t proven themselves.

Lopez ruling out fighting the best

For the record, Tank (24-0, 23 KOs) is an unbeaten two-division world champion with wins over Leo Santa Cruz, Jose Pedraza, and Yuriorkis Gamboa.

Kambososo has proven himself with narrow split decision wins over 37-year-old Mickey Bey and Lee Selby.

Those two fighters are clearly past it, but Teofimo still feels that they count as Kambosos having proven himself worthy of a title fight against him.

The way Teofimo is justifying fighting guys like Kambosos and Ryan Garcia while disqualifying Vasily Lomachenko, Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis, reveals what kind of a champion he is. It looks like Teo is going to be a cherry-picker type of champion.

Hopefully, Teo changes his ways as he gets older, but that’s not likely to happen. Fighters are usually braver when they’re younger.

When they start to age, that’s when they become calculated opportunists. With Teofimo, we’re already seeing him in the opportunist stage of match-making. 

Teofimo says Kambosos has proven himself

“My mandatory will be my next fight, George Kambosos,” said Teofimo to Fighthype. “The reason why is because the IBF is very strict.

“No matter how much they love me, no matter how great a champion I am for them, if I don’t fight my mandatory, I have to give up my IBF lightweight world title.

Image: Teofimo Lopez says Kambosos is next, Haney, Ryan Garcia and Tank are back-up options

“Obviously, I’m not going to do that. I worked my butt off, I’m defending all my belts, undisputed, and that will be my next fight.

He’s proven and faced two of the top guys [Lee Selby and 37-year-old Mickey Bey] in the lightweight division,” Teofimo said about Kambososo having proven himself.

“Devin Haney has yet to fight anyone in the top 10 in the lightweight division, alongside Gervonta Davis.

“The only one that has finally stepped up alongside George Kambosos was Ryan Garcia against Luke Campbell.

“He [Ryan Garcia] got dropped in the second round, came back, and showed that he’s a true champion and came back and proved that to everybody that he’s there to fight and to win,” said Teofimo.

It’s troubling how Teofimo is revealing how he thinks and showing what kind of a champion he’s going to be during his career.

All the worst traits that we saw in Floyd Mayweather Jr with his careful match-making during his career appear to be getting mimicked with how Teofimo hand-picking his own opposition.

If Teofimo was the fighter that he says he is, he would forget about his low-level fight against Kambosos Jr and go straight for a fight against Haney, Tank Davis, or better yet, give a healthy Vasily Lomachenko a rematch.

Haney, Ryan & Tank are back-up options for Teofimo

“So these guys have got to step up to the plate,” Teofimo said of the top 135-pounders Haney and Tank Davis.

“I’ve fought three back to back to back top 10, top 5 lightweight champions in the division.

Image: Teofimo Lopez says Kambosos is next, Haney, Ryan Garcia and Tank are back-up options

“So how is it I’m going to give it to someone like that who hasn’t even faced a top 10,” said Teofimo in continuing his rant about Haney not being the real WBC champion.

“Not even a top 15. So do your research, it’s there, the numbers don’t lie. It’s the facts. Until then, I wish them nothing but the best.

“Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, they still have yet to climb. I’m looking down on them because they’re not there yet.

“And I’m praying for them to keep on winning because I want those fights to happen absolutely. I’m not letting go none of my belts.

“I’m not letting go the IBF lightweight world title. That was the first one that I won, so that one means the most to me.

“So my next fight will be against George Kambosos Jr. However, if things go south, as I said, and the deal doesn’t go well, then, yes, my next fight, my next opponent, will be the likes of Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia or Gervonta Davis,” said Teofimo.

It would be very surprising if the negotiations for the Kambosos fight stall, as this is a match that Teofimo and his promoter Bob Arum have been talking about wanting to make for months.

Kambosos is the guy Teofimo BADLY wants

Teo sounds like a pitbull that has got a hold of a bone that it won’t let go when he talks glowingly of a fight with Kambosos. He clearly wants that fight and he’s not going to walk away from it no matter what.

It’s not often when a champion gets a mandatory with the talent of a fringe contender, but Teofimo has got one with Kambosos.

YouTube video

With the amount of interest Arum and Teofimo have in making the fight against the Australian, they’re going to make sure this fight happens. Why? Because it’s a guaranteed win for Teofimo. We saw how Kambosos Jr barely scraped by Selby last October.

Selby is someone that guys like Tank, Ryan Garcia, Lomachenko, and Haney would likely humiliate. That shows you why Teofimo has so much interest in fighting Kambosos. It’s a mandatory that is like a voluntary defense..

You can’t say that for Teofimo if he faces Haney, Lomachenko, or Tank Davis. Those guys might all beat him, and he’d back at square one, trying to earn a title shot.

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