Teofimo Lopez expects to leave Top Rank soon

By Boxing News - 03/02/2021 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Teofimo Lopez says he expects to be leaving Top Rank soon and be a free agent to look around to fight on other network platforms.

The undisputed lightweight champion Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) believes he has enough proof to free him up from the remainder of his contract with Top Rank, which is 3 1/2 years.

Last week, Teofimo took his fight against IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr to a purse bid, which Triller won with a winning bid of $6.2 million.

Teofimo did this because he was unable to reach an agreement with Top Rank for the Kambosos fight. He wanted more money than Top Rank felt the fight was worth.

He says they were only offering him his contract minimum, and he felt the Kamboso fight was worth more. From Top Rank’s perspective, they saw this as a simple title defense and not a mega-fight that would bring in many viewers.

Image: Teofimo Lopez expects to leave Top Rank soon

Teofimo expects to escape his contract

“Top Rank gave me so much proof to get out of this contract. … Todd duBoef gave me the golden ticket,” said Teofimo to @MikeCoppinger of The Athletics.

“We’re going meet up with a lawyer this week. I see myself, this fight or next, I’ll be a free agent. There’s so much proof for me to get out of this contract.

“They gave me the golden ticket. [Top Rank president] Todd DuBoef gave me the golden ticket,” said Teofimo to the AK & Barak Show on DAZN.

If Teofimo gets his wish, he’ll be able to leave Top Rank and potentially sign a promotional contract with Matchroom Boxing, Triller, or one of the other promoters.

With that said, it might not be the golden situation that Teofimo believes it to be. Teofimo is going to have to produce against popular opposition.

If Teo is making many mandatory defenses against similar non-name opposition as his next fight against Kambosos, he’ll be putting his new promoters in a bad spot if he’s asking for a ton of money.

Teofimo should build his brand by taking on the Four Kings and giving Vasily Lomachenko a rematch. Fighting Kambosos is a backward move for Teofimo.

It’s a non-marquee-level fight, and Triller might end up regretting that they paid so much for the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight because it’s not likely to bring in a lot of pay-per-view buys.

Teofimo says he’s not fighting Kambosos on the undercard of Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield. Instead, his fight with Kambosos will be the main event on Triller, possibly on May 29th in Miami, Florida, or Dallas, Texas.

Lopez upset

“I think probably by the end of May. That sucks, but I take what I can get,” said Teofimo to Behind The Gloves on his next fight.

Image: Teofimo Lopez expects to leave Top Rank soon

“I’m very thankful for Triller for them giving me the opportunity and giving me that platform.

“I’m going to treat it like I did with ESPN with respect and give them a hell of a show and see why ESPN as well saw something that maybe Top Rank didn’t.

“I always took it as a business. Of course, I don’t like it because my mother is crying. She’s like, ‘Why are they doing this to you?’

“Its f’d up; that’s all it is. It’s so bad to see that go because of the relationship I had with ESPN.

“That’s something that isn’t cut off because when Teofimo is a free agent, which will be coming soon,” said Teofimo in talking in the third person.

It might be better for Teofimo to at least wait to see if he’ll get out of his contract with Top Rank before he starts talking. If Teofimo fails in his bid to become a free agent, he’s going to look silly.

Depending on how much Triller will be charging the fans for the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight, it could do poor numbers. That’s not the type of fight that fans will be eager to plunk down a bunch of money for.

The casual boxing fans in the U.S have likely have never heard of Kambosos, and Teofim isn’t a big enough star yet for him to make up for a no-name opponent.

Teofimo isn’t a pay-per-view fighter, and even if he was, Kambosos is not the type of match you would expect to sell. Kambosos struggled through recent fights against Mickey Bey and Lee Selby, coming close to losing to those guys.

Teofimo talking about potential landing spots

“When I become a free agent, ESPN can be one of the friends to talk to,” said Teofimo. DAZN can become one of the people to talk to, PBC, Triller.

YouTube video

“Those are the guys that we can talk to as well. The same thing that Canelo did with his route is the same way we’re leading to now.

“They need to get their big boy pants on because I don’t see them getting out of this one. I just don’t. I’m a young fighter, but I’m someone that has never been disrespectful to anyone.

“For Top Rank, I love everything they’ve done for me. It’s hard to go this way, but hey, I wish them nothing but the best.

“We’ll go our separate ways, and we go from there. I think this is great for the sport, and this is great for myself and my career.

“It sucks that it had to go this way, but it’s good that there’s a way out. There’s a Plan-B. I’ll be in LA this week to meet with Ryan Kavanaugh [of Triller], a guy that actually has faith in me,” said Teofimo.

There is so much drama from Teofimo right, and he sounds like someone who is already giving his acceptance speech for an Oscar.

He really needs to wait and see what happens because if he doesn’t get out of his contract with Top Rank, he’s got a long, long time left them.

Who knows where Teofimo will be in three and a half years. Let’s be real. Teofimo barely beat an injured Lomachenko, and it looks peculiar that he’s not giving him a rematch. What kind of message is that?

Lopez wants to fight three times in 2021

“I’m shooting for three this year,” Teofimo continued. “I’m shooting for May, sometime in the summer, and then at the end of the year.

YouTube video

“I’ll be a free agent, and we can make those types of fights happen as well.

“I’m hearing May 29th on Triller in the main event, and then we can look for the co-main attraction and so on and so forth.

“I think we’re talking about Miami, Florida. Dallas, Texas could be another thing,” said Lopez.

If Teofimo expects to be paid more money than his promoters are willing to pay him for fights against Devin Haney and Kambsoso-level fighters, will we see the same thing from him?

In other words, will Teofimo go to the media and complain that his new promoters aren’t paying him his worth? It would set up a bad situation if Teofimo airs his money issues with the media each time one of his promoters doesn’t offer him the money he wants.

Hopefully, that’s not going to be a pattern with Teofimo for the remainder of his career.

Additionally, will Teofimo take his title defenses through purse bids if he’s not given the money he’s looking for? We saw that Matchroom Boxing offered $3.5 million for Teofimo’s fight with Kambosos.

Will Teofimo be happy with Matchroom if he signs with them and doesn’t get the huge Anthony Joshua-level paydays?