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Teofimo Lopez says he’ll stop Devin Haney within 6 rounds

Devin Haney Teofimo Lopez

By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez is predicting that he will knock out Devin Haney within six rounds when the two meet in the first quarter of 2022.

The two lightweight champions have interim fights that they need to get out of the way first before they meet in the first half of 2022.

Unbeaten IBF, WBA & WBO lightweight champion Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) says he’s got too much firepower for the light-hitting, defensively-focused WBC 135-lb champion  Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) to hang with him.

Haney is defending his WBC strap against interim champion Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. (32-1-1, 15 KOs) on December 4th in a toss-up fight on DAZN at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

For his part, Teofimo will be defending his IBF/WBA/WBO lightweight belts against IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr. (19-0, 10 KOs) in a soft match-up in November 27th in a Matchroom Boxing promoted event on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Teofimo says Haney is too defensive-minded

“We can’t look past George Kambosos right now, but that’s something that’s definitely going to happen. It’s already in the works,” said Teofimo Lopez to SnowQueenLA on a fight between him and Devin Haney happening if they win their next fights.

Devin Haney Teofimo Lopez

“If he’s [Haney] is excited about it, we are too,” Teofimo said. “That’s what it’s all about, fighting the guys that think they can beat us, and alright, we’re going to fight them.

“That right there is someone that is trying to be as careful as possible,” said Teofimo when asked about Haney being a great defensive fighter. “He’s slick when he needs to be, but there’s more to it than that.

“You got to come back with more than just what I call, ‘Pop and miss.’ That’s defense if you want to call it that, but you’ve got to do more than that at this elite level.

“You got to start to try and finish the guys or at least try and show more combinations in between all that,” said Teofimo in criticizing Haney for being too focused on defense and forgetting about his offense.

“Of course, you don’t want to get hit, and it’s too careful. You can’t win fights just off defense,” Teofimo said of Haney. “When I fight Devin Haney? He won’t get past six if he’s not doing all the other stuff he’s doing, which is running.

“I’ve sparred with Devin, so I know how it is. He was just talking the whole time, throwing jabs and moving. This was like years ago. When we sparred, it wasn’t even sparring. It wasn’t even sparring.

“When Shakur [Stevenson] and Devin sparred, that was work, but with him and me [Haney], it wasn’t work. It was just defense, moving around so much, and I didn’t get anything from it.

“I know people want to see that fight, I’m looking forward to it, but I’ll make everybody see; he doesn’t want to fight,” Teofimo said of Haney.

Without punching power, Haney has to be defensive because he doesn’t have enough pop in his punches to stand and fight like ordinary fighters.

Haney getting booed

“For starters, Josh Taylor is the undisputed champion at 140, and then Devin Haney is what? I don’t even know. Paper champion, email champion? He didn’t even earn that [WBC lightweight title].

“He had to fight some guy [Zaur Abdullaev] that was ranked 59 or 57 for a belt that was still Lomachenko’s. Taylor has fought Jose Ramirez and other fighters before.

“I think Viktor Postol and stuff like that. Those are guys that have been with Terence Crawford and many other things and champions.

“Devin Haney is a guy that is young and has a bright future if he uses it right, but it isn’t equivalent to it. He hasn’t shown the work ethic yet when he fights.

You got booed in your own hometown in Vegas, and you got booed when you fought [Jorge] Linares. That’s not a good look. So, let’s see how he looks against Jojo Diaz.

“If I’ve got to take a pause from excellence to fight Devin Haney, then if I’ve got to do that, I’ve got to do that,” said Teofimo. After this point, after all that stuff he’s been talking about, I don’t know what’s up with these guys. It’s all bark and no bite,” Teofimo said.

It’s not altogether a great shock that Haney was booed out of Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas in his last fight on May 29th against Jorge Linares.

Haney ran around the ring for the first eight rounds, mostly jabbing and boring the boxing fans at ringside. In the ninth round, Linares stunned Haney with a perfect left hook counter that turned his legs to jelly.

From that point on, Haney spent the last three rounds clinching Linares and not letting him get any distance to throw shots. When the referee would physically pry Haney off Linares, he would get hurt again.

Haney should have been penalized for his excessive holding in the last four rounds and perhaps even disqualified because he was stalling out the fight.

Lopez hopes Haney fight happens

“More followers than you? I’ve got more belts than you; I’m undisputed, though,” said Teofimo in reacting to being told that Haney said he has more followers on social media than him. “I have everything I need and more.

“So I’m looking for if that [Haney] ever comes about, we’ll make the fight happen. It’ll be a great fight,” said Teofimo on the December 4th fight between Haney and Joseph Diaz Jr.

“Everybody tends to look past the guys that they’re fighting because of their name. I think Jojo Diaz is a fighter that knows what he wants, and he’s shooting to beat this guy [Haney].

“He [Jojo] was getting ready to beat Ryan Garcia, but then that didn’t happen with Ryan Garcia breaking his hand. Now it’s Devin Haney.

“He can get it too,” said Teofimo when asked about Gervonta Davis.

“Everybody can get it,” said Teofimo Lopez Sr. “All they got to do is sign the petition. [WBC president] Mauricio Sulaiman already said it, but I don’t see them signing s***. It’s not up to us no more,” Teofimo said.

Haney has a tough fight on his hands against Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. on December 4th in Las Vegas, and there’s an excellent chance he loses. Jojo (32-1-1, 15 KOs) is much more seasoned than Haney, and he’s as tough as they get.

There’s no question that Teofimo will do his part to make the fight with Haney happen by destroying the hapless George Kambosos Jr. on November 27th, but Haney has got a tough one in Jojo that he needs to get past.

I don’t think he will, especially after the way he looked against Jorge Linares last May.

Lopez criticizes Ryan Garcia

“Ryan Garcia got hurt, but what did Canelo say about Ryan Garcia? He’s not taking it seriously like he should, like he knows he can. There’s a lot of potentials there, but he’s not taking it,” Teofimo said of Ryan.

“You’re not going forward with it. If Canelo is telling you that, which is a huge asset in your career right now because look at what Canelo has done and how he’s growing, take advantage of that, use that.

“How do you become that 50 million dollar man? How do you become the 10 million dollar man or anything like that? You got to do the things that he’s doing by fighting the best and improving and showing everybody that he’s the number one pound-for-pound on the list.

“For me, I’m kind of in shock with Canelo letting Ryan Garcia know, ‘Come on, pick it up.’ Canelo is 29, 30. I’m 24 now, but he had to go through all those eras and trials and tribulations as well to get to where he’s at. So if he did it around the same time, why can’t I?” said Teofimo.

It’s evident at this point that lightweight contender Ryan Garcia isn’t going to live up to his potential, as he’s not pulling out of fights, not staying active, and already having injury problems.

Ryan has made too much money without doing anything in his career, and he doesn’t have the hunger that fighters less wealthy than him have.

Teo picking Shakur to beat Oscar Valdez

“I give Shakur [Stevenson] some kind of chance in that fight, for sure,” said Teofimo when asked who would win in a match between Oscar Valdez and Shakur.

“When Shakur fought Jamel [Herring], Shakur had fought Jamel many times. So Shakur already had that confidence built-in, and he did all that and more.

“Valdez didn’t look too impressive in his last fight [Robson Conceicao], and then he was getting caught with the test that they were talking about. I don’t want to make any accusations on that.

“Shakur is that type of person that he’ll get that job done,” said Teofimo on his view that Stevenson will beat Valdez.

It’s too early to say for sure that WBO super featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson and WBC champion Oscar Valdez fight.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wants both of them to take interim fights, and he’s also interested in having Shakur fight Vasily Lomachenko. If Stevenson faces Miguel Berchelt and Lomachenko in back-to-back contests, there’s a good chance he loses.

In Valdez’s case, he’s expected to face Emanuel Navarrete next, and that’s a fight he could get beat as well.

After watching Valdez beat Robson Conceicao by a highly controversial 12 round unanimous decision in his last fight on September 10th in Tucson, Arizona, there’s an excellent chance he gets beaten by Navarrete.

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