By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Teofimo Lopez Sr says he wants Regis Prograis, Devin Haney, or Ryan Garcia next for his son Teo to fight in the first title defense of his WBO light welterweight belt that he won last June against Josh Taylor.
Of those names, Lopez Sr feels that Prograis (29-1, 24 KOs) is the most realistic because he’d “fight anybody,” which is probably true, but his promoter Eddie Hearn is in talks with Haney for a fight in October or November.
Teofimo Sr needs to wake up and realize that Teo’s recent win over Josh Taylor has scared off Haney & Ryan Garcia. Those fights are NOT happening. As I said, Prograis is in negotiations with Haney. That victory for Teofimo was the equivalent of spraying mosquito repellent, causing it to deter Ryan & Haney from fighting him.
Devin & his dad, Bill, are likely thinking that if they capture the WBC belt from Prograis, they can use that to get a better purser split for a fight with Teofimo.
If they were to try and make that fight now as a challenger, the split would favor Teofimo, and they wouldn’t be in a strong position to bargain with him.
It would make a huge difference in negotiating with Teo if Haney can hold the WBC title after beating Prograis. Also, that’s a bigger win than Teofimo’s recent victory over a shopworn Josh Taylor, who hasn’t looked the same since his war with Prograis in 2019.
Teofimo Sr wants Prograis
“A big-money fight would be [Ryan] Garcia, so we’re trying to get that fight with Oscar [De La Hoya Golden Boy Promotions]. We’ve been in talks with them,” said Teofimo Lopez Sr to Fighthype about who he wants next for WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez Jr.
Ryan Garcia already said this week that he wants to fight Rolly Romero next for his WBA light welterweight belt. Kingry is going for the weakest of the chaampions at 140 after [kicking up a massive $30 million payday in his seventh round knockout loss to Gervonta Davis.
Ryan has ONLY talked of wanting to fight Rolly ever since he captured the WBA belt with his controversial ninth round knockout win over Ismael Barroso last May, and he’s not likely to change his mind to fight Teofimo.
“A reality fight that I think could be made is against Prograis because Prograis is the type of fighter that will fight anybody,” said Teofimo Sr. “With the [Ryan] Garcia, with the Devin, with all those guys, it’s probably very difficult.
“I think that the fight that could be made easy is against Prograis, but we are looking for the top fights. We’re looking for the Devin Haney fights. Not Shakur because Shakur just got in the 135, but we’re looking for the top dudes, like Tank; anybody can get it.”
Prograis is in negotiations with Haney fight now, so he’s not going to break off those talks because that match-up is looking good for him. If that fight wasn’t being planned, Teofimo would have an excellent chance of fighting Prograis.
“Like my son said, ‘I’ll fight anybody. It doesn’t matter.’ We just finished beating the top dog at 140, and my son has proved to the whole world, he’ll fight the top guys. He’s looking for the top dudes. I wish everybody was the same, but they’re not,” said Teofimo Sr.
If Lopez Sr is serious about Teofimo willing to “fight anybody,” then he needs to face one of these killers:
– Richardson Hitchins
– Arnold Barboza Jr
– Gary Antuanne Russell
– Jose Ramirez
– Kenneth Sims
– Jose Vazquez
“Devin Haney is the kind of guy that doesn’t commit. He plays it safe,” said Teofimo Srr.” The fight he had with Loma, he looked scared; he didn’t look like himself. He [Haney] told his father, ‘He figured me out. He already got me.’ He was telling his father this in the corner.
“So for him to come out of the fight against an old Lomachenko because that’s not the same Lomachenko that my son fought. A lot of people thought he lost. So coming off a fight like that and going up against Prograis. That’s a big step up.
“Prograis has something that Haney can’t handle, and that’s power. I think Prograis would beat him. If Prograis figures it out and goes to the inside and takes away his jab because that’s what you got to do with Devin. You got to take away his jab, and you got him.
“If Prograis does that and hits him with a big shot, I think he might knock him out. To me, I got a little edge over Haney with Prograis winning, maybe like a 10%.
“Listen, the biggest fight to be made is with Teofimo Lopez right now. My son is really hot right now. Everybody wants to see him fight again. Why would you go for Prograis when you could beat the top dog like we did? We went straight to the top dog [Josh Taylor],” said Teofimo Lopez Sr.
Josh Taylor was no longer the top dog by the time Teofimo fought him, and not even close. We saw how faded Taylor was in his fight with Jack Catterall, which many boxing fans felt he lost.
At this stage in Taylor’s career, he’s no longer among the guys at 140 and would likely lose all of the young killers in the division. We don’t know if Teofimo has improved since his controversial win over Sandor Martin because he hasn’t beaten any of the younger fighters like Hitchins, Russell, Vazquez, or Barboza.