By Adam Baskin: Promoter Eddie Hearn reacted today to Teofimo Lopez referring to him as a “silver-spoon fed schmuck” and predicting the demise of DAZN within five years by letting him know that it wouldn’t be good for him if that happened.
Eddie believes Teofimo is somehow blaming him for his loss to George Kambosos Jr. in 2021, a fight shown on DAZN.
Instead of Teofimo taking ownership for his loss, he’s seemingly putting the blame on Hearn & DAZN, as if they were the reason Kambosos exposed him on that old night two years ago in New York.
Teofimo appeared to come unglued after Kambosos dropped him in the first round, and he crumbled from that point on, winding up losing a twelve round split decision.
Hearn pointed out that the 26-year-old Teofimo (19-1, 13 KOs) hasn’t been producing the gate numbers or ratings in his fights in the small 5,500-seat theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, and he’s worth the eight to ten million that he wants per fight with shows on ESPN.
Teofimo recently captured the WBO light welterweight title against Josh Taylor last June but failed to sell out the Hula Theater in New York.
Lopez’s promoters at Top Rank were wise to stage his fight with Taylor in the small theater at MSG rather than the 19,500-seat larger arena, which would have been empty.
They must know that Teofimo isn’t a big attraction, so they went for the smaller theater, but it’s got to be troubling that he couldn’t even sell out the small theater.
“I don’t know why he replied. I wasn’t even on the Tweet and didn’t say anything,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social, reacting to Teofimo Lopez calling him a “silver spoon-fed schmuck,’ and predicting that DAZN will be out of the sport within five years.
— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) November 8, 2023
“Today, I talked about the commercial value of a fighter. You’re talking about a guy [Teofimo] who boxed once in 2021, twice in 2022, and once in 2023. He’s a young man, and all because he has an unrealistic expectation of his commercial value,” said Hearn.
Top Rank has got their work cut out for them with Teofimo, who has produced only one solid performance in the last two years against a washed Josh Taylor. Hearn can see what Top Rank boss Bob Arum is up against with this piece of work.
Without Arum’s careful guidance, Teofimo’s career could soon be over if he threw him in with the sharks at 140. He’s already shown no interest in fighting his top contender, Arnold Barboza Jr, who many boxing fans believe would beat him.
There are a lot of fighters at light welterweight that would feast on Teofimo if Arum put him in with the main population of the 140-lb division, where he’s not protected. Teofimo would last about ten minutes with the killers at light welterweights, like Barboza, Gary Antuanne Russell, and Richardson Hitchins.
If Teofimo prices himself out for fights against Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, and Gervonta Davis, he’s going to languish as the WBO 140-lb champion.
“It’s back and white. Top Rank, I don’t always feel sorry for Bob [Arum], but I know the frustration that he’s feeling [with Teofimo Lopez],” said Hearn.
“Imagine going into a meeting with a fighter who might have a value of two million dollars in a fight for a defense, and this kid thinks he should get eight to ten [million], but the numbers are black & white.”
It looks like it will end badly for Teofimo with his relationship with Top Rank if he’s expecting to be paid more than what they’re willing to offer him for his fights.
Teofimo’s post on Twitter yesterday about garbagemen making more money than boxers appears to be a shot at Top Rank. If Teo has unrealistic ideas of what he feels he’s worth for his fights, it won’t end well for him with his promoters.
Arum isn’t going to hemorrhage money by overpaying Teofimo for his fights if they’re not producing enough revenue to cover the purses.
— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) November 8, 2023
“We know what ESPN will pay because they will run the analytics like you say. They will run your past performances, your ratings, your numbers, maybe your digital imprints, maybe your social numbers, whatever.
“We know your gate,” said Hearn about Teofimo’s attendance figures. “You crept over the line to sell out the [Hula] theater [at Madison Square Garden in New York] against Kambosos [on November 27, 2021] with 4,000. It was my show.”
If Teofimo, a New Yorker, can’t even sell small arenas in his own city, where does Arum & Top Rank take him? It doesn’t make sense to stage Teofimo’s fights in New York if can’t sell. Arum might need to try taking Teo’s matches to Las Vegas and hope for the best.
“If you want to say, ‘That’s because you promoted it, and it was on DAZN.’ When you boxed Josh Taylor at the same arena [on June 10, 2023], you couldn’t sell it out,” said Hearn. “So, we know how many tickets you’re going to sell. If you look at the revenue in the park, we can make you an offer.
“On what planet do you live on if you think that offer should be three or four or five times bigger than what it is? From where do you think this money comes from? That’s the frustrating thing about these conversations.
Do yourself a favor, get out and fight, make yourself a couple of million bucks, build momentum, and work towards a mega-fight. Sitting on the sidelines, moaning and saying Bob Arum should be paying you eight or ten million for a fight that doesn’t rate or sell tickets is not the answer. So, I don’t know where I come from,” said Hearn.
Teofimo could have had the prestigious November 16th date, and taken advantage of the fan interest in the Formula One Grand Prix. Instead, Teo said he wanted to spend time with his family. Shakur Stevenson has taken that date for his fight with Edwin De Los Santos, and he’ll get a lot of attention that could have gone to Teofimo to increase his popularity.
“By the way. ‘DAZN will be over in five years.’ Is that a good thing for you? That’s actually a bad thing for you, Teofiimo, because if there’s one person bidding, your numbers are going to keep going like this [downwards],” said Hearn.
“It’s weird, and I think Teofimo is a great fighter, a great character, but it’s a strange, strange comment. I don’t really know. Just another pop on Twitter or X or whatever it’s called” said Hearn.