The unified lightweight champion of the world Teófimo López (16-0, 12 KOs) thumbs up to a challenge to face Devin Haney in the ring, but only after the WBC titleholder at 135 maintains his undefeated record and contests against the top ten of the division.
Three pugilists currently sit at the top of 135- Teófimo López, Devin Haney, and Ryan García. Haney currently holds the WBC belt, while López is the sanction body’s franchise champion at that division, along with holding the WBA (Super), WBO, and IBF lightweight titles and the WBC interim belt is under García’s possession.
However, before Haney and López can be seen inside the squared circle to determine the ‘real’ WBC lightweight champion, both boxers have bouts on their plates.
Teófimo López has to defend his IBF belt, which he won in 2019 December, against mandatory contender George Kambosos, the Australian-Greek pugilist who is 19-0 in the division.
On the other hand, Haney will also have a mandatory title defense on the line, and Dominican boxer Javier Fortuna is likely to be the challenger.
However, López claims Haney needs to take on the top ten pugilists at 135 and keep his record clean- only then he will consider facing him in the ring.
There ain’t no handouts: Teófimo López’s opponents must earn their chance to fight him
Teófimo López recently appeared on The Ak & Barak Show, where he was asked about a potential future faceoff with Devin Haney, and the name of Gervonta Davis was also brought up.
“Oh yeah, absolutely” López said when questioned about fighting Haney, “As long as Haney keeps winning and actually fights opposition in the top ten, because he hasn’t yet fought anyone top ten in the lightweight division, along with Gervonta Davis as well.”
López hailed García, recalling his fight with Luke Campbell where KingRy sustained a blow in the 2nd round but still went onto win the fight.
“The only person who has stepped up,” López went on, “who got dropped in the second round and got back up to win, was Ryan García.”
The 23 year old American was last seen in action against Vasyl Lomachenko in October lat year, winning the WBA (Super) and WBO belts with a victory via unanimous decision.
“These guys, they’ve gotta prove something,” López recalled his fight with the Ukrainian, “the same way I had to prove myself to be able to fight Lomachenko for all the belts. There ain’t no handouts. I’m not gonna give them things I had to work so hard for.” (H/T BoxingScene)