Teofimo Lopez announced his retirement after his stellar win over previously undefeated and undisputed Josh Taylor. Thankfully for fans, he later said he would fight on.
Despite not hanging up the gloves, the 26-year-old two-weight world champion hasn’t yet penned a deal to defend his title.
Speaking to FightHype, Bob Arum confirmed Lopez is looking at a fight with Ryan Garcia in February 2024 providing he gets past Oscar Duarte next month.
“Teofimo I think is looking at a match against Ryan Garcia which hopefully we’ll be able to do in February. One thing at a time, you can’t have all these guys fighting each other the same night. It doesn’t work that way.”
Garcia’s fight with Duarte is at super-lightweight, but not for a belt. Someone who is fighting for a title is Devin Haney, who challenges WBC 140 Champion Regis Prograis a week later.
If he wins, Lopez and Haney will be considered ‘number one and two’ in the division, so Arum was asked if that makes more sense than a Garcia bout.
“Being one and two means nothing, it’s how much revenue they can drive. Nobody has 9 million followers on social media the way Ryan Garcia does.”
Finally, the veteran promoter was quizzed on if Garcia might seek out a rematch with Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis rather than Lopez. Again, he’s not convinced.
“I don’t think [he would go for that.] I think he makes much more money with a Teofimo fight, particularly because he has the ESPN engine behind him. You can’t just say fight this guy and the public will come, you gotta have the networks behind it that make it make sense.”
Lopez is currently Super Champion with the WBO, meaning he has a little wiggle room with mandatories and waiting around for big fights. With that in mind, all eyes turn to Garcia-Duarte.