Showtime’s exit from boxing – perhaps the worst kept secret in the sport – was made official this week and has been widely viewed as bad news by fans and fighters alike, including Teofimo Lopez.
And the WBO super lightweight world champion believes it may not be long before another major broadcaster follows them out the door.
In a post on social media, Lopez stated that he believes streaming service DAZN has got no more than five years left in boxing
“I give DAZN no more than 3 years left in Boxing. Maybe 5 just to prolong the damage!”
I give DAZN no more than 3 years left in Boxing. Maybe 5 just to prolong the damage! #TheTakeover
— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) October 17, 2023
It is unclear whether Teo genuinely believes this claim, or whether his post was fuelled by a more personal vendetta.
Lopez has had a bee in his bonnet with DAZN, Matchroom and Eddie Hearn since his loss to George Kambosos Jr back in 2021, which he maintains to this day was a politically fuelled robbery.
That kickstarted a concerning period for ‘The Takeover’ however he burst out of it in hugely impressive fashion back in June, when he defeated Britain’s Josh Taylor to become a two weight world champion.
A top ten pound for pound fighter in the eyes of most pundits, it feels like a huge fight beckons for Lopez in the first half of 2024.
Promoter Bob Arum has made clear his desire to stage a money spinning clash between the New Yorker and Ryan Garcia on Super Bowl weekend, though that would depend on Garcia getting past Oscar Duarte in December.
Also potentially on the cards is a unification bout with the winner of Devin Haney and Regis Prograis, who lock horns for the latter’s WBC world title towards the end of the year.
Lopez’ concern for the sport in which he gives his life to has been echoed by other fighters, including Garcia and Terence Crawford. The broadcaster’s 37-year stint in boxing will come to an end this year, and leaves a gap in the sport that may not be filled by as big a player.
DAZN are reportedly in the market to connect with PBC, whose fighters were previously on Showtime. Should that be the case, Al Haymon’s organisation would be on the same platform as Hearn’s Matchroom and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.