Teofimo Lopez Jr. claimed in recent days that he turned down a $1.5 million offer to fight Ryan Garcia.
Lopez was coy on the terms of the offer, and who exactly presented the deal, but when Garcia promoter Oscar De La Hoya was asked to comment on the matter, he said there was no truth to the former lightweight champion’s statements.
“I never made Teofimo an offer,” De La Hoya told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “I sat down with his promoter Bob Arum and we discussed a percentage split and that was it. Never made him an offer. But I'll tell you one thing. I will be watching very closely when Devin Haney and Regis Prograis go at it [on Dec. 2] and the winner will possibly get a call from me where we can start negotiating a fight with Ryan, if Ryan wins [against Oscar Duarte on Saturday].”
As Lopez stays on the sidelines with no urgency to fight, De La Hoya has since moved on from his desires to stage a fight between Garcia and Lopez on Super Bowl weekend next year like he once drew up.
A fight between Garcia and the winner of Haney-Prograis for the WBC super lightweight title would call for De La Hoya to strike a deal with Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn.
Hearn is game to get a deal going with Garcia against the eventual winner.
De La Hoya and Garcia, however, will have to delicately navigate their fractured relationship, which is still an ongoing legal matter amidst a newly reignited feud that boiled over again this week.
“Golden Boy is doing their job [with Garcia]. We are doing what we do best. If we have to endure some critique along the way from fighters and issues we are dealing with now, it's no big deal,” said De La Hoya. “We've dealt with this before. There is always an answer to everything. I think when Ryan Garcia steps inside the ring against Duarte I sure hope he's focused and will take care of business and then we move on to the next big pay-per-view fights.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.