Lopez supports Garcia's prizefighting aboutface as he subs out Haney for Romero

Teofimo Lopez defend's Ryan Garcia desire to face Rolly Romero, instead of jumping straight into a fight with the in-form Devin Haney.

"It’s a smart move," Lopez told reporters. "It’s a really smart move for Ryan Garcia. I’ll say that."

WBO super-lightweight champion Lopez [19-1, 13KOs] says it makes sense for Garcia [24-1, 20KOs] to target the WBA title holder Romero. Garcia made Romero [15-1, 13KOs] his primary target last week when speaking on social media, after previously calling for Haney.

Lopez also said he believe Romero would offer Garcia more leverage in negotiations between the pair, something which he does not think WBC champion Haney [31-0, 15KOs] would reciprocate in kind to Garcia. 

"I think that he needs something," said Lopez. "He needs to carry a belt because it does matter. Belts do matter in the sense of percentage of what we get as our payout. I mean, but there’s ways to move around it with the pay-per-view [revenue]. Something musta happened with the Haneys."

Last month, Haney produced a career-best performance against Regis Progrias in San Francisco. Haney dropped Prograis in the third round on the way to a dominating performance over twelve rounds, picking up the WBC super-lightweight crown in the process.

Garcia, meanwhile, has been seen training and running alongside Floyd Mayweather in the last week in Las Vegas, something which Lopez suggests could be a positive change for Garcia regarding Mayweather’s knowledge and experience in the boxing business. 

“That’s the Mayweather effect,” Lopez said. “You gotta think about it as a business point. If he gets the world title, then he gets to balance the WBC with the WBA. You know what I mean? But if he ain’t got no belt, the Haneys are gonna say they need more [money] because they got the money belt.”


Lopez himself is no stranger to seeking to strengthen his position in the fighter-promoter relationship stakes.

Immediately after his July success over Josh Taylor which made him a two-weight world champion, Lopez announced he was retiring from the sport because he felt he was not being compensated enough for his services, while claiming he generated revenues over $100million for broadcaster ESPN. 

Lopez ultimately reversed his decision to retire but has often reiterated that he will be taking more control in his career moving forward.

Lopez returns to action on February 8 against Jamaine Ortiz in Las Vegas.