FightHype.com

NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: DUMB, DUMBER, DUMBEST

By Paul Magno | May 01, 2023
NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: DUMB, DUMBER, DUMBEST

After a pretty nice big-fight Saturday night, April 22, the Universo Pugilistico went right back to reminding us that boxing is still full of liars, nitwits, creeps, and shit heads. Let’s take a look at some of the lying shit-headedness on full display this past week.

By now this is very old news, but I just had to mention the Oscar De La Hoya/Bernard Hopkins no-show at the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia post-fight press conference. I mention it, not because they did something pretty douchey in leaving their fighter hanging, but because of the absolutely moronic efforts they made to excuse their shitty behavior, especially De La Hoya.

The first story floated out there was via “sources” to boxing “writer” Ryan O’Hara. According to O’Hara, Oscar and Bernard missed the post-fight press conference because “they had dinner reservations with a person who wasn’t at the fight” and “they expected the main event to start later.” 

By the way, I want to make sure to give full credit for this totally unverified, “let’s just post whatever” scoop to O’Hara because I want this shit on his permanent record...just saying.

Then, Oscar’s story got more Oscar-like (i.e., eye-rollingly dumb and insult-your-intelligence unbelievable). The Golden Boy founder and figurehead couldn’t be there because his life was in danger!

"My security team told me, 'Boss, we've got to get the fuck out of here,' because I received death threats,” Oscar said via Instagram video. “You guys don't know this, I received death threats throughout the whole week, and they just said it was simply too dangerous so we got out of there. And plus Eric Gomez, who is my president, who was right there front and center with Ryan Garcia—so there was no issue, no problems. This is all coming from all these PBC minions that are just attacking Ryan, attacking Golden Boy. But it's all good, it's all good."

Of course, that begs the question of why he had to stay away from the post-fight presser in an empty T-Mobile Arena with only credentialed media there when he was walking around freely, unguarded and unafraid, at the event itself and the day before at the public weigh-in. He also found time to award himself a Ring Magazine belt (via the De La Hoya-owned Ring Magazine) at a media event a couple of days before Tank-Garcia.

Hopkins was not much better with his excuse making. Alternating between “I was banned by PBC”  and “why would we need to be there, this was about Ryan” foolishness, this wasn’t exactly B-Hop’s finest hour. 

Aside from being dumb, the Oscar/Hopkins one-two punch was exceedingly disappointing, especially from Hopkins, who won my respect back in the day for being a straight shooter.

And then, just as I thought the boxing allotment of dumb had already been doled out, Teofimo Lopez and his dad reminded us of their pound-for-pound status in dumb. 

Lopez and Lopez would shock and awe (with dumbness) in a video interview this past week with Punsh Drunk Boxing. 

In the video, Teofimo Jr. railed against ESPN and its commentators, even telling a tale (later denied by Andre Ward) about how he “dissed Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley in front of ESPN’s production for all the affiliation and corruption that they do.”

Then the former 3-belt lightweight champ made things racial.

"This is my last fight on ESPN," Lopez said. "I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry. This is why this fight (against Josh Taylor on June 10) means everything to me. If they want the black fighters they can keep them. I brought Bud Light to Top Rank."

After the predictable “WTF?’ firestorm backlash, Teofimo Sr. went public to bail his son out...by affirming everything his son said and doubling down on the sentiment.

“What I'm trying to say is,” Lopez Sr. explained in an interview with Mill City Boxing, “we didn't mean nothing about when my son said that Top Rank could stay with all their black fighters because, you know what it is? When Devin Haney came into Top Rank and all this, they're promoting him more than they're promoting my son and he feels a little type of way..You gotta understand this, we're fighting the top dude, bro, and we gotta get some respect for that...And he just feels a type of way, you know? They just want to promote, in his mind, the black fighters. You got Keyshawn Davis. You got Shakur Stevenson. You got Baby [“The Real Big Baby” Jared Anderson]. So, you got all these fighters from Top Rank that are getting more recognition than my son is getting and he's trying to fight the top dogs...

“He understood that he was wrong with what he said, but it has nothing to do with race...but you can’t mention the word “black” nowadays because everyone gets offended, you know?

“...He didn’t say it in a racist way, he just said it, like, Top Rank is really just focusing on the black fighters because it’s the market, marketing fucking strategy...They see that’s what people want to see...They love black fighters. They’re the best at what they do, you know? Black people are fucking very athletic.”

Race stuff aside, the Teofimos seem to conveniently forget about the times Top Rank and ESPN have prioritized the promotion of Teofimo Jr. appearances, like, for example, the Heisman Awards lead-ins to his fights. They overlook the insane amount of promotional attention from Top Rank/ESPN dedicated to non-black fighters like Vasiliy Lomachenko, Tyson Fury, and Naoya Inoue. 

They also seem to conveniently forget where and when the relationship with their promoter turned icy. It happened after Lopez beat Lomachenko in 2020 and he held out on making a deal for his first defense, eventually forcing a purse bid that cost Top Rank/ESPN the ability to broadcast their rising star’s first bout as unified champ. As things turned out, the Lopez business decision would eventually culminate in him losing the belts to underdog George Kambosos Jr.

But “the blacks” are on the Teofimos’ mind. And that gives you a window into the real world of the Lopez family and what talks around the dinner table (sans cameras) may sound like. 

So, in short, fuck them. 

Anyway...

I hate to interject nastiness and cynicism into what has been a pretty sweet run of good boxing, but these things need to be mentioned. I could’ve gone in much deeper, though. I could’ve talked about the Tank-Garcia hate from certain agenda-riding media nitwits, who’ve tried multiple strategies at discrediting Tank Davis, diminishing the success of the event, and all-around shitting on a fight they used to say would never get made. I could’ve talked about yet another “Sources: Spence-Crawford fight made” rumor published as fact by Ring Magazine/RingTV. Remind me, how many of those have been green-lit by the nice older lady with the ponytail serving as editor-in-chief there? 

But let’s leave the dumbness in the rear view mirror for now and look ahead to boxing’s continued run of good fights.

Got something for Magno? Send it here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

JULY 19, 2024
JULY 15, 2024
JULY 11, 2024
JULY 08, 2024
JULY 04, 2024
JULY 01, 2024
JUNE 27, 2024
JUNE 24, 2024
JUNE 21, 2024
JUNE 18, 2024
JUNE 17, 2024
JUNE 16, 2024
JUNE 13, 2024
JUNE 10, 2024
JUNE 08, 2024
JUNE 07, 2024
JUNE 06, 2024
JUNE 04, 2024
JUNE 03, 2024
MAY 30, 2024
MAY 27, 2024
MAY 25, 2024
MAY 23, 2024
MAY 20, 2024
MAY 18, 2024
MAY 16, 2024
MAY 14, 2024
MAY 13, 2024