By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez isn’t signed by Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. Nor do they have any sort of relationship with one another, but as the 2014 hall of famer sat back in his palatial estate and watched Lopez pull off the massive upset against unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko this past weekend, De La Hoya couldn’t help but feel prideful in what he just witnessed.
“I’m really proud of him,” said De La Hoya to TMZ during a recent interview. “He shocked the world.”
De La Hoya, like most observers, believed that Lomachenko was going to be too much for the 23 year old. Yet, when the bell rang, the Ukrainian looked passive and hesitant. Lopez to his credit, took full advantage and dominated the first half of their contest. The latter portion of their matchup was flipped however, as Lomachenko pressed his foot on the gas and gave his younger opponent hell for the duration of their fight. With that being said, as the final scores indicated, it was far too late.
Now, with the biggest win of his career under his belt and four world titles draped around his shoulders, De La Hoya is heaping as much praise as possible on the young man.
“I really thought that Lomachenko was going to use his experience, well, I think Lomachenko did use his experience but in the first six rounds maybe he waited too long. Lomachenko came in strong in the end but it was too late. I think Teofimo looked amazing, he showed his true colors. I’m proud of him and I think he is the future of the lightweight division.”
With no rematch clause in their original contract, Lopez isn’t obligated to give Lomachenko a rematch. That in turn, leaves the door wide open for other intriguing matchups, including a possible unification contest with WBC belt holder Devin Haney. Lopez himself has expressed interest in facing his championship counterpart, but as De La Hoya continued his interview, he took some time to put on his matchmaker hat.
“There are a lot of great fights for him including our very own Ryan Garcia which would be a massive, massive fight.”
Garcia, 22, has been clamoring for his own shot at the big leagues for several months now and come December 5th, he’ll get his wish.
Perpetual lightweight contender and multiple-time title challenger in Luke Campbell will match up against the young Garcia. With a plethora of fringe contenders on his resume, Campbell, at least on paper, represents the first real challenge for Garcia.
Regardless of that, De La Hoya expects Garcia to have his hand raised at the end of the night.
“His December 5th, fight against Luke Campbell isn’t a walk in the park. Campbell went the distance with Lomachenko and Jorge Linares so this is a real true test for Ryan Garcia. But when he gets past this test December 5th, then he has to go after the top dogs. A matchup with Lopez would be a classic. I can’t wait for that fight.”