Leonard Ellerbe On Teofimo Lopez: “In No Way, Form Or Fashion Could He Ever Be Even Considered The A-side”
By: Hans Themistode
Teofimo Lopez has planted his flag in the ground and won’t budge an inch.
After doing what many believed to be impossible in beating Vasiliy Lomachenko in mid-October of 2020, the Brooklyn native announced that he would no longer play second fiddle to anyone.
“I’m the A-side now,” said Lopez during numerous interviews over the past several months. “Including against Gervonta Davis. I’m the king now.”
Those words however, made CEO of Mayweather promotions in Leonard Ellerbe incredulous. Dismissing the skills of Lopez is something that Ellerbe finds impossible to do. With that said, Ellerbe believes that the notion that he would be the A-side in a fight that involves his biggest star in Davis proves that Lopez has a few loose screws.
“He’s a terrific young fighter,” said Ellerbe during an interview with Fight Hype. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment in beating Lomachenko. But for him to make that comment, it just shows the lack of knowledge of how the business goes.”
For Lopez, his unification bout against Lomachenko allowed him to make boxing history. With the Ukrainian native in possession of three world titles and Lopez in possession of the final one, his victory crowned him as the youngest undisputed lightweight champion of all-time.
The term undisputed though, becomes a sensitive topic for Ellerbe whenever Lopez is mentioned as such. Despite his bout with Lomachenko being labeled as a fight with all the lightweight marbles on the line, the Mayweather promotions CEO simply isn’t ready to name him as the official undisputed king of the division.
“He’s not undisputed because Devin has the WBC belt,” stated Ellerbe.
There’s been nonstop confusion concerning Lopez and his undisputed claim. While at one point Lomachenko did hold the WBC, WBO and WBA lightweight world titles – the Ukrainian ultimately forfeited his WBC strap and instead, accepted the “Franchise Champion,” status – a new designation introduced by Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC.
Haney, who held the interim tag, was then elevated to full champion status. Regardless of Haney’s new position, Sulaiman has stated on numerous occasions that Lopez is in fact the undisputed lightweight champion. In that same breath, he has also said that Haney is the WBC lightweight belt holder, furthering the confusion of it all.
While Ellerbe would rather not get involved in who has what title, the long time CEO acknowledges that Lopez does hold multiple belts. Those belts however, may have answered the questions surrounding the talent of Lopez in the ring, but for Ellerbe, on the other hand, he has several more rhetorical questions.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, has he ever headlined a show before? Has he ever sold out any venues? Canelo fought GGG (Gennadiy Golovkin), (Sergey) Kovalev, Liam Smith. Do you think they were the A-side in any of those situations?”
For Ellerbe, the answers to his questions are all obvious. So while he respects what Lopez brings to the table from a fighting standpoint, he believes the Brooklyn native has a long way to go in terms of his box office appeal.
“He’s a good fighter, nothing but respect but he’s delusional when it comes to the business. Having the belts is a great thing, but in no way, form or fashion could he ever be even considered the A-side in anything that’s going on over here. Ryan Garcia is a bigger attraction than he is. That is an irrefutable fact.”
Leonard Ellerbe: “Jermall Charlo Is The Best Middleweight In The World Right Now, I Don’t Think Canelo Goes Anywhere Near Jermall”
By: Hans Themistode
WBC middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo didn’t just impress his fans this past weekend, but apparently, he also impressed Mayweather Promotions CEO, Leonard Ellerbe.
Charlo took home a fairly one sided decision victory against former title challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko. The Ukrainian native was lauded for his championship performances against former belt holder Daniel Jacobs and current IBF champ Gennadiy Golovkin.
Charlo made his win look far easier than his counterparts and is now recognized by most as a top three middleweight. For Ellerbe however, he believes Charlo should be ranked far higher.
“Jermall Charlo is the best middleweight in the world right now,” said Ellerbe to Boxingscene.com.
In order for Charlo to prove that he is in fact the best in the division, many believe that he will have to eventually meet up with pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez. Although the four division world champion has floated between the middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, the Mexican native seems to be comfortable at 168 pounds.
But even if he does choose to drop back to 160 pounds, Ellerbe believes there is no way in hell Canelo would be willing to face someone like Charlo.
“Jermall’s style is all wrong for Canelo. They would never put him in there with Charlo. I don’t think Canelo goes anywhere near Jermall. He’s an animal.”
At the moment, the only fight that Canelo is facing is one in the courtroom. The current WBA middleweight titlist and WBA Regular champion, is in the process of suing streaming company DAZN along with his own promoter in Oscar De La Hoya.
Their issues stem from DAZN’s refusal to greenlight any of Alvarez’s opponents including current champions in Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith. A reduction in purse has been brought to his attention, something that he reportedly would be willing to acquiesce to due to COVID-19, but they are far apart on numbers.
The first round of his lawsuit has been dismissed due to several documents that were not included in his original claim. Instead of pursuing his lawsuit however, the two sides are reportedly looking to mediate their issues.
Media Training Day Quotes: Floyd Mayweather, Leonard Ellerbe
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, 11-Time World Champion
“My training camp is basically running the same way. I think it has been smoother than others. I feel very comfortable and happy with my performances. They push me hard at camp. They know what I need.
“The timing for this fight is right. This fight is about legacy, fans and family. I surround myself with all of the right people.
“I can’t say that this matchup is about hype. This is real life. This is two future Hall of Famers in a mega-fight.
“I’ve done record breaking numbers before and it looks like we’re going to do it again.
“Everything in life is about timing. I have no regrets that this fight didn’t take place five years ago. I didn’t think it was that big then, but it continued to get bigger and bigger. Not just in boxing, but outside of the sport. Pacquiao has continued to grow outside of the sport. We didn’t need to rush anything.
“This is going to be an exciting fight. Our styles are totally different. He is very, very reckless. Every move I make is calculated. I’m always 5-10 steps ahead of my opponent.
“We’ll see what happens when the fight starts. But when all is said and done I’m going to be the winner.
“Pacquiao is strong and solid but I don’t know if he can make adjustments like I can. I feel tremendous.
“This was a difficult fight to make happen, but we made it happen. This fight is one of the biggest ever in boxing.
“I’m still going strong. The last time I looked, I was 47 and 0.
“Anyone can get hit with a great shot, but I can make more adjustments and Manny can’t.
“I don’t think Pacquiao expected me to look as strong or big when we faced off (at the L.A. press conference).
“I walk around at 150-152 pounds to weigh 147 pounds. Other boxers weigh around 160-170 before coming down.
“I’ve got one more fight on my contract. I couldn’t be happier with SHOWTIME and CBS.
“Las Vegas is the boxing capital. During a Floyd Mayweather fight weekend, you can shop, party, stay out late and do anything you want. The city of Las Vegas has everything.
“There were offers to fight other places, but MGM Grand is my home.
“Anything I’ve asked of MGM Grand, they’ve done for me in a heartbeat. They’re all about making entertainers and athletes happy.”
LEO SANTA CRUZ, WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to fight on such an unbelievably huge card. I really want to thank Floyd Mayweather.
“Any boxer would like to be on this card where millions of people are watching. I’m happy to represent Mexico on this night and on this fight card.
“I look at it as a key opportunity for me to make an even bigger name for myself, which is my goal because one day I want to become a superstar like Floyd. That’s why I train really hard all of the time.
“There are no little fights for me. I consider every fighter dangerous. You lose when you think a fighter is not on your level and then he comes in hungrier than you. That will never happen to me.
“I don’t know who I’m fighting yet, but I’m sparring different guys with different styles.
“There’s always a lot at risk for me. People keep talking about all of these big fights, but if I don’t win now, there will be no big fights in the future.
“I know who I want to fight, but I don’t pick my opponents; I leave it up to my team. They make those kinds of decisions. My job is to fight and win.
“I have to stay concentrated. I have to maintain focus and concentration. I can’t get ahead of myself. I give 100 percent in training and in the ring. I always want to put on a great fight for the fans.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“Boxing is at an all time high at the moment. There are a lot of great things going on. Between this fight and getting boxing back on network television, it’s all great for the sport.
“This fight will not only elevate the sport in general, but it will bring in the casual fan to the sport and that’s a great thing.
“The impact that Floyd Mayweather has had on this sport is immeasurable. People won’t be able to appreciate that until he retires. He’s done so much for this sport. He’s given fighters a platform to say to other promoters that they deserve the lion’s share of the money. He’s brought more sponsorships to the sport.
“Floyd Mayweather is the highest paid athlete in all of sports and he happens to be a boxer.
“I think the demand thus far only indicates how big this event is. This is a fight that’s been talked about for five years now and everyone is going to get exactly what they’ve been asking for.
“Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter. He’s been in a number of great fights and he’s had a terrific career thus far. These are the two best fighters of this generation and come May 2 there will be one man standing and it will be Floyd Mayweather.
“There’s no doubt it’s going to be a great fight. I’m really excited. I can see firsthand the day-to-day preparation that Floyd puts in and he’s working just as hard as ever. The fans are going to get a great fight that night.
“I don’t know what Manny Pacquiao has to do on May 2, but I know what Floyd Mayweather has to do. He has to do what he normally does and go in there and execute his game plan and I really expect Floyd to knock him out.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER SR., Mayweather’s Trainer & Father
“Floyd is as well rounded a fighter as there has ever been, but he’s really still here because of his defense.
“Other guys fight with their head and their mind and come up short. It’s his great defense that has kept him on top for so long.
“I want you all to see it. It’s so plain and simple what he’s going to do. Even Ray Charles could see it.
“I honestly never thought that this was going to happen. So many people were trying to say Floyd was scared. Lets see on May 2 who is scared.
“I can’t tell you why or how, but here’s an update, Floyd is going to kick his a** and knock Pacquiao out.
“I didn’t watch one tape on Pacquiao. There is no reason to study him. He’s not at this level.
“Floyd is the best, I must confess. Nothing is going to stop Floyd Mayweather.
“Pacquiao’s trainer Coach Roach (Freddie Roach) is lying to you. Trying to trick you all. Floyd’s not getting knocked down in the gym. Floyd is the one knocking people down. Roach blows smoke with no hope.”