By Adam Baskin: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he likes Oscar De La Hoya’s idea of Ryan Garcia fighting Teofimo Lopez on Super Bowl weekend next February.
Arum says WBO light welterweight champion Teofimo (19-0, 13 KOs) is looking at the fight with Ryan (23-1, 19 KOs) too, and he’s interested in it.
De La Hoya would like to stage the Teofimo vs. Ryan fight at the new 18,600-seat Sphere in Las Vegas. It would be a huge fight to generate big purses for both fighters.
If Ryan Garcia’s new trainer, Derrick James, can make big improvements in his game from his last fight against Gervonta Davis, he’s got a real chance of beating Teofimo.
Moreover, the winner of the Teofimo-Ryan fight will be a bigger star and can face the winner of the Regis Prograis vs.Devin Haney contest later in 2024.
It’s interesting that the 25-year-old Ryan Garcia is the one who is daring to be great by taking all the dangerous fights and leaving behind other well-known fighters who are afraid to take risks.
Teofimo wants Ryan Garcia fight
“I think that’s a great idea. And Oscar [De La Hoya], I consider a good friend; I promoted him for so many years, so I think that hopefully, that fight can come together,” said Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV when told that Oscar De La Hoya is interested in matching Ryan Garcia against Teofimo Lopez on Super Bowl weekend on February 10th.
“Yes,” said Arum when asked if Ryan Garcia would be Teofimo Lopez’s fight. “Hopefully, against Ryan. I can’t guarantee that, but that’s what Teo is looking at,” said Arum
The counter-puncher Ryan has the power to defeat Teofimo if he can get to him with his left hook the way southpaw Sandor Martin did last December, dropping him twice and losing a controversial 10-round split decision.
“I was at the opening of the Sphere, and I saw U2, and I was just imagining a boxing event inside the Sphere,” said Oscar De La Hoya to Fighthype. “There will be nothing like it.
“Anyone who has the privilege of going inside the Sphere and watching a fight for the first time, it will be the best event you will ever attend, mark my words. That Sphere is something else.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. It’ll literally feel like if the fighters are punching at you when you see them on the big screen inside. It’s pretty incredible.
Teofimo vs. Ryan would be perfect for the Sphere if it’s available for February 10th, but if not, there are other venues in Las Vegas that will likely be available on February 10th during the Super Bowl weekend.
“I down with Bob Arum yesterday to make big fights happen,” said De La Hoya. “He has Teofimo, and he has Shakur [Stevenson]. Well, guess what? We work, and we promote Ryan Garcia, so we can talk about different fights where we can have the first major event at the Sphere. We’re still talking, but who knows if it’ll happen? That would be the idea.
“There’s no conflict whatsoever. Look, Mexicans love boxing, and they love their stars,” said De La Hoya when told that the UFC will be placing their fights on the Mexican holiday dates in May & September moving forward.
“Canelo Alvarez, when Ryan Garcia gets ready to take over the September date when Jaime Munguia steps up, and now ready to fight on Mexican Independence weekend.
“Boxing will always be king. That’s just how it is because, for some reason, when you fight the best against the best in boxing, magic happens.
“Yeah, it really does. We generate the biggest gates; we generate the biggest pay-per-views, but only if fighters fight each other, and that’s why I’m calling all promoters out there. Let’s make this s**t happen,” said De La Hoya.