Teofimo Lopez accuses ESPN of reverse racism, preferring black boxers

Teofimo Lopez is the former unified lightweight champion and current 140-pound contender.

He recently made headlines with his highly critical comments about ESPN analysts Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley.

In a stormy, wide-ranging rant, Lopez blamed the Hall of Famers for misrepresenting his boxing bouts and taking away from his wins. He also took aim at the way Ward and Bradley discussed his previous outings, particularly during his upset loss to George Kambosos Jr. and his last, a close split decision over Sandor Martin.

“This is the thing, commentators are the ones that convince everybody someone else is winning,” Lopez told interviewer.

“ So watch the Kambosos fight without the commentators, watch my last fight without the commentators, and you will see the results.”

“ I dissed Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley in front of ESPN’s production for all the affiliation and corruption that they do,” Lopez said. “And what happened? I put more weight on my back, and all they was talking about, right away, when I slipped with the first knockdown they called. ”

“I slipped, they called it right away. What did Bradley say, ‘He’s hurt, he’s hurt!’ So I don’t sugarcoat sh!t. All these motherf—— d!ck ride and they suck d!ck—sorry for my language. But that is the problem, I don’t ride off that.”

“And just to put it on the spot, this is my last fight on ESPN,” Lopez continued. “I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. This is why this fight (Josh Taylor) means everything to me. If they want the Black fighters they can keep them. I brought Bud Lite to Top Rank.”

In addition, Lopez made comments about Black boxers that many on social media viewed as being either racially insensitive or flat-out racist.

He stated that if ESPN wants Black boxers, they can keep them, and that he brought Bud Lite to Top Rank. These comments immediately sparked controversy and backlash online.

Lopez’s father, Teofimo Lopez Sr., defended his son in a separate interview, saying that his son is simply frustrated by the fact that he feels his promoter is not prioritizing him in the same way as other boxers in their stable, many of whom happen to be Black. Lopez Sr. insisted that his son is not a bigot and urged him to make a formal apology through the media.

Lopez is set to box 140-pound WBO titlist Josh Taylor on June 10 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Lopez has stated that this will be his last on ESPN, which has an exclusive output deal with Top Rank, his promoter.

The controversy surrounding Lopez’s comments highlights the importance of being mindful of the impact of words and the potential for misinterpretation.

As a high-profile athlete and public figure, Lopez must take responsibility for his words and be careful not to perpetuate harmful stereotypes or offend members of his audience.

While he may have felt frustrated with the way he was being portrayed by ESPN analysts, there are constructive ways to address these concerns without resorting to inflammatory language or divisive comments about race.