HAVING already worked with different broadcasters in the past, DAZN’s Marketing Vice-President Alfie Sharman seems confident that a fight between Ryan Garcia and Teofimo Lopez can happen.
Yesterday Garcia’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya posted an Instagram image of himself and Lopez’s promoter Bob Arum after a “great meeting” between the two boxing legends. Twenty-four hours earlier, De La Hoya used the same social media platform to beam about the possibility of staging a “Superbowl of boxing” on the weekend of the NFL’s 57th flagship event which takes place at the Allegiant Stadium in Nevada on Sunday, February 11, 2024.
“I was at The Sphere opening, and I cannot tell you how f*****g amazing it is,” the former world champion said. “So, imagine Super Bowl weekend, the Super Bowl of boxing: Ryan Garcia versus Teofimo Lopez or even Devin Haney, the winner with [Regis] Prograis. Then on the undercard you have Shakur [Stevenson] versus William Zepeda and then to top it all off you have Jaime Munguia versus [Sergiy] Devryanchenko or even [Edgar] Berlanga. And to open it up you have Kid Austin (Floyd Schofield) versus JoJo Diaz. Let’s do this!”
Boxing lends itself to fantasy often but a meeting between De La Hoya and Arum is an encouraging sign that 2024 could carry on the good work of matchmakers and promoters in 2023.
A notorious stumbling block which has prevented marquee fights taking place in previous years has been rival television networks. Garcia currently fights on DAZN and on December 2 the streaming service will showcase his return to action against Oscar Duarte. The fight will be Garcia’s first since losing to Gervonta Davis by seventh-round knockout in their pay-per-view blockbuster in March. That was to be Garcia’s last fight at lightweight and he will now campaign at super-lightweight, with new trainer Derrick James in his corner.
Lopez, meanwhile, fights on ESPN and is currently the WBO title holder at super-lightweight, having dethroned former number one Josh Taylor in the summer.
Boxing News spoke to DAZN’s Alfie Sharman after yesterday’s Leigh Wood-Josh Warrington press conference to get his thoughts on the possibility of a potential bout between two of the biggest stars in the sport.
“Great fight,” he said. “Since we’ve had boxing on our platform for a number of years now, we demonstrate regularly that we’re willing to work with any promoter and any broadcaster to put on the best fights on our platform. The proof’s in the pudding. We deliver. And that’s just another example of a phenomenal fight that we’d all love to see. Let’s see how it goes early December for Ryan and then look into next year.”
Sharman reacted positively when asked how an event like that would come together given both fighters are on different networks.
“We’d make it work,” he said. “We’ve done it this year with Showtime. We had a great partnership with ESPN for the Jake Paul-Nate Diaz mega-fight in August; worked with PBC in the UK last week for Canelo. We’ll make it work.”