Split-T Management review of 2020: The Year of Teofimo Lopez

Teofimo Lopez

Mikey Williams

In 2020, Split-T Management continued to reign supreme as the top management company in boxing.

With nearly 70 top fighters under contract, the New York based outfit headed by David McWater, continued to produce the best fighters in the sport culminating in the undisputed Lightweight World Champion Teofimo Lopez winning both The Ring Magazine and The Athletic’s 2020 Fighter of the Year award.

While 2020 saw only 13% of the total number of fights it had seen in 2019, Split-T outperformed the industry in featuring its fighters in 40% of the bouts it had participated in the year prior. Split-T Management fighters amassed a record of 44-6-1, winning four world titles and four more regional titles, with fights televised or streamed on all of the major boxing platforms such as ESPN/ESPN+, SHOWTIME, DAZN, NBC Sports and FOX.

Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) scored the sport’s biggest win of the year when he won a unanimous decision over top Pound-For-Pound fighter Vasiliy Lomachenko on October 17th in Las Vegas. With the win, Lopez captured the WBO, WBA and WBC Franchise titles to go along with his IBF championship.

It was a brilliant performance from Lopez, who outboxed what many believed was the top talent in the sport. The win, which amassed over 4 million viewers on ESPN, took Lopez from being a star to superstardom, and will look to compete in the biggest events as the calendar turns to 2021.

Less than a month later, Kali Reis captured the WBA Junior Welterweight championship under the guidance of Split-T’s Brian Cohen, earning a 10-round unanimous decision over Kandi Wyatt in Saint Petersburg, Florida. In capturing this title, Reis joined middleweight Raquel Miller as well as fellow junior welterweight world champions Mary McGee and Christina Linardatou as current female World Champions under Brian Cohen and the Split-T Banner,

Former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Ivan Baranchyk earned The Ring Magazine and The Athletic’s 2020 Fight of the Year. Baranchyk’s October 3rd eight-knockdown thriller with Jose Zepeda was broadcasted on ESPN+ had fans in awe in one of the brutal and exciting fights in recent memory. Baranchyk displayed both the renowned heart and tenacity that has made him beloved by fans.

2020 was a year in which many of Split-T’s top prospects made the transition to bonafide World Title contenders.

At the head of that list is 23-year-old super welterweight Charles Conwell. Conwell (14-0, 11 KOs), a 2016 United States Olympian, registered three big wins in 2020. Two of those were stoppages over undefeated opponents (Wendy Toussaint and Madiyar Ashkeyev) in fights that were showcased on SHOWTIME and NBC Sports respectively. Conwell, the USBA and WBC USNBC Welterweight Champion, is ranked #8 by the IBF and has put the entire division on notice with his thudding power and brick wall-like defense.

Split-T’s lead Agent Tim VanNewhouse roster of clients continued their growth and embarked on an impressive 12 fight win streak, highlighted by the continued ascendance of highly rated contender Abraham Nova, who is knocking at the door for a World title shot in 2021.

Nova is ranked as the #4 Super Featherweight with the WBA and #7 with the WBO. In 2020, Nova went 2-0 with wins over Pedro Navaratte and Avery Sparrow each on ESPN+.

Brian Ceballo also emerged as a rising contender in the welterweight division. Ceballo of New York City was very impressive in his only outing of the year when he won a 10-round unanimous decision over the tough Larry Gomez to win the WBO Intercontinental Title and raise his perfect record to 12-0 with six knockouts.

Middleweight teenager Diego Pacheco continues his rise and reaches 10-0 with 8 Ko’s. Pacheco went 2-0 with wins over Oscar Riojas and Juan Mendez each broadcasted on DAZN.

VanNewhouse’s streak doesn’t end there. He’s racked up big hits this year with the debuts of many of his recent signees from the 2020 Olympic Class – David Navarro, Javier Martinez, Omar Rosario, Marques Valle, Kahshad Elliott & Asa Stevens; complimenting Split-T’s deep commitment and support to the amateur program.

This year also witnessed the debuts of amateur standouts Haven Brady Jr and Morris Young Jr. Brady was featured twice on ESPN+ telecasts, recording knockouts in both bouts while still only 18 years old.

2020 also marked the continued ascent of major prospects in heavyweights Stephan Shaw and Sonny Conto, super-middle Isaiah Steen, middleweight Tyler Howard, and junior lightweight Otha Jones III. Rounding out this pack of prospects is welterweight Janelson Bocachica who improved to 16-0 (11Ko’s).

Bocachica’s year was highlighted by his sensational stoppage win over recently undefeated Nick Flauz (9-1). The fight was aired live on Showtime apart of it’s ShoBox series.

2021 looks to be the year that fighters such as Christopher Pearson, Ray Robinson and Willie Monroe Jr. inch closer to world title shots and bigger fight opportunities for Ievgen Khytrov, Ivan Golub, Erick DeLeon and many others on the Split-T roster.

A Split-T Management fighter was involved in boxing’s “Feel Good Story of The Year”.

Super Middleweight and Toledo Firefighter DeAndre Ware was moments away from weighing-in for his September 5 bout with Stephen Nelson, when Top Rank’s event coordinator Pete Susens suddenly collapsed. Eyewitnesses painted a bleak picture as to Susens’ condition. That’s when Ware jumped into action by performing chest compressions and revived Susens.

McWater, who was recently nominated for the prestigious BWAA Cus D’Amato Manager of the Year Award, continues to build a diverse, talented team, combined with decades of experience in the fight game. 2020 saw the valuable addition of multiple new members to the Split-T team.


Ron Rizzo, who has worked in multiple capacities across the sport for over two decades, most recently as VP of DiBella Entertainment and Producer for the long-running Broadway Boxing series and as a director for the New State Athletic Commission prior to that, joined Split-T as their Chief Operations Officer in February. Split-T also added prominent female boxing manager Brian Cohen and Brendan Segalas as associates to the firm. Cohen is one of the most respected figures in women’s boxing, having guided an astounding thirty female fighters to World Championships. Segalas has an investment background and a Masters Degree in Sports Business Management from New York University. In September, he brought in his first client, highly touted Greek middleweight Andreas Katzourakis. Segalas recently passed the Major League Baseball Player Agent certification exam along with CEO David McWater and they will work to expand and build on Split-T’s baseball division.

In addition, with the increasing importance of social media in the sports industry, Split-T brought on Ryan Rechten to serve as the company’s Social Media Manager to help it’s clients engage with existing fans, new audiences and develop influencer opportunities outside of the ring. Additionally, Rechten brought in his first client to the company Willie Monroe.

This dynamic group of industry professionals will fulfill Split-T’s initiatives across the sport for many years to come.

2020 was not the most ideal year, but with the calendar flipping to 2021, Split-T Management will continue to grow into the powerhouse and premier management company in the sport.

Split-T’s staff concludes 2020 with the following members.

David McWater, CEO, Ron Rizzo – Chief Operating Officer, Joe Quiambao, Director of Operations, Tim VanNewhouse – Agent, Brian Cohen – Associate, Brendan Segalas – Associate, Ryan Rechten -Social Media Mgr., Otha Jones USA Scouting Dir., David Berlin Legal Counsel and Marc Abrams – Publicity Director