By Allan Fox: Teofimo Lopez let the cat out of the bag by revealing on Friday that he’s in negotiations for a fight against undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor for a fight in the summer.
It’s unclear whether the undefeated four-belt 140-lb champion Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) will be permitted by the WBA & WBC to make a voluntary defense against Teofimo next, being that those sanctioning bodies have ordered Josh to make mandatory defenses.
This week, the World Boxing Council ordered Taylor, 31, to begin negotiations with #1 WBC contender Jose Zepeda. Last week, the WBA ordered Taylor to begin talks for a fight against mandatory Alberto Puello. Whether those two sanctioning bodies would be willing to let Taylor put their mandatory challengers on hold remains to be seen.
If not, Teofimo will need to wait until 2023 for a title shot, assuming Taylor wins his back-to-back mandatory defenses. Of course, Taylor can always vacate his WBA & WBC 140-lb titles and fight Teofimo with his IBF & WBO belts on the line.
The match would generate just as much interest and make the same amount of money as it would if Taylor and Teofimo were battling for the undisputed championship at 140.
“The ref raised my hand, and if anyone that is the main judge, it’s the ref,” said Teofimo Lopez to The Good Fight with Kate Abdo about his loss to George Kambosos Jr. last November.
“They put me #2 in the WBO rankings because I’m fit for it,” continued Teofimo. “I bring excitement for the 140-lb division. Whether [Ryan] Garcia or anyone else comes up, they’ve got to come see me at 140. That’s me taking over the division.
“Me fighting for a world title is definitely the next fight one. I look forward to being undisputed again. My goal is to be a three-time undisputed world champion.
“I’m looking forward to coming back in the summer. We’re trying to make me and Taylor for undisputed. He’s done [at 140], but it looks like we’re working on some stuff. I’ll get all of them in one shot again,” said Teofimo.
Taylor and Teofimo are both signed with Top Rank Boxing, so it’s understandable why this fight could take place. However, it’s difficult to imagine that the Taylor vs. Teofimo fight can take place for the undisputed championship, given Josh’s two mandatory defenses that have been ordered.
“Nobody knows what I was going through in that fight, where my father said to me numerous times, ‘I’m going to throw in the towel because you look like you’re dying on me.’ He knew I had asthma, bronchitis, and early stages of pneumonia.
“It was a good well-taught lesson because I beat me that night. I get annoyed how many times I have to prove myself,” said Teofimo.
The 24-year-old Teofimo is coming off a 12-round split decision last November against George Kambosos Jr. in New York.
Like Vasyl Lomachenko before him, Teofimo fought with injuries, and not surprisingly, he couldn’t win under those conditions.