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Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez close for May 27th or June 3rd in Edinburgh, Scotland

Image: Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez close for May 27th or June 3rd in Edinburgh, Scotland

By Sean Jones: WBO light welterweight champion Josh Taylor and #1 contender Teofimo Lopez are reportedly close to a deal to meet on May 27th on June 3rd at the 20,000-seat Easter Road in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Taylor, 31, had been planning on fighting a rematch with Jack Catterall for March 4th, but the Scottish fighter came up lame with a plantar fascia injury and had scrap the fight.

Instead of rescheduling with Catterall, Taylor has decided to move on to face Teofimo. Both guys are promoted by Top Rank, so it makes sense for them to fight.

“Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez are closing in on a deal for a junior welterweight title fight this summer in the U.K.,” said Mike Coppinger to ESPN.

“The 140-pound fight could land at the 20,000-plus seat Easter Road in Edinburgh, Scotland, with May 27 and June 3 the dates being targeted.”

Is this the end for Teofimo?

It should be a good fight depending on what version of Teofimo shows up. Teofimo has looked like a mental basket case in the three years, and he’s arguably lost two out of his last three fights. The New Yorker Teo should have a loss to Sandor Martin from last December but was given a gift 10 round split decision at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Most boxing fans had Teofimo losing to Martin, and they were alarmed not only by the oddball scoring by the judges but also by how the referee blew a call, failing to give Martin credit for knocking Teo down twice in the fight.

The 25-year-old former IBF, WBA & WBO lightweight champion Teofimo (18-1, 13 KOs) has a lot to prove because he’s looked like a shadow of the fighter he once was since the midpoint of his fight against Vasyl Lomachenko in October 2020.

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It’s as if something happened to Teofimo from the sixth round against Lomachenko three years ago because he’s fought like a ham & egger since then, looking below average in his loss to George Kambosos Jr against second-tier fighter Pedro Campa and fringe 140-lb contender Sandor Martin.

Top Rank hasn’t given up on Teofimo after his three poor performances, but it’s possible that he might be at the end of his rope with them.

If Teofimo loses to Taylor, it’s hard to imagine Top Rank choosing to keep him because clearly something has happened has changed with him since the seventh round in his fight with Lomachenko. Teo went from being an elite fighter to an average Joe ever since that fateful night.

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