Teofimo Lopez lacks toughness to beat Josh Taylor says Regis Prograis

By Boxing News - 03/06/2023 - Comments

By Jim Calfa: Regis Prograis believes that former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez lacks the grit to dethrone WBO light welterweight champion Josh Taylor in their June 10 fight on ESPN+ at the Hula Theater in New York.

Prograis feels that Teofimo (18-1, 13 KOs) has the physical tools to beat the former unified 140-lb champion Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs), and he notes that he’s catching the 32-year-old at the right time with him coming off a long 16-month layoff.

With that said, Teofimo lacks the toughness to get the job done and will likely fail again. If Teo’s last performance at 140 against Sandor Martin indicates what we’ll see from him against Taylor in June, he has little chance of winning.

Teofimo has been a shell of his former self since his victory over Vasyl Lomachenko in 2020. That fight took thee best part of Teo and left the basketcase that we’ve seen in his fights against George Kambosos Jr, Pedro Campa, and Sandor.

“I think Teofimo has the style to beat Josh Taylor, but is he gritty enough to get in there with Josh?” said Regis Prograis to Fighthype. “Josh Taylor is gritty. He’s gritty and is a big person for 140 pounds. He’s strong, and he has power, and he is a gritty and grimy type of fighter.

“I think he has the style to beat Josh Taylor, but I don’t see it. I don’t see him beating him. It could be. That’s definitely a possibility. He could be catching him at the right time,” said Prograis about Teofimo catching Taylor coming off a 16-month layoff and a controversial 12 round split decision win over Jack Catterall.

“Just because Josh Taylor was a year out and didn’t have a good performance against Jack Catterall, he might rise to the occasion for this one.  He might look at it like what else is he going to do?

“If Josh Taylor doesn’t beat Teofimo, he loses his belt at 140 against a guy coming up from 135? What else is he going to do? He’ll be just feeding the killers after that. It’ll be hard for him to get back to the top, basically.

“In his mind, he knows he has to win this fight. It’s an interesting fight and a good fight because both of them have to. If Teofimo doesn’t best Josh Taylor, he still has a name, but what would he do to get back to the top?

“And if Josh Taylor doesn’t beat Teofimo, what is he going to do? He was talking about going to 147, and if he doesn’t beat Teofimo, you can’t beat a guy coming up from 135; you definitely can’t go to 147. So you’ll have to stay around at 140 and wait for another shot at the belt.

“That’s why it’s a real good fight because both of them, it’s not a make it or break it [fight]. A lot of people say it’s a make-it-or-break-it. It’s not a make-it-or-break-it type of fight, but it’s a lot of pressure on both of them,” said Prograis.

“There were no attempts from either team,” said Prograis when asked if there were any attempts from Teofimo’s team recently to set up a fight against him. “There was no attempt from Teo’s team, nor were there any attempts from [Jose] Ramirez’s team.

“They just said the money wasn’t there, but nobody even got into no kind of negotiations or none of that stuff. With the Ramirez thing, they mandated me and him and said it was going to be a 65/35 split, and Ramirez turned it down.

“For me, if they were going to turn it down, they would turn it down after they got an offer. We never even got to that point. They just turned it down. With Teo, they turned it down before that. So nothing ever happened,” said Prograis.

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