By Dan Ambrose: Josh Taylor says he will send the “mentally fragile” Teofimo Lopez into retirement on June 10 when he defends his WBO light welterweight title against him at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
If Teofimo loses, his promoters at Top Rank will need to decide what they plan on doing with him because he’s going downhill in the last two years, and it’s fair to say that he’s incapable of beating any of the fighters in the weight class.
Some believe that the only reason Teofimo enjoyed success at 135 is that he was a weight bully, a fighter that had a size advantage over his opposition.
Once Teofimo could no longer make the lightweight limit without draining himself, he was beaten. Since moving to 140, Teofimo hasn’t looked impressive fighting opposition his size, and it’s obvious that he won’t enjoy the success he had at 135.
Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) is convinced that the beating he inflicts on Teofimo will be the tipping point, sending him into retirement. That may not be the case.
Teofimo still thinks he deserved a win in his fight against George Kambosos Jr in 2021, which he lost by a twelve round split decision. Teo also believes the judges got it right by giving him a ten round split decision over Sandor Martin last December, whereas the boxing world saw that as a hometown decision.
The 25-year-old Teofimo (18-1, 13 KOs) has looked like the shell of his former self since his fight with Kambosos Jr in, and many fans feel the former unified lightweight champion is “mentally” gone.
Taylor will defend against the struggling Lopez on June 10th on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
“That doing he got from Kambosos certainly dented his confidence and his ego. His ego has taken a massive hit, and you can see he’s a big mentally fragile anyway,” said Josh Taylor to Brian Custer’s podcast about his title defense against Teofimo Lopez on June 10th.
It’s not so much the lost confidence causing Teofimo problems at 140. He’s not able to dominate guys his own size, and his defense and his punch resistance aren’t good enough for him to be a major player in this weight class.
“For me, with this fight, I plan on retiring this guy,” said Taylor. “I plan on giving him that much of a beating that he doesn’t think he’s that guy anymore,” Taylor continued about Teofimo. “He’s already got them doubts. I’m going to cement them and retire him.”