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Josh Taylor & Teofimo Lopez Are Ready To Settle Their Differences Inside Of The Ring Today

Image: Josh Taylor & Teofimo Lopez Are Ready To Settle Their Differences Inside Of The Ring Today

By Vince D’Writer: After verbalizing harsh words and participating in heated exchanges during promotional activities, tonight in the Top Rank Boxing main event LIVE on ESPN+, WBO super-lightweight champion Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) will defend his title against Teofimo Lopez at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden.

The 32-year-old Taylor was the undisputed champion of his weight class, prior to making the decision to vacate 3 of his 4 title belts. The last time Taylor had a title defense, he was pushed to the limit as he escaped with a narrow split-decision victory.

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A little over a year ago, Josh Taylor defended his title against the previously undefeated challenger Jack Catterall. The challenger scored a knockdown in the 8th round, but the champion was able to rally and earn the win by way of split decision.

Taylor and Catterall would go on to agree to the terms for a rematch, but the bout was postponed due to an injury suffered by Taylor. After the postponement, Catterall decided to go in a different direction while Taylor elected to defend his title against a new challenger.

Since stepping on the pro boxing scene back in 2016, Teofimo Lopez has always been labeled as a special talent. He put his skills on display back in October 2020 when he scored the upset victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko and became the unified lightweight champion.

A year later Lopez found himself on the other side of an upset as George Kambosos Jr beat Lopez by way of split decision. After losing his WBA, WBO, and IBF lightweight title belts, Lopez decided to move up to 140, and in August 2022 he scored a 7th round TKO victory over Pedro Campa.

Four months later Teofimo Lopez was set to face the tactical southpaw Sandor Martin. In the 2nd round of the bout, Martin landed a check right hook that sent Lopez down to the canvas. Lopez was able to survive the knockdown and went on to earn a split decision victory.

Now Teofimo “The Takeover” Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) has an opportunity to become a two-weight champion. Standing in his way is a man who has been a super-lightweight champion for the past four years.

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During the promotion of this championship fight, a significant amount of animosity developed between these two boxers especially after Teofimo Lopez crossed the line with the inappropriate threat in regards to killing Josh Taylor.

While conducting a interview with Punsh Drunk Boxing Lopez stated, “This is a kill or be killed sport. I mean someone just passed away on May 6th, a kid 22-years-old just passed away.” Lopez went on to say, “And I said it like it is, I wanna kill Josh Taylor.”

After making the bold inappropriate statement, Lopez was given the opportunity to recant the comment, but he remained unapologetic. Josh Taylor shrugged off the verbal threat as he seemed to be unimpressed.
Taylor responded to the threat by stating, “Come and try to take my life and let’s see who’s the one that ends up in the back of an ambulance. Let him come and try. We’ll see what happens.”

The animosity between the two boxers continued to heat up as Taylor grew tired of listening to Lopez talk, and he proceeded to walk out of a joint interview. A week later extra security was needed to keep the two combatants apart as they shared the stage at the weigh in.

Outside of the drama, the Taylor-Lopez clash is an intriguing matchup inside of the ring. Taylor is aggressive, he’s a good counterpuncher, solid body puncher, and he excels at fighting in the inside. Taylor is a well rounded fighter, but recently he’s been paying for walking in as opposed to setting up his offense.

Teofimo Lopez is an athletic and a very gifted fighter who has all the tools. However, he’s had difficulties inside of the squared circle when he displays a lack of discipline and the habit of overcommitting.

The June 10th clash between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez will be a competitive and action packed bout. While Taylor will be attempting to extend his time as a 140-pound champion, Lopez will attempt to become a two-weight champion and at the same time, add another prominent name to his boxing resume.

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