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Josh Taylor & Teofimo Lopez kept apart by security during face-off

Image: Josh Taylor & Teofimo Lopez kept apart by security during face-off

By Brian Webber: Teofimo Lopez & WBO light welterweight champion Josh Taylor were kept apart by a wall of burly security staff during today’s final press conference for their bout on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Boxing fans on social media weren’t happy at Taylor & Teofimo kept apart during the head-to-head, with some pointing out that they’ll be fighting anyway, so what does it matter if they start a little earlier?

The promoters for the event, Top Rank, weren’t taking any chances of violence breaking out after last month’s fight between Devin Haney and Vasyl Lomachenko.

At the weigh-in, Haney shoved Lomachenko hard enough to whip-lash his head. Fortunately, Lomachenko didn’t suffer a neck injury. Haney was later given a stiff $500K fine for the act of violence.

After today’s final press conference, the 25-year-old former unified lightweight champion Teofimo (18-1, 13 KOs) once again repeated that he wanted to “kill” Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) on Saturday night.

The way Teofimo was so casual about making this threat, it sounded like he was planning on going for groceries. It was very odd.

“All this is surreal. I feel like that’s what a lot of the training does for you. You’re so focused on something that when it finally comes, it’s not the same feeling,” said Teofimo Lopez to Fight Hub TV after his press conference with Josh Taylor.

“I’m looking forward to really putting on a show for everybody. He talked a little bit, trying to get in my head. That just shows that that man is not showing himself. He has a Scottish accent, and I think he just said he’s going to beat the living s**t out of me.

“Yeah, most definitely. I just don’t care. I don’t care what anybody said. They’re just words. We’re really going to put it on Saturday night.

“No, we’re not similar at all. I mean, maybe chasing the belts. Other than that, there are no similarities in personalities. He doesn’t have any.

“Every fight is great, but yeah, this guy will be to be just like Lomachenko. I’m excited, and I’m very excited. No, I don’t take anything back.

“The one thing I really take back is just my crown; that’s it. Other than that, everything else, I’m here to really do what I gotta do,” said Teofimo when asked if he regrets saying some things during the build-up to Saturday’s fight with Josh Taylor.

“I’ve heard the rumors and everything, but right now just staying focused on Taylor. That’s really all that matters.,” said Teofimo when asked for his reaction to his promoter Bob Arum saying he wants to match the winner of his fight with Taylor against Devin Haney next.

“Haney did his thing barely [against Vasyl Lomachenko], but we’re just at that point now; we just got to make an exclamation point here at the 140. I don’t think he won.

“I’m not [nervous about Taylor fight].  I’ve been here many times. I
think when somebody says, and they speak upon things like that, there’s a thing that we have and we understand, it’s basically a perception of self.

“He’s nervous, and he has that in his eyes. He’s trying to get there, but you know what? I can’t wait; I’m hungry. Okay, that’s cool, and I’m gonna kill him. So let’s do it,” said Teofimo when told that Taylor says he’s going to retire him.

“I think that it’s there; it’s there for the taking, but that’s not
what my primary goal is for this fight,” said Teofimo on whether he thinks he can knock out Taylor.

“We just go out there and execute and put on the show for everybody. But I believe when it gets there, let’s finish it,” said Teofimo.

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