By Charles Brun: Scottish fighter Josh Taylor wants a rematch with his conqueror Teofimo Lopez after losing his WBO light welterweight to him by a 12-round unanimous decision in a fight that was far more one-sided than two of the judges’ scores at Madison Square Garden’s tiny Hula Theater last Saturday night in New York City.
Taylor was out on his feet in the twelfth round after getting clipped by Teofimo, and he was fortunate that Teo backed off. Teofimo showed mercy to Taylor by now going for the kill when he had him looking ready to go down.
The goodness of Teo spared Taylor his dignity by his act of kindness to allow him to finish on his feet in the twelfth instead of on his backside being counted out by the referee.
You hate to say it, but Taylor’s career outlook is bleak at this point, and he might want to consider retirement.
This writer can’t picture Taylor beating ANY of the current champions at 140, and he won’t beat any of the top contenders. If you tossed Taylor into the ring with the contenders, it wouldn’t end well for him:
Gary Antuanne Russell
Arnold Barboza Jr
If Taylor can’t beat a fighter like Jack Catterall, he sure as heck won’t defeat any of the above contenders. The thing is, these are just the contenders.
There’s NO chance that Taylor could dethrone the champions at 140, Regis Prograis and Surbriel Matias. I dare to say that even WBA champion Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero might be a bridge too far for Taylor, and that guy is just a paper champ and not the real McCoy.
Taylor can forget about a rematch
Although Taylor wants a rematch, he’s NOT getting one because the fight was too lopsided, and there’s nothing that he can do that would change the outcome in a second fight with the younger, stronger, faster, and more highly skilled Teofimo.
The 32-year-old Taylor lacks the power and reflexes to beat any of the other champions at 140 in Regis Prograis and Subriel Matias. If Taylor moves up to 147, as he’s talked about doing, he’d be food for the talented contenders in that weight class. Those champions would beat the living daylights out of Taylor and finish his career.
Josh certainly won’t be given a shot at the winner of the July 29th fight between welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford.
Even before Taylor’s loss to Teofimo, he had no shot at getting the Spence-Crawford winner because he was not popular enough in the U.S. to be a viable alternative.
But now that Taylor has been thoroughly beaten by Teofimo, he would have to work his way into a title shot at 147, which may prove impossible given his lack of power and inadequate skills.
Taylor (19-1, 13 KOs) seemed in denial about what had transpired inside the ring, saying that he thought the 117-111 score from the Canadian judge Benoit Roussel was too wide.
The reality is that Taylor lost worse than that, and Benoit was being kind to him with his 9-3 score. Some would argue that the fight should have been scored 118-110, which would be 10-2 in Teofimo’s favor because Taylor looked old and feeble inside there.
“I thought it was a close fight. I’d love to do it again. I know I’m better than that. I know I can beat him. He’s the champion. The ball is in his court,” said Josh Taylor to Top Rank Boxing about wanting a rematch with Teofimo Lopez.
Josh was out on his feet
“I had it eight rounds to four for Teo Lopez. A brilliant performance. Amazing movement, great poise, and composure. Josh started well, but Teo’s right hand couldn’t miss all night, and that was because of brilliant footwork,” said Gareth A. Davies to iFL TV, reacting to the victory for Teofimo Lopez over Josh Taylor.
“Josh was out on his feet at the end. He never really gave in. I think Teo put dents in Josh, but he didn’t really put a dent in Teo tonight. He [Taylor] had some successes, he had some good rounds, but he needed to win by stoppage at the end.
“It was a terrific fight. Congratulations to Teofimo Lopez. I think that was the best we’ve seen of him. Maybe but Teo outboxed him in many ways, mainly by movement and composure, though,” said Garth when asked if Josh Taylor’s inactivity of 16 months since his last fight in February 2022 may have affected him.
“No one saw that coming apart from Bill Haney, who said that when he was in the amateurs, he used to box like that, and it’s been missing from his game. All credit to Teo, but taking nothing away from Josh. He gave it his all tonight.
“I think he was playing the heel. He had a lot of support in here. Maybe he fights Devin Haney next now. It’s a great fight at 140 or Regis as well.
“Maybe,” said Gareth when asked if Taylor should move up to 140 or fight Jack Catterall. “Generally, through the fight, Teo looked physically stronger. He looked very strong at 140. Josh may move up in my view.
“It was an entertaining fight. Lopez was the dominant fighter in that contest. He won two-thirds of the rounds if you’re scoring it, but in the fight, he made all the eye-catching moves. Josh worked hard and caught him at times,” said Gareth.